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    STUDIA EUROPAEA - Issue no. 4 / 2014  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:   The European Union today is one of the most unique political actors in the international system. Since 2009, the European Foreign Policy has evidenced a gradual increase of effectiveness towards every international direction, using a range of foreign policy tools. The Lisbon Treaty has upgraded the EU’s role as a global actor. This article considers the political and economic developments of the European Union, as a key player in global affairs since 2009. It also reflects on the roles and responsibilities the organization faces on a challenging global stage. An analysis of the international role and responsibilities of the EU needs to take into account the practice and priorities of the EU foreign policy in current foreign affairs. In terms of practice, the application of soft power as tools of international relations will be considered in detail. Then we will explore EU foreign policy on global economics, as well as the impact of the Eurozone crisis. The main focus of interest is to identify what makes EU a unique actor in current global affairs, but also to observe what the EU can and should do on the international stage in the future. Our study is part of a bigger discussion about the responsibilities and prospects of the EU during the demanding global state of affairs.

Keywords: European Union, global affairs, diplomacy, common foreign policy, economic crisis.
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