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Session Overview
Panel 301: Contesting and Driving Forces in Different Areas of European Foreign Policy
Monday, 02/Sep/2019:
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Session Chair: Trineke Palm, Utrecht University
Location: Anfiteatro 7

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Contesting and Driving Forces in Different Areas of European Foreign Policy

Chair(s): Trineke Palm (University of Utrecht)

Discussant(s): Christine Hackenesch (German Development Institute)

This panel examines drives and contesting forces shaping European foreign policy. Baltag, Góra, and Weilandt provide insights in how such diverse actors like diplomats, national parliaments, or civil society actors shape the EU approach towards the neighbours in the East (Baltag and Góra) and South (Weilandt). The paper by Urbanovská (et al) looks at EU-internal driving forces and dividers by scrutinizing the impact of the Visegrad countries, especially in the context of Brexit. The panel contributes to our understanding of diverse set of actors in European foreign policy: while another panel looks in particular at EU institutional actors, this panel focuses on actors on the ground and member states.

This panel has been organised by NORTIA: the JM-Network on Research & Teaching in EU Foreign Affairs (


Presentations of the Symposium


Drivers and Dividers of EU Diplomacy post-Lisbon: A Glance at EU Diplomatic Activity in Eastern Europe

Dorina Baltag
Maastricht Unviersity

Drawing on field-work conducted in Chisinau, Kiev and Minsk in 2013-2016 the paper explores practices of European diplomatic cooperation abroad, shows how EU diplomatic actors identify a common approach and emphasizes certain capability issues faced by the EU in these countries. The exploratory nature embraced by this paper allowed for the development, during the field-work conducted in Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, of a set of questions concerned with the understanding of EU diplomatic practices. In addressing them I could acquire information in areas where there was limited prior understanding about the conduct of EU diplomacy in Eastern Europe in general.

Findings showed that there is a high degree of networking and engagement in meetings by EU diplomats from EU delegations and MS embassies. Hence this paper looks into the follow-up questions such as What forces drive EU diplomatic actors to engage in joint activities and fulfilment of common goals? And which factors hamper this? In this paper I analyse the degree of coordination of joint activities among EU diplomatic actors and explore the “drivers” and “dividers” in this process. The analysis will show how the practice of EU diplomacy is influenced by bloc diplomacy, multistakeholder and interest-driven diplomacy and how burden-sharing and unilateral diplomatic actions are embraced by diplomats.


Understanding Contestation of EU’s Relations with Neighbours in the National and European Parliaments

Magdalena Góra
Jagiellonian University Krakow

The main objective of the paper is to discuss the patterns of contestation of EU’s relations with neighbours. It is done through a comparison of patterns and actors contesting two policies – EU enlargement (EUENLARG) and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in national and European parliaments. The paper focuses on these two policies specifically because they cover main instruments of response to the growingly unstable EU’s neighbourghood but also cover ‘low politics’ of foreign policy focusing on economic instrument and tools of democratisation. There are however important differences between how these two policies are contested both in terms of salience of the contestation and the level and patterns of polarisation of opinion. Therefore, such comparison will help understanding what makes a foreign policy issue a subject of contestation, what impacts the patterns of contestation as well as how ideological and national variables explain contestation. Empirically, the paper will analyse and compare the contestation of EUENLARG and ENP in the national parliaments (the UK, Poland and Ireland) and in the European Parliament between 2004-2014. Conceptually it will contribute to the discussion on what prompts and drives contestation in European Foreign Policy.


Germany and the Visegrad Countries within the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy after Brexit: promising partners?

Jana Urbanovská, Stanislava Brajerčíková, Martin Chovančík
Masaryk University Brno

In the course of the development of EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), Germany has embraced a leadership role, being no longer a reluctant power. Under the ongoing “responsibility discourse”, Germany has expressed its willingness to assume greater international responsibilities and be more engaged in matters of peace and security in Europe and beyond. With Brexit looming large, expectations about German performance in the field of CSDP are further rising. Given its strict adherence to multilateralism, however, Germany is forced to rely on partnerships and shape coalitions. In our paper, we explore the cooperation between Germany and the Visegrad countries within CSDP and analyse the role of Brexit as an intervening variable within this relationship. Based on the analyses of main convergences and divergences in their approaches towards CSDP and on the assessment of the implications of Brexit for the security in Central Europe, the paper assesses the potential for increased cooperation between Germany and Visegrad countries in the field of CSDP.

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