The concept of Normative Power Europe has been debated since its inception by Ian Manners. Much of the debate has been rather theoretical. Recent enrichments discuss, for instance, the added value of hegemony (Diez, 2013) or the need for de-centring the Eurocentric debate (Fisher-Onar and Nicolaidis, 2013). However, there is a clear gap in understanding how these questions practically translate to the ground. Reconsidering the concept of Normative Power Europe from a more practical point of view, we discuss in this paper how the EU responds to challenges of its liberal model of democracy. Particularly in light of growing challenges by fundamentalist religious actors, we focus on the question of how the EU promotes some of its most contested values, such as the freedom of religion or belief and the rights of LGBT people.
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