The Development of the EU-China Security Relations as Explained by Europeanisation

Claudia Zanardi

In an intertwined global economy the EU plays a growing role in maintaining peace and security globally and the Chinese army intervenes outside its traditional confidence area, understanding how the EU and its major Member States (MS) perceive China's military build-up becomes increasingly relevant. Hence, Europeanisation is the most proper framework to analyse the action of the big three EU MS and the making of their security policy towards China. As medium powers in a globalised world, not only they cannot be relevant internationally but the absence of a comprehensive EU policy towards China leaves an empty space that each of the big three can fill with propositions. Therefore, this paper analyses how France, Germany and the UK took advantage of this vacuum by uploading or not their national preferences. The absence of a comprehensive security EU strategic posture towards the rise of China required to use empirical evidence to highlight single member states' foreign policies preferences, whether they have or aim to have an impact at the European level and whether they are influenced by the EU as a supranational framework.The definition of Europeanisation includes 'three distinct but interrelated processes [...] As a top-down process, Europeanisation refers to the changes in national foreign policies caused by participation over time in foreign policy-making at the European level. As a bottom-up process, it is the projection of national preferences, ideas and policy models onto the level of the EU. A third aspect is the redefinition of national interests and identity in the context of Europe.' (Hill & Wong, 2011)

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