Paper/ Relational Power Europe. Conflict Management and the Future of EU Foreign and Security Policy by Riccardo Alcaro and Pol Bargués


In this new JOINT Paper, Riccardo Alcaro (Research Coordinator and Head of Global Actors, Istituto Affari Internazionali – IAI, as well as JOINT Coordinator) and Pol Bargués (Senior Fellow, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs – CIDOB) analyse how the EU has dealt with crises and conflicts in the last 15 years including Russia’s invasions of Ukraine, Iran’s nuclear dispute, Syria’s civil war and others still – to understand the peculiar nature of the EU’s role in international security.

They argue that the EU is a ‘relational power’, an entity dynamically constituted by its interaction with its internal and domestic context. As such, the EU emerges as a relatively homogeneous collective actor that amplifies its member states’ international influence but is not capable of engaging in geopolitics on its own. The Paper also looks into the future and speculate about how the EU could navigate the agitated waters of competitive geopolitics in 3 scenarios.

The culmination of a 3-year research effort, this work relies on the work carried out by the fantastic team of JOINT experts.


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