The EU is not always united and visible in foreign policy. This policy brief argues it could make more use of leading groups of member states under the coordination of the High Representative and European External Action Service (EEAS), the type of strategic thinking that guided the development of the Strategic Compass, and a Team Europe approach to a wider range of international activities, going beyond development cooperation. One idea would be to formulate a European Council Forum on Economic Security and Sanction policy. The Netherlands could contribute proactively, for instance by advocating for a strategic conversation on the topic of economic power at the level of the European Council.
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This policy brief is part of a project that explores ways to improve the effectiveness of EU foreign policy. It builds on three case briefs that analyse defence specialisation, the role of the EU as a moderator in the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and the role of Hungary in EU-China relations, respectively. What follows is the synthesis of the main insights gained from the case studies, but also the result of independent research into issues transcending policy domains related to the effectiveness of the EU as a geopolitical player.