Multilevel EU Foreign & Security Policy

JOINT aims to bring analytical clarity to the complex system of governance involving EU and member states’ institutions that needs to be more joined-up for the EU to achieve policy outcomes in a challenging domestic and international context. 

We conceptualise EU foreign & security policy as:

  • Multi-actor. Member states pursue their objectives through EU institutions, in coordination with them, or through other international channels. 
  • Multi-sector. EU foreign & security policy is a constellation of actions across different policy areas, encompassing assets outside of the traditional remit of diplomacy and defence. 
  • Multilayered. European modes of external engagement are incredibly variegated. The EU and its member states interact with local, regional and global external players at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels as well as in formal and informal frameworks.

EU foreign & security policy has become a massively complex system of governance involving EU institutions and member states, encompassing policy areas outside the traditional remit of diplomacy and defence, and presiding over different forms of engagement with external players. Therefore, multiple possible arrangements exist – at the level of actors, policy sectors and formats of engagement – that could make EU policies more joined-up and ultimately effective.   

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