Our Goals and methods

JOINT will:

– Analyse the impact of multipolar competition, regional fragmentation and intra-EU contestationon the EU and its member states’ capacity to carry out a more joined-up common foreign & security policy.

– Detect the unexploited potentialfor more effective EU foreign & security policy cooperation in several conflict cases in Europe’s neighbourhood and beyond. 

– Survey public perceptionsof foreign & security policy challenges and the expected role of the EU in facing these. 

– Elaborate assessment criteriaof an effective EU foreign & security policy.

– Assess the political acceptabilityof prospective conceptual, policy and institutional changes to security and foreign policy-related structures in order to identify the conditions for reforming the EU’s governance in foreign & security policy

– Map out proposals to improve intra-EU cooperation according to three potential evolutions of the EU’s foreign & security policy structures: a) increased fragmentation; b) partial adjustment; c) institutional overhaul.

Our Methods 

JOINT relies on a variegated set of methods and tools, namely:

– A comparative case study analysis that shows how the three constraining factors of multipolar competition, regional fragmentation and intra-EU competition play out in single crises and conflicts. 

– A comparative analysis of the challenges posed by each case study to the EU’s foreign & security policy across three key dimensions: objectives, instruments and external engagements. Specifically:

  • we inquire about how the EU and its member states frame their objectives
  • we determine whether instruments used by the various actors complement or are disjointed from each other. 
  • we study the degree of synergy in the EU’s external engagements: namely, which external players (local, national, regional, global) and on what level (bilateral, regional, multilateral) do the EU and its member states engage with. 

– An analysis of elite and public opinion towards an enhanced EU foreign & security policy, including through a set of focus groups and an online survey in selected EU Member States. 

– An elaboration of assessment criteria of the effectiveness of the EU and its member states’ foreign & security policy. 

– First-hand experience of policymaking processes through the secondment of scholars to the foreign ministries of France, Germany, and Italy as well as the European External Action Service.


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