Constructing the EU as a Policy Entrepreneur: The Roots of European Identity

Paolo Maria Leo Cesare Maggiolini, Valeria Talbot, Andrea Teti, Pamela Abbott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the evolution of the EU’s self-image as a normative entrepreneur—what it sees as good and successful in its own creation—which should be exported as the model of society to which others should aspire. This provides the context for examining the extent to which the EU’s foreign policy in Southern Mediterranean Countries is, as the EU claims, designed to support the export of this successful model. Our analysis shows that the EU’s contemporary narrative about achieving peace and prosperity in post–World War II Europe leans heavily on values and on development driven by market liberalisation. By contrast, however, its history has been driven by regional economic integration and Keynesian macroeconomics. Analogously, while the EU’s self-image has remained social democratic and much is made of the ‘European Social Model’, in practice this has been steadily eroded—albeit to varying degrees—for at least three decades.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocratisation against Democracy. How EU Foreign Policy Fails the Middle East
EditorsAbbot Pamela, Talbot Valeria, Maggiolini Paolo, Teti Andrea
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series



  • Democracy
  • EU
  • European Social Model
  • Human rights
  • Normative entrepreneur


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