This article focuses on the impact of emotions on the European Union (EU)’s international identity and agency in the context of the memory of trauma. Emotions are understood as performances through which an actor expresses itself to others while constructing its identity, creating its agency, and potentially affecting the social order. It is argued that the memory of trauma is translated into EU foreign policy practice through emotional performances of EU representatives. Empirically, we explore this impact in relation to the EU’s engagement in the Israel-Palestinian prolonged conflict that has many underlying emotions linked with past traumatic experiences. By doing so, we aim to instigate a discussion between the emotions literature in International Relations and the European Union studies literature to nuance understanding of the politics of emotions that increasingly constrain what kind of a global actor the EU actually is or can become
What role and impact do emotions have on institutional agency and identity of the European Union?
Also, what are the implications of the dynamic reconstruction of the EU’s identity and foreign policy through the emotional performances of its representatives?