The European countries which would succeed their political as well as their economic integration would greatly enhance their position in the world. The links which these countries would have with the other European countries in the two external circles and with other friendly countries in the world would make them a world actor of primary importance, basing the prestige and security of its members less on the force of weapons and more on the assistance for a sustainable development of friendly countries. Hence, the European Political Union would not need to match the military power of the United States. Actually, the EU countries are not threatened by any organised state and do not have any hegemonic or policing ambitions in the world. In order to take their place in the global chessboard, they do not need large armed forces, bases and armaments deployed around the globe. They only need the goodwill of governments and peoples of the rest of the world by fostering sustainable development, democracy, multinational integration (resembling the European model) and the overall respect of international law (mistreated by other actual or emerging superpowers). These could be the common goals of the unified European foreign, commercial, development and defence policies, based on an amended treaty of Lisbon.
With non-European countries in its periphery - i.e. Mediterranean countries in Asia and Africa, which have different cultures, traditions and regimes - the European Union should build strong economic and political links through partnership and/or new neighbourhood agreements [see section 25.4]. A task of the common foreign and security policy of the Union would be to coordinate the commercial, aid to development and foreign policies of the Member States of the Union so as to create a friendly and therefore secure area around Europe, notably in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, an objective already set by the Treaty of Lisbon [see section 25.5].
In a world which aspires to peace, security, social and economic progress and the rule of law, it is very important that a democratic and pluralistic Europe, without hegemonic ambitions, assumes the international role which its history, its culture and its economic power reserve for it. Its successful experiment of peaceful and voluntary integration of nations, which only yesterday were fighting each other, is observed with attention by several nations in the world which suffer from their ethnic, religious and other discords and which are the victims of their dissensions. Carried out at its final stage, which is the political union [see the introduction to part II), the process of integration could place the old continent at the vanguard of the march of civilization, defined as an advanced system of human values, of political freedom, of economic development and of social progress, guaranteeing peace, freedom of thought and the wellbeing of all human beings.