chapter  9
The European Union’s foreign policy in comparative perspective: the EU and the US in the Sahel
Pages 20

Introduction The debate about the actorness of the European Union (EU) centres on the question of whether this grouping of 28 states is a distinct and autonomous actor in the international system. While many contributions have advanced the perception of the EU’s admittedly exceptional role in world affairs, most of them have tried to accommodate its peculiarities by crafting new concepts and schemes that account for the features of this quasi-state. We, however, take a different approach. Rather than starting from a theoretical perspective and aiming at “making empirics fit expectations”, we look at what the EU actually does in the world. By utilizing some commonly employed tools of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) we seek to analyze the EU’s activities on the global stage and compare them to those of the US.