Essay from the year 2003 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Topic: European Union, grade: 2, University of Cape Town, course: The Political Economy of International Relations, 22 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The world order of today, unlike 50 years ago, is dominated by two phenomena: globalization and regionalism. Although globalization is the 'word on everyone's lips', there are around 170 regional agreements today - half of these concluded since 1990 - with the European Union as probably the best known and the most unique one of these agreements (Moore 2000, p.1). Whereas some argue that regionalism is a threat to the efficiency created through globalization), others regard it either as a mean to participate in the globalization process and therefore a part of it or the only 'efficient response to the challenges of a continuously deepening polarization generated by the capitalist globalization process' (Ruggiero 1997, p.2; Moore 2000, p.3; Mittelman 1999, p.27; Amir 1999, p.54). Whether regionalism contradicts globalization or complements it, depends heavily on the definition of both concepts as well as on the way a region acts within the framework of the global system (Hettne 1999, p.1). In order to address the question, whether the European Union, as a regional project, is contributing or responding to globalization and with respect to Hettne's above mentioned argument, the first chapter of this essay will set the framework for the following discussion by defining the two concepts - globalization and regionalism. Chapter three will give a brief overview of the European Union's core policies and its framework as they are crucial to analysing the European Union's role in the world system. Concluding from these two chapters the initial question will be addressed in chapter five, by an analysis of the policies of the European Union. A resume will be taken in the last chapter.