The European Union is the only economic and to some extent political regional bloc which plays an evident role in the international scene. In fact the process of economic and political integration in Europe is opposed to the principles governing the international politics in realist terms. At the present time, the EU is considered a global power in the field of economy. Also, following the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, the EU started its move towards political integration. Since then, The EU has tried to construct a geopolitical identity in the framework of Common Foreign and Defense policy (CFSP) and European Security and defense policy (ESDP). According to this framework, the EU redefined its environment based on three strategies: integration, stabilization and partnership. However, the EU has not yet succeeded to take serious steps in formulating an integrated foreign policy. The main reason for this is the fact that there is not yet a consensus among European politicians, elite groups, civil institutions and public opinion on the function of the EU in the international politics. As a result, the EU lacks necessary means to become a geopolitical power. The present research aims at studying the nature of political unity and decision – making system in the EU. It also analyzes the status of the EU in relation to the other major powers such as the U.S, Russia and China.

The first article entitled “The EU from the single constitution to Lisbon Treaty” studies the challenges facing the EU regarding its integration process. The author argues that although the crisis of EU constitution dealt a great blow to European federalists, Lisbon treaty makes possible the continuation of integration process. The second article entitled “The European Union and International System” tries to study the extent of the EU’s power and influence in the international politics. To do this, the author also addresses the European Foreign and Defense policy. In the article, “The Age of Cold Peace in Relation between the EU and Russia: Widening Discursive and Identity Gap”, the author tries to identify the commonalities and differences between the two sides. The fourth article entitled “A Reflection on European Cultural and Political Approaches towards the U.S” analyzes the policies resulted from these approaches. The fifth article studies relations between the EU and China. The author tries to explain the root causes of the EU’s foreign policy towards China and Chinese attitudes towards the EU.


_ Preface

_ The European Union from the Single Constitution to Lisbon Treaty / Dr Mahmood Vaezi

_ The European Union and International System / Dr. Saeed Khalouzadeh. & Dr. Davood Kiani

_ The Age of Cold Peace In Relations between the EU and Russia: Widening Discursive Identity Gap / Mousalreza Vahid

_ A Reflection on European Culture and Political Approaches toward the U.S / Khalil Shirgholami

_ Understanding the EU – China Relations / Xiodian Dai

_ The Role Identity of the EU in the International System / Dr. Davood Kiani