The EU Presidency and the Northern Dimension Initiative Applying International Regime Theory
Sammanfattning: The main purpose of the thesis is to assess the role of the EU Presidency in the development of the Northern Dimension (ND) – an initiative on the European Union’s foreign policy agenda. Three Presidency periods have been selected within the same time interval held by countries geographically located within the ND: Finland in 1999, Sweden in 2001 and Denmark in 2002.An adapted version of international regime theory has been applied to the ND, labelled an EU-led ‘composite policy regime’, and the Presidency has been treated as an actor in regime analysis.It is claimed that the Presidency has a particular role to play in the various phases that have been identified in the regime-building process of an international regime, namely regime formulation, implementation, reproduction and transformation.First, the Presidency as an important actor in the EU’s external relations has a specific opportunity to influence the orientation of the regime development process through its Presidency approach, its undertaken activities and launched initiatives during its six months in office. Second, the phase of the regime development process in which the actual regime is located at the time for a specific Presidency, influences the room of manoeuvre and the activities of the member-state in office.After a comparison between the three Nordic presidencies regarding their main interests, priorities, focus and activities in the field of the ND, regime analysis has proven valuable for the explanation of visible variations between them. Regime theory has offered a comprehensive approach both as regards the ways in which to depict the ND, which possesses rather unique characteristics, as well as for assessing the role of the Presidency as an important actor for the development of an initiative on the Union’s foreign policy agenda.
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