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Panel 106: EU foreign policy: sectoral case studies from low to high politics
9:30am - 11:00am
Session Chair: Albrecht Sonntag, ESSCA School of Management
Sport Diplomacy Beyond The Nation-State- The Case Of The EU
ESSCA School of Management, France
Fifty years after the invention of ‘ping pong’ diplomacy, an increasing number of national governments regard sport as a tool to support foreign policy objectives, reach external audiences in a positive manner, and enhance their international influence.
As an interdisciplinary field of academic research, sport diplomacy is still a very young area of investigation, and the recent attempts to provide a comprehensive conceptualisation (Murray 2018, Rofe 2018) mainly focus on the categories of traditional state actors and so-called ‘non-state sporting actors’, such as transnational governing bodies, NGOs, or multinational companies.
By many actors of sport diplomacy, the European Union, who has just been granted a competence in the field of sport by the Lisbon Treaty (2011), is considered an unexperienced newcomer in the field. It has, however, accomplished some rather significant progress over recent years. In 2015, Commissioner Navracsics set up a High-Level Group that formulated recommendations for EU policies, and since then, sport has found its way into several Council conclusions, a dedicated Work Plan 2017-2020, and a special funding scheme within ERASMUS+.
The paper provides an overview of this development, followed by a comparison with other supra-national actors of sport diplomacy such as UNESCO, the Commonwealth, or the Council of Europe. I will conclude on the current state of sport diplomacy beyond the nation-state. The paper is based on the author’s participation in the above-mentioned EU High-Level Group and his qualitative research carried out within the framework of the international project ‘Promoting a Strategic Approach to EU Sports Diplomacy’ (2019-2020).
European Diplomatic Cooperation In Times Of Global Health Crises
Dorina Baltag1, Sabrina Luh2
1Loughborough University, United Kingdom; 2Maastricht Graduate School of Governance
At the turn of the century, global health challenges increased in importance. They arose through SARS (2002-2004), H1N5 (2008), Ebola (2014), and climaxed in today’s Covid-19 crisis. Some scholars argue that the pandemic is a springboard for the EU’s role in global health and contributions to the COVAX facility stand in favour thereof. However, continued bans on medical exports by EU member states, led by Germany and France, contradict these claims and undermine the bloc’s collective approach to health diplomacy. Generally, the structural weaknesses witnessed remain puzzling considering that efforts of Member States to establish a new global health framework for the EU already date back a decade ago. In 2010, the Foreign Affairs Council issued the Council Conclusions on “The EU’s role in global health”, where member states agreed to, among others, increase protection against global health threats, adhere to common agreed EU values of solidarity, to improve health information systems and coordinate on health analysis and policy dialogue. While these Conclusions have been portrayed as a turning point in European multilateral health diplomacy, they are criticised for a lack of implementation as it was precisely in these areas where structural weaknesses were uncovered during the pandemic, suggesting that the Conclusions had little effectiveness.
This research intends to elucidate parts of this problem by exploring the role and functions of health attachés in Brussels and scrutinising how they influence European diplomatic cooperation in times of global health crises.
Analyzing An External Crisis From A Network Perspective: The Response To Cyclones Idai And Kenneth
1Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI); 2Pompeu Fabra University
This paper will examine the humanitarian response to Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which hit South-East Africa between March and April 2019. These natural disasters left millions of civilians in need of assistance and became the tropical cyclones in the South-West Indian Ocean with the highest death toll in decades. Nevertheless, Idai and Kenneth did not gain much political salience in Europe, unlike other threats with a higher potential to affect the European Union Member States directly. Hence, this article will analyze the extent to which EU Member State and supranational bodies coordinated their response with the network of non-governmental and non-EU governmental actors that managed the recovery efforts in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In particular, it will assess the role and weight of European Union actors in this humanitarian emergency response. It will also apply the resource dependence theory through the use of an Exponential Random Graph Model (ERGM) in order to test a series of relational hypotheses concerning the drivers of formal and informal tie formation, as well as regarding the overall effectiveness of the crisis network. With these purposes in mind, this study will combine social network analysis with several semi-structured interviews with high-ranked officials serving in governmental and non-governmental organizations that were involved in the humanitarian response. Interview-based findings will provide relevant empirical insights into the operation of EU-led interventions aimed at combatting external crises with an epicenter located in a region far from the EU borders.