Recent Publications

Trisha Meyer

This book investigates recent policy initiatives dealing with the online enforcement of copyright in the European Union, providing unique insights into the current stalemate in the field. It is a timely contribution to the next steps of policy-making on copyright enforcement and Internet governance. The author brings to light tensions in how we encourage knowledge and cultural creation, and importantly how we regulate the Internet. In this study, online copyright enforcement is situated within the wider debate on Internet governance. Intermediary liability is a focal point. It provides an explanation of recent online copyright enforcement policy initiatives is based on an in-depth investigation of the ideas, interests, institutions and discourses involved in three EU level and two member state level initiatives. Seventy-two expert interviews complement the policy analysis conducted.

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Riccardo Trobbiani

Drawing upon the analytical tools defined in the inception paper1 for Work package 5 of the EL-CSID project, this paper assesses the willingness, capacity and acceptance sustaining EU broadly-defined Cultural Diplomacy (CD) in the MENA region. The resulting qualitative mapping focuses on policies and initiatives which foster regional cooperation, both around the Mediterranean and among southern countries. The use of cultural tools in EU relations with the Arab world and Israel has received widespread commitment, based on its potential to foster peaceful relations, create opportunities for development and possibly lead towards a convergence of civilisations. The EU and its partners have started to create the conditions for CD initiatives to take place within most regional and inter-regional fora for cooperation with the MENA. This is true within the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, although resources are still insufficient and rely on short-termed instruments. Even more needs to be done to endow the recent political commitment to EU-GCC, EU-Maghreb and EU-LAS cultural cooperation with actual tools for action. Post-Arab Springs MENA countries constitute a fertile ground for EU CD initiatives, despite the difficulties presented in some of them by non-cooperative stances of national authorities and restrictive cultural policies. In this context, the EU is adopting an approach valuing capacity building, intercultural dialogue and people-to-people contacts instead of pure display of European culture(s), but it still needs to clearly define what the use of the term Cultural Diplomacy means in its particular case. More specifically, a regional strategy for Cultural Diplomacy in the MENA is still missing.


Kingah, S., Amaya A. B. and Van Langenhove, L. (2016) ‘Requirements for Effective European Union Leadership in Science and Cultural Diplomacy on (Inter) Regionalism in the South’, UNU-CRIS Working Paper W-2016/3,

April 2017
annual report
Jan Claudius Völkel

Egypt’s parliament has been broadly excluded from the country’s political developments since the 2011 uprisings. The nadir of its influence was reached when the House of Representatives (lower house) was dissolved in summer 2012, followed by the Shura Council (former upper house) in summer 2013. Subsequently, no parliament existed until new elections, repeatedly postponed, were eventually conducted in fall 2015. This delay seemed to be part of the government’s strategy, as it used these years without a parliament to draft an electoral law that made formation of a legislature critical of the regime highly unlikely. The repeated electoral postponements also imposed specific burdens on the revolutionary parties that struggled to compete with the former elites. This article examines the contributions of Egypt’s parliament to the country’s transition trajectory, discusses the relevant changes made to the constitution and electoral law, and concludes that the parliament’s contribution to Egypt’s development has been limited, and will most probably remain so in the future. 

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Jan Claudius Völkel

A chapter on “When Interior Ministers play diplomats. Fatal ambiguities in Europe's securitised migration policy” in the edited volume “Fortress Europe: Challenges and Failures of Migration and Asylum Policies” by Annette Jünemann, Nicolas Fromm and Nikolas Scherer (2017, pp. 83-103). To access the book, please click here.

Luis Simón

Click here to access this article on the Security Studies website.

Most neorealists argue that relative decline constitutes a systemic incentive for European security cooperation. Although this claim is broadly accepted, I argue that the relationship between relative decline and European security cooperation is complicated by a number of factors. First, European calculations about relative decline bear both a global and a regional (that is, intra-European) component. If a European country is to effectively mitigate relative decline, cooperation is not sufficient. It is just as important that cooperation develops in a way that underscores that country's comparative strengths and minimizes its weaknesses. In this regard, European countries are often in direct competition with each other. Secondly, when Europeans are thinking about their relative power position, some countries matter more than others: a given European country may accept to incur a relative loss vis-à-vis another country (European or otherwise) but not others. These calculations are further complicated by issue linkage. Some countries may accept relative losses on some issues (for example, security) in exchange for gains on others (economic). This article examines how intra-European considerations of relative gains affect the way in which Europe's main powers seek to cope with relative decline and assesses how those considerations affect security cooperation in a European Union (EU) framework. In doing so, it aims to unpack the otherwise vague notions of relative decline and European security cooperation.

Sebastian Oberthür
Lisanne Groen

The Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in December 2015 reflects EU policy objectives to large extent. To find an explanation, we develop a general framework that incorporates both structural and actor-/process-related factors, paying particular attention to negotiation strategy and diplomacy. On this basis, we argue that the high level of EU goal achievement in Paris resulted from the interplay of (1) evolving international structures, (2) effective EU strategy fitting these structures and domestic politics, and (3) favourable situational circumstances. While the EU arguably pushed others to their limits, downscaled ambitions also meant that it accepted a Paris Agreement that is insufficient by itself and needs to be strengthened quickly. The application of our conceptual framework to the Paris Agreement demonstrates its added value and that it can build the basis of a fresh programme of work comparing the EU’s performance in international institutions/negotiations across time and policy fields. To access the article click here.

Luk van Langenhove

Executive Summary 

1. Science Diplomacy is globally becoming a crucial issue at a time of major crises, but it is still scarcely known and perhaps not optimally used. Europe, in particular the EU, has a high level of scientific excellence and should therefore be able to mobilise its scientific potential as a main means of action within its external policies. 

