Recognition of States by Regional Organisations: The European Union’s Contested Experience

15. Gëzim Visoka and Edward Newman (2019), ‘Recognition of States by Regional Organisations: The European Union’s Contested Experience’, in Gëzim Visoka, John Doyle, and Edward Newman (eds) Routledge Handbook of State Recognition, London: Routledge, pp. 270-281.

This chapter provides both a conceptual and empirical discussion of the role of regional organisations in shaping international recognition politics, a neglected but important topic. It gives particular attention to the challenges encountered by the EU as it engages with international recognition, focusing on specific practices.  It argues that the EU’s practice of state recognition is based on a complex balance between internal and external considerations which expose tensions between the EU’s liberal constitutive principles and the geopolitical realities it faces. The chapter first explores the role of the EU in the evolving dynamics of international recognition, providing a framework for understanding how the EU forms its recognition policies. Then it reviews the different patterns of EU practice since the early 1990s, which are collective recognition, collective non-recognition, and the practice of allowing EU members to form their own position. Finally, the conclusion provides an analysis of the broader implications of the EU’s practices in this area.


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