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Session Overview
Panel 802: Examining EU Foreign Policy - Perceptions, Contestation, Communication and Relations
Wednesday, 04/Sep/2019:
9:30am - 11:00am

Session Chair: Anna-Sophie Maass, University of Lancaster
Location: Room 12.09

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Examining EU Foreign Policy - Perceptions, Contestation, Communication and Relations

Chair(s): Anna-Sophie Maass (University of Lancaster)

Discussant(s): Anna-Sophie Maass (University of Groningen)

Over the past decades, the EU gradually extended the scope of its external relations with multiple actors. Despite the opportunities these foreign relations can bring about, the simultaneously emerging challenges cannot be disregarded. A crisis in its relations with Russia, civil war like conditions in its neighbourhood and wide-ranging repercussions of the migration crisis are merely some of the hardships at the core of EU foreign policy.

This panel examines EU foreign policy from four different angles. First, the EU's self-perception and the way its actions and rhetoric are perceived by other actors contributes to a better understanding of the nature of EU foreign policy. Second, the variety of actors and issue areas at the core of the EU's foreign relations often results in diverse forms of contestation, between normative and strategic motives in the EU's foreign policy for instance. Third, communication between the EU and its partners is one of the crucial mechanisms to carry out external relations. By examining these three features, this panel approaches its fourth angle, EU's external relations with the Western Balkans, Russia, Egypt as well as the African, Caribbean and Pacific region.

These studies allow for a broad comparative perspective across a range of issue areas. This panel is organised as part of an inter- and multi-disciplinary research consortium on EU foreign policy analysis funded by COST:|Name:overview. It is a networking and training initiative for early career researchers who graduated with their PhDs up to eight years ago.


Presentations of the Symposium


Norm Contestation in EU Foreign Policy: The post-Cotonou Agenda

Johanne Døhlie Saltnes
ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo

This paper contributes to the contemporary IR debate regarding norm contestation in foreign policy by investigating the EU’s position to negotiating a new partnership with the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states, the so-called post-Cotonou agreement. What vision did the EU Commission advance for its future trade and development policy with ACP partners? Status quo or a new approach? This paper investigates how the collision of the concerns for trade liberalisation and sustainable development advanced respectively by DG Trade and by DG DEVCO affected the Commission’s proposal for a post-Cotonou mandate. While both principles are ‘reasonable’ guides for the EU’s mandate, they prescribe competing policy alternatives, particularly concerning the EU’s future trade relations with the ACP. The paper will decipher the substantive justifications for the two competing approaches voiced by DG Trade and DG DEVCO and make a normative analysis of pursuing these alternatives from a perspective of global political justice. Finally, the paper will analyse which of the competing approaches dominates the Commission’s final proposal.

Without losing sight of the possibility for a more interest-driven foreign policy (as visible in the EU Global Strategy), this paper contributes to enhance our understanding of EU foreign policy in terms of the competing normative principles that figures in EU policymaking. The lack of a set hierarchy of norms within the EU’s foreign policy leaves policymakers without a clear prescription of how to make prioritisations between competing value-based goals and principles. As such, this paper contributes to fill this gap in the literature on the EU’s external policies by investigating a case of norm conflict, namely the collision of the concerns for trade liberalisation and sustainable development within the European Commission.


Climate Change in EU-Egypt Relations

Defne Günay
Yaşar University

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, climate change will affect the rivers leading to the Mediterranean, desertification will increase, rise in sea level will impact coastal settlements, crop productivity will decrease in the region. The EU claims to be a frontrunner in climate change policy, committing itself to a decarbonized economy by 2050, at the same time adapting its foreign policy to new realities. Against such a backdrop of EU activity in climate change policy, it is imperative to study what the EU does for climate change in its neighbourhood policy and how, which has been understudied from an International Relations perspective. This paper aims to address this gap by studying EU climate change policy as reflected in its neighbourhood policy with reference to Egypt. Egypt is chosen as it is a Southern Mediterranean ENP partner, has experienced periods of stability and uprising since 2004, it is a strategic country in the region for the West and it is one of the highest recipients of EU funding for economic and social development. This paper analyses what the EU does to address climate change through its neighbourhood policy towards Egypt. The paper conducts documentary analysis and argues that the EU promotes ordoliberal policy reforms in Egypt through its neighbourhood policy with the objective of mitigating climate change.

EU Diplomatic Activities in Multilateral Chemicals Negotiations

Frauke Ohler

Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

By analysing the EU’s diplomatic activities, this paper assesses the influence and the successes of the European Union in multilateral chemicals negotiations. The EU is a major player in international chemicals governance, which takes place in three environmental treaty regimes (the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions), complemented with the so-called ‘Synergies’ process between these treaty regimes. The paper focuses on the EU’s diplomatic activities during the 2019 triple COPs to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. The EU’s diplomatic activities such as informal consultations, draft submissions of resolutions and decisions are mapped through document research, interviews with EU policy-makers and non-participatory observations during the COP. These activities are understood as the way of how the EU takes part in the process of international environmental negotiations and how it reaches out to third parties. In addition, the analysis looks at EU specific activities, mainly the active employment of EU member states capabilities during the conference. The study is thus able to differentiate the diplomatic activities that the European Commission, the rotating Presidency and several Member States are employing during their participation in the triple COPs. Process tracing will be used to understand the influence of the EU starting from the EU’s first position paper, which is submitted prior to the COPs, to the final outcome of the conference. It thus maps when, why and how the EU has successfully used diplomatic activities in the triple COPs 2019.

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