Offering a comprehensive and structured analysis of the reasons why the EU lacks external coherence towards Russia, this book presents important new insights to the topic beyond conventional institutionalist arguments. Philipp Thaler utilises key cases in external energy and human rights policies to highlight the on-going difficulties in creating a coherent position, despite the EU’s formally stated objective to achieve this.
Providing new avenues to understanding the meaning of coherence, the book explores why this frequently used term is undefined and why it became a guiding principle in EU foreign policy. Thaler includes a thorough overview of how the EU’s institutional architecture and successive reforms have been designed to improve external coherence, and highlights elements that impede this aim. Placing the challenges in the EU–Russia relationship into their historical context, the book demonstrates that the quest for coherence is not a marginal normative claim, but practically incorporated into the EU’s foreign policy.
Timely and inquisitive, this is a critical read for European studies and international relations scholars. It will be particularly helpful for those focusing on energy governance and EU foreign policy.