2. There is no uncontested definition of science diplomacy, but there is a general agreement that three varieties of Science Diplomacy can be distinguished: Diplomacy for Science is mainly about the facilitation of international scientific collaboration. With Science in Diplomacy the roles are reversed: here the scientists are prompted towards supporting foreign policy. Science for Diplomacy goes one step further: here science is used as a tool to build and improve relations between states. 

3. Science Diplomacy policy or Science Diplomacy practices that are labelled by the stakeholders as such can be referred to as explicit Science Diplomacy. But there are also relevant policies and practices that are not labelled as, Science Diplomacy. They can be referred to as implicit Science Diplomacy. In order to avoid a too broad approach to Science Diplomacy, one should limit the use of the concept to the explicit policies and practices that involve both S&T policy and Foreign Affairs policy. 

4. The EU’s competence in science diplomacy is embedded in how S&T policy is dealt with in the European treaties. As such, it can be said that the EU’s science diplomacy has to be seen as a shared responsibility. This poses two major challenges: (i) how to carve out a specific role for the EU that complements the Science Diplomacy policies of its Member States? and (ii) how to integrate that role in the overall EU’s Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy? 

5. Science diplomacy practices can take many forms and can be classified in three categories: 

Strategic tools for Science Diplomacy are policy documents that aim to give directions to what actors want to achieve and how to realize their policy goals. Here we are mainly talking about governmental communications that set out policies for Science Diplomacy. 

Operational tools for Science Diplomacy are policy instruments used to put Science Diplomacy into practice. They involve the allocations of specific resources as well as mechanisms on how to use them. 

Finally, there are so-called support tools for Science Diplomacy that aim to promote or facilitate Science Diplomacy activities. 

6. The literature review and internet search revealed that it is not easy to find strategic documents at the level of EU Member States with regard to Science Diplomacy. 

7. There exist many different operational tools across the different EU Member States that put Science Diplomacy in action. However, in most cases we are dealing with implicit forms of Science Diplomacy as the concept is not always mentioned. Furthermore, in line with the observed absence of strategic tools, the operational tools are not always clearly linked to Foreign Affairs policies. 

8. In general there is no evidence of a lot of support initiatives for Science Diplomacy at the national level in EU Member States. 

9. From the review of national Science Diplomacy initiatives it can thus be concluded that most EU Member States do not have a Science Diplomacy strategy. In most cases however, Member States are engaged in some activities that can be labelled as Science Diplomacy. But the national efforts remain in most cases very limited and there are little support structures. On top of it, most national Science Diplomacy activities are at best only loosely connected to Foreign Affairs policies. In other words, Science Diplomacy is not well developed within most of the EU Member States. 

10. A Science Diplomacy policy of the EU should consist out of two strands: (i) support of the Member States Science Diplomacy policies and practices; and (ii) support of the EUs own Foreign and Security Policy. This can be achieved through implementing the following six recommendations to the EU with regard to the elaboration of an EU Science Diplomacy strategy and structure: 6 

11. Supporting the EU Member States in their Science Diplomacy practices: 

Recommendation 1: Monitor the development of Science Diplomacy in the EU 

Recommendation 2: Create a support structure for Science Diplomacy activities at the level of EU Member States 

12. Supporting the EUs Foreign and Security Policy trough a EU Science Diplomacy Strategy: 

Recommendation 3: Link the EU’s RTD policy with the EFSP 

Recommendation 4: Create a culture of Science Diplomacy in the EEAS 

Recommendation 5: Improve dialogue and collaboration with regard to Science Diplomacy between all relevant EU institutions 

Recommendation 6: Develop a focused EU strategic plan on Science Diplomacy that incorporates the above recommendations. 

13. The above recommendations can be put in practice through the development of a proper EU Science Diplomacy strategy, similar to what exists for the EU cultural diplomacy. But such a strategy needs not only to focus on the organisational issues. It also needs a vision. One proposal is to focus upon three areas that are a mix of self-interests and aspirations to have a positive impact on the world. These areas are: (i) Science and Technology contributions towards enhancing regional security in its neighbourhood and (ii) Science and technology contributions towards improving European trade in the world and (iii) Science and Technology contributions towards tackling global problems. 

Luk Van Langenhove

This paper advocates for the development of a global science diplomacy agenda, consisting of three components: a Science in Global Diplomacy initiative aimed at mobilising the science and technology (S&T) community to carry out research that is relevant for global problems; a Diplomacy for Global Science initiative aimed at facilitating scientific collaborations for dealing with global problems; and a Global Science for Global Diplomacy initiative aimed at developing the institutional nexus between the S&T community and the realm of policy-making at a global level.

Stephen Kingah
Ana B. Amaya
Luk Van Langenhove

This inception paper expatiates on the conditions that are necessary in determining the effectiveness of the European Union’s (the EU’s) leadership in science and cultural diplomacy (SCD) on regionalism and inter-regionalism in the South. These conditions include willingness, capacity and acceptance. Willingness delineates the scope of the ambition of the EU in SCD. Capacity covers elements that pertain to breadth and depth/ quality and quantity of resources mobilized and available to lead SCD that delivers results. Acceptance refers to the nature of the credibility that the EU is able to command both within and outside the Union respecting its influence to attract followers both amongst Member States of the Union as well as third states, regional and international organizations. The emphasis of the paper is on effectiveness in terms of impact on regionalism and inter-regionalism in the South. Focus is placed on regional and inter-regional processes/ initiatives in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.