Conflicted Normative Power Europe: The European Union and Sexual Minority Rights

Journal of Contemporary European Research. 2013;9(1):78-93


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Contemporary European Research

ISSN: 1815-347X (Print)

Publisher: UACES

Society/Institution: UACES

LCC Subject Category: Political science | Social Sciences

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Martijn Mos (Cornell University)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 26 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper will evaluate the extent to which the European Union (EU) manifests the ability to act as, and possesses the potential to develop into, a norm-setting bureaucracy in its external relations when it comes to the protection and promotion of sexual minority rights. In order to examine this, an overview of the theoretical notion of Normative Power Europe, as developed by Ian Manners, is offered. This is followed by an evaluation of the EU’s international identity regarding LGBT rights. Ultimately it is concluded that the ability of the EU to shape international norms and values concerning this policy issue is severely undercut by a set of internal, institutional and conceptual inconsistencies. Only by overcoming this confliction and inconsonance can the EU develop into a full-fledged, credible and effective normative power in the case of sexual minority rights. It is concluded that the recently launched LGBT toolkit could constitute an important step in this direction.