The European Union (EU) often tries to present itself as a normative leader in both human rights protection and climate change prevention. However, since emission reductions sometimes require investments in solar panels that are produced using forced labor, these two norms can conflict with each other. Based on two case studies of EU policies on Israel-Palestine and North Africa, this article shows how conflicts between different norms are nothing new to the EU. In its policies on Israel-Palestine, the EU has had to balance its historical responsibility to Israel with its commitment to international law. In its policies on North Africa, the EU has had to balance its push for good governance with respect for other countries’ sovereignty. Drawing on the academic literature, EU policies, and statements by EU officials, this article therefore argues that normative conflicts are an essential part of what makes the EU a normative actor.
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"Necessary Trade-Offs or Two-Faced Hypocrisy: Normative Conflicts in EU Policies,"
Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union:
Vol. 2022, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/urceu/vol2022/iss1/6