Recent Publications

Florian Rabitz

Synthetic biology is an emerging technology with potentially far-reaching benefits and risks. As a cross-cutting issue, different aspects of synthetic biology fall within the scope of different international agreements. Contemporary biosafety and biosecurity frameworks are characterized by important regulatory gaps which policy makers need to address to minimize risks that may arise in the future both from commercial use and weaponization. In some cases, this may require formal treaty amendments, whereas others can possibly be resolved at lower levels, for instance through interpretive statements of treaties’ decision-making bodies.

About the author:

Florian Rabitz was a doctoral researcher at the IES from 2009 until 2014 within the FWO project “governing through regulatory complexes: the European and international management of genetic resources”. He is currently a visiting Professor at the Institute for International Relations, University of São Paulo, working primarily on international environmental regimes and intellectual property rights.

Serena D’Agostino

The fourth edition of Roma Pride has brought Roma civic activism back in the spotlight. This Roma-rights mobilization, taking place every October in several European cities, has emphasized the centrality of an active civil society in pursuing a successful integration of the Roma in Europe. The ‘Award for Roma Integration’ and the ‘Civil Society Prize 2014’ conferred last October by the European Union (EU) to Roma and pro-Roma Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have confirmed this approach. Nonetheless, a general discontent towards the EU Roma Integration Policies exists within the Roma Civil Society, who calls for stronger support to and the promotion of “Roma- led change”. This Policy Brief investigates the reasons behind such discontent and identifies the ‘distance’ from Roma communities as the Achilles heel of EU policies. It argues for further efforts by the EU to empower Roma organisations operating at the grassroots through community capacity building, structured dialogue and simplification of the funding mechanisms.

About the author

Serena D’Agostino is a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for European Studies and the Department of Political Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is part of the joint research programme “Evaluating Democratic Governance in Europe” (EDGE) and affiliated to the IES cluster “Migration, Diversity and Justice”. Her research interests focus on EU policies for Roma integration, minority rights, equality & non-discrimination.

Alexander Mattelaer

Strategy promises to turn the use of force into an instrument of policy. This book explores how military operations undertaken by European armed forces are intended to deliver political effects. Drawing on the work of Carl von Clausewitz it argues that strategy is the product of an iterative politico-military dialogue. While strategic-level planning endows operations with a rational intent, friction between political leaders and military commanders risks derailing the promise of strategy. Three case studies – the EU in Chad, the UN in Lebanon and NATO in Afghanistan – illustrate that the strategic template for European crisis response operations relies on deterrence and local capacity building. Building on over 120 interviews with diplomatic officials, military planners and operation commanders, this book sheds light on the instrumental nature of military force, the health of civil-military relations in Europe and the difficulty of making effective strategy in a multinational environment.

Luis Simon

European countries have much in common. They are geographically and culturally close and they all face the problem of relative weakness vis-à-vis larger actors. However, while their many similarities lead them to cooperate, their geopolitical differences and specificities translate into conflicting priorities over how to arrange the terms of cooperation. European security is hence defined by a powerful tension between conflict and cooperation. And Europe's most powerful countries largely delineate the mechanics of such tension. By examining the interplay between geopolitical change, British, French and German grand strategy and the evolution of NATO and the European Union's (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) between 2001 and 2010, this book seeks to shed light on the nature and evolution of European security. Only by examining the grand strategies of Europe's most powerful countries can we get a sense of their interests. However, in order to properly grasp the nature and evolution of such interests we must observe how they play out at the level of specific debates. Very often, it is only when it comes to organising the specific terms of cooperation that conflicting priorities can be properly appreciated. Herein lies the importance of the EU–NATO conundrum.

Frauke Austermann

Edited by: Sebastian Oberthür, Knud Erik, Alex Warleigh-Lack, Sandra Lavenex and Philomena Murray.

European Union Delegations are an integral part of the EU External Action Service (EEAS) and have constituted the official diplomatic representation of the European Union to countries outside of the EU since the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. However, despite these steps towards further political integration, the Treaty of Lisbon has been unable to streamline diplomacy across third states and the EEAS hence remains a diplomatic service of different speeds.

