Politics of European foreign policy-making

The ability of the European Union to act collectively in international affairs and to decisively shape global governance have been much debated in the past five years. Buzzwords like “collective sovereignty” or “European strategic autonomy” have become increasingly commonplace and are further underlined by claims in 2019 that the Ursula von der Leyen would lead a “geopolitical” European Commission. Simultaneously, the 10th anniversary of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and of the reinvigorated role of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy invite reflections on the state of the European foreign policy cooperation system and the impact of these institutional innovations. One the one hand we see global contestation and the end of the liberal order challenging EU foreign policy-making externally, while internally the political consensus around the added value of collective international action faces a growing challenge from re-emerging nationalist and populist sentiments.

I collaborate on this topic with Nicholas Wright (University College London). Our research aims to better understand how member states make sense of their EU membership in foreign and security policy. We are therefore particularly interested in the interplay between national politics and EU foreign policy cooperation.

I am also hugely inspired by the collaboration with our excellent foreign policy network NORTIA, which brings together a multi-disciplinary group of foreign policy experts across Europe.

Related Publications

Heidi Maurer (2021). The European External Action Service. In: Palgrave Handbook of EU Crisis, edited by Marianne Riddervold, Jarle Trondal, Akasemi Newsome.

Heidi Maurer & Nick Wright (2020). Still governing in the shadows? Member states and the Political & Security Committee in the post‐Lisbon EU foreign policy architecture. Journal of Common Market Studies. (early view) – open access

Heidi Maurer & Nick Wright (2020). A New Paradigm for EU Diplomacy? EU Council Negotiations in a Time of Physical Restrictions. Hague Journal of Diplomacy 15(4), 556-568

Sophie Vanhoonacker, Karolina Pomorska & Heidi Maurer (2011). The Presidency in EU External Relations: Who is at the helm? Politique Européenne No. 35 (special issue), 139-164.

Sophie Vanhoonacker, Hylke Dijkstra & Heidi Maurer (eds) (2010). Understanding the Role of Bureaucracy in the European Security and Defence Policy. European Integration Online Papers, Volume 14 (Special Issue 1).

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