عنوان مقاله [English]
Foreign policies are the extension of domestic policies to the international arena and constitute a major part of the public policymaking process. To better understand the factors affecting the international decision-making process, it is essential to identify the role of domestic policies and the extent to which they affect foreign policies. Inspired by institutionalism, most European countries have entrusted a great number of their governance affairs to the European Union (EU). Foreign policies make a major part of these governance affairs. Different public factors and variables affect the foreign policymaking process in EU. These factors influence the policymaking authority in the ratification and enforcement of decisions and policies. This paper introduces and identifies major public non-governmental variables that affect the decision-making process in EU, and answers the question, how important are public variables in the foreign policymaking process and what role do they play? Adopting a desk research methodology, this analytical study investigates the cycle of foreign policymaking with an emphasis on the role NGOs, multinational corporations, media, unions and guilds, think tanks, polling agencies, councils, and parties play in passing and enforcing foreign policies. As powerful democracies, all EU member states possess various active groups of stakeholders/beneficiaries that try different avenues to affect governmental decisions in a multitude of issues. When policies used to be adopted locally or nationally, these groups paid greater attention to the local and national decision-making process; however, they have been focused on international and European scales, especially since the time the decisions and policies started to be adopted across Europe. These groups, which are made up of members from European communities, endeavor to enter major institutions such as the European Commission and the European Parliament, and affect the decisions made by them. In other words, these groups grow and adapt themselves to the new/present state of affairs in keeping with the Europeanization process in the political sphere, which was once reserved for national governments. In conclusion, the paper delves into the current foreign policy issues and problems/crises in EU and shows that public variables number among the most important factors affecting the foreign policymaking process in EU and continue to gain momentum.