This study considers why the EU centralizes diplomacy more easily in some third countries rather than in others, and offers a systematic answer to this question by analysing the EU Delegations both across time and space, notably by developing a quantitative tool, the EU Diplomacy Centralization Index.

The results show that whilst the EU is adept at centralizing diplomacy in developing countries and – quite surprisingly – in countries of strategic/security importance, it encounters difficulties in doing this with major economic partners.

Edited by: Joachim Koops and Gjovalin Macaj

This volume assesses the European Union (EU) as a 'Diplomatic Actor' in key foreign policy fields in the post-Lisbon era. It brings together leading scholars and practitioners in order to examine the main players, processes and outcomes of the EU's collective diplomatic engagement in the fields of security, human rights, trade and finance and environmental politics. In addition, the collection also analyses institutional developments and the EU's responses to major internal and external challenges in the context of international politics and global diplomacy. It provides the first comprehensive overview of the scope, nature and impact of the EU's growing role as a diplomatic actor and offers a comparative analysis of EU diplomacy in bilateral, multilateral and international fora. By taking stock of the successes and failures of EU diplomacy, this volume identifies the main internal and external conditions that shape the EU's influence in global affairs.

Edited by: Natalia Chaban and Martin Holland

The European Union considers it is influential in shaping global politics and has secured a reserved seat at every significant international table. However, this self-asserted confidence raises a number of questions. What is the nature of the EU's roles in the world? How is the EU seen in third countries and to what extent is it influential in setting global agendas? Has the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis made others outside Europe question the EU's capacity to deliver on its aspirations and promises?

This cutting edge collection addresses these questions by drawing on a number of substantive research projects concerning EU external perceptions. It presents theoretically grounded empirical analyses from which evidence-based public diplomacy recommendations can be drawn and focuses on the evolution of the EU's external image before and after the Lisbon Treaty, as well as before and after the outbreak of the Eurozone crisis. Exploring how it is viewed externally and the impact of events such as the Eurozone debt crisis, this book offers a true reflection of the EU as an international actor.

Sven Biscop

When a new High Representative takes office, an opportunity presents itself to take a look at existing EU external policies and assess whether these are still sufficient to safeguard Europe’s interests in light of recent events. New strategic priorities have to be defined where necessary, not on each and every topic of foreign policy, but on those big issues that European nations can only deal with collectively, through the EU. How to pursue these strategic priorities is an equally important question. Looking for the right balance between a far-reaching reform agenda and a status quo policy, both of which can be detrimental to its interests, the EU can opt for pragmatic idealism as the new strategic concept for its foreign policy.

About the author

Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop is director of the Europe in the World Programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, and teaches at Ghent University and at the College of Europe in Bruges.

Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are expected to agree on a new international
climate agreement applicable to all countries from 2020 at the Paris climate summit in December 2015. This Policy Brief investigates the possible role of the European Union (EU) towards the 2015 Paris climate agreement. It argues for renewed efforts by the EU at coalition building with progressive developing countries, leadership by example and a more prominent, complementary role of individual EU member states. It also argues for a Paris agreement that provides a strong “signal” and “direction”, and discusses what this may entail.

September 2014
policy brief
Tomas Garcia Azcarate

Food security remains a critical issue for the international community. Although significant and positive steps have been
taken towards worldwide food governance in recent years, this Policy Brief argues that more can and should be done in the coming years. Additional actions that policy-makers could consider range from enhancing understanding between different actors and improving the engagement of civil society to the extension of capacity-building efforts, regulatory stability and sufficient access to credit. When taken together in a search for strategic policy coordination, these actions offer the possibility to dramatically improve global food security.

This Policy Brief builds on the ‘Governing Global Food Security’ policy link panel organised by the Institut d’Etudes Européene at the recent #EUIA14 conference and was made possible thanks to the financial assistance of the European Commission’s Jean Monnet programme. For more information about the conference, please visit euia2014/.

About the author

Dr. Tomas Garcia Azcarate is an economic advisor in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. He is also a Maître de Conference at the Institut d’Etudes européennes of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (IEE-ULB). He serves as a Member of the Académie d’Agriculture de France and the Italian Academia dei Georgofili and as President of the Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists (AEEA).