This book asks: Does the European Union have the diplomatic clout to contribute effectively to peace in the world?
It stems from the premise that the EU is under a legal obligation and moral duty to work toward the peaceful settlement of disputes between or within third countries.
Reviewing the Union's track record in "peacemaking" since 1991 (the Balkans, the Middle East Peace process, Iran's nuclear program), it becomes evident that while the EU is equipped with a rich tool box, it has so far used the diplomatic instruments at its disposal in an ad-hoc fashion.
Author Steven Blockmans suggests ways and means to overcome this problem.
He focuses on capacity-building efforts within the European External Action Service, the Union's diplomatic service, that supports the High Representative and other EU external actors in carrying out their peacemaking tasks.