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Abstract

Studies on the international identity of the EU have stressed the normative feature of European foreign policy. At the same time, scholars have pointed out that the inconsistency between the EU's rhetoric and behaviour and the lack of reflexivity undermines its credibility. How does reflexivity affect collective identity? To what extent does the EU's utopian rhetoric affect its credibility as a normative power? In order to address these questions, we investigate the self-representation of the EU as an international actor, the extent to which this self-representation provides a basis for reflexivity and, finally, the impact of the EU's identity narratives on its credibility. We focus on the normative power of the EU in the institutionalization of the International Criminal Court and in the elaboration and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.