Recent Publications

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).

Mason Richey
Ohn Daewon

Mainstream thinking about the role of the European Union in East Asia usually rests on non-traditional security threats such as human and environmental security. In contrast, and within the context of the continuing instability on the Korean peninsula, this Policy Brief looks at the potential for EU-Republic of Korea cooperation on hard security matters. This Policy Brief surmises that there is much room for cooperation that chimes with the objectives of the European Security Strategy and its Implementation Report. The Policy Brief concludes that the EU and Member States will need to balance desirability and ambition if coherent and effective EU-ROK cooperation is to emerge.

About the authors

Daewon Ohn is Director of the Centre for International Cooperation and Strategy and Professor of International Relations in the Graduate School of International and Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea. He writes here in a personal capacity.

Mason Richey is Associate Professor of Politics in the Department of EU Studies at the Graduate School of International and Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies,Seoul, South Korea. He writes here in a personal capacity.


Financing research and development programmes have never been more expensive in Europe. Defence budgets are on the wane, international competition is fierce and high-end technologies are increasingly expensive. Europe’s defence-industrial base is under significant strain, and options are needed to fund elements of a sector that is still crucial to Europe’s security and industry. This Policy Brief argues that the European Investment Bank could play a much greater role in Europe’s defence sector. As a public-private institution the Bank could serve as a life-line to defence R&D, dual-use projects and support for SMEs, especially where regional clusters are involved.

Belgium is on the cusp of its next defence reform. While the security landscape throughout Europe’s neighbourhood and beyond deteriorates, the armed forces face numerous challenges. Most importantly, the next defence plan needs to recalibrate the force structure in function of political ambitions and budgetary realities. This Policy Brief argues that Belgium must embrace a nimble but broad-spectrum force. Any future structure must encompass agile land forces as well as a modern combat air force, without neglecting the need to safeguard a sizeable navy and invest in cyber capabilities. European cooperation should be pursued wherever possible while recognising that this necessitates budgetary convergence. For Belgium this means the investment budget needs to grow significantly in order to acquire interoperable but self-owned assets. Such a choice can be justified on the recognition that defence is not just about expeditionary operations, but also economic stimulus, intergenerational solidarity and strategic insurance: maintaining the ability to respond to whatever the future may bring.