There is evidence of decisiveness and clarity in the UK’s foreign policy outlook. But there is also ambivalence, partly explained by preelection domestic politics.
Belgium is a firm believer in a more integrated EU foreign and security policy. But the country sometimes lacks the clarity and drive to put that belief into practice.
Austria has high foreign policy ambitions, but when it comes to concrete engagement in conflicts, Vienna keeps a low profile and prefers to sit on the sidelines.
Lithuania puts more emphasis on upholding European values than some countries at the heart of the EU. This is not just idealism, it is a matter of hardheaded interests.
For a relatively small geopolitical player, Portugal has a surprisingly ambitious foreign policy. A key theme in that policy is the country’s strategic geographic location.
The Swedish government that entered office in late 2014 has a bold foreign policy agenda, continuing the country’s traditionally high level of international ambition.
Slovakia succeeds in many aspects of foreign and security policy, but the way in which it does so is patchy and complacent. Bratislava needs a more strategic approach.
Although France’s economic standing has been decreasing in recent years, that has not affected the country’s foreign policy ambitions, which remain consistently high.
Malta’s small size prevents it from coming up with major foreign policy initiatives, but it is nevertheless keen to promote peace and stability in the Mediterranean.
Denmark pursues an active foreign policy at both the European and the international level, helping develop joint EU approaches and contributing to military interventions.
Spain has faced daunting political and economic challenges that have limited its ability to contribute to EU foreign policy. Will that situation change anytime soon?
Despite its export-driven economy, the Czech Republic has a low level of foreign policy ambition. In fact, foreign policy has never been a priority for any Czech government.
Despite two major institutional constraints, Irish foreign policy has ambition. Ireland may lack capacity, confidence, and, occasionally, resolve—but the drive is there.
Latvia’s foreign policy outlook has evolved considerably in the past twenty years. Riga has moved beyond grand narratives to a more substantive, down-to-earth approach.
If Germany is to live up to international expectations about its power and responsibility, then Berlin has to realize that foreign policy begins at home.