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Still Europeanised? Greek Foreign Policy During the Eurozone Crisis

Chryssogelos, Angelos (2017) Still Europeanised? Greek Foreign Policy During the Eurozone Crisis. GreeSE: Hellenic Observatory papers on Greece and Southeast Europe (118). Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, U.K..

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This working paper examines tendencies in Greek foreign policy during the Eurozone crisis. Existing analyses of the impact of the crisis on Greek foreign policy have focused primarily on its fiscal/economic effects. Here I shift the focus to the question whether the Europeanisation of Greek foreign policy has been affected by the crisis. Given that the EU has been the main strategic anchor of Greek foreign policy since the late-1990s, and that the Eurozone crisis put into question the overall alignment of Greece with Europe, the question of foreign policy Europeanization under conditions of a major crisis of EU governance remains surprisingly understudied. Apart from the mainstream foreign policy Europeanization literature, I also draw on critical works that view Europeanization as a process that de-politicizes state-society relations in Europe and insulates policymakers from public scrutiny. In this framework, I conceptualize the Eurozone crisis as a factor of re-politicization, opening policymaking (incl. in foreign policy) to contestation by mobilized political communities. I apply this conceptualization to the study of Greece’s Balkan and energy security policy between 2010 and 2015. The findings point to contradictory effects of the crisis on Greek foreign policy. Pro-EU governments in this period largely maintained the EU framework as their reference, but sought to project more forcefully national interests within it to demonstrate the usefulness of the EU for Greek goals and deflect public pressure. An anti-austerity coalition that came to power in early 2015 sought more forcefully to re-politicize some aspects of Greek foreign policy as part of its efforts to ‘renegotiate’ Greece’s relationship with the Eurozone. At the same time however, the overall image of Europeanized Greek foreign policy remained largely unaltered under the Syriza-ANEL coalition, and continuity was even more emphatic after it signed a new bailout agreement with the EU in the summer of 2015. The overall image then is one of continuity that however emerged out of a period of contestation that revealed deep tensions in what had always been an imperfect and instrumental embedding of Greek foreign policy in the EU framework. A de-Europeanization and re-politicization effect in 2010-15 crisis gave place to a renewed foreign policy practice within the EU framework, one however that is even more transparently than during the pre-crisis era the outcome of instrumental and national interest calculations. Europe remains the most effective and most readily available tool of Greek foreign policy, albeit one burdened with even more contradictions than in the past.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2017 15:25
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:12

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