The current special issue of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy is concerned with economic diplomacy. This article looks at the role that the European Union plays in economic diplomacy and shows that the EU's role is essentially to facilitate, rather than to promote national companies as EU member state governments do. After discussing the various definitions of economic diplomacy, the article summarizes the areas in which the European Union constrains the scope for certain national policies of the EU member states. The article then discusses the factors that shape EU economic diplomacy and assesses the relative importance of these factors in specific negotiations
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