From Zaki Laïdi’s Les formes inattendues de la puissance européenne (translation mine):

 First, Europe, often seen by Europeans as a weak actor without means, is in reality perceived as an influential actor on the world scene, less for its force of arms than its norms.  Second, Europe, often presented to the member states as a space deregulated in all activities so that market forces rule, is often seen by the rest of the world as a hyper-regulatory actor that seeks to generalize norms.  Finally, … when speaking of the political power of Europe, one must not only reference its military powerlessness but also the types of influence that flow from its existnece as a unique market.  We must change our perspective and ask if in the end Europe is above all a normative empire.