JOINT Briefs

Playing the Long Game in the South China Sea: The Potential and Limits of ASEAN–EU Cooperation

In the South China Sea (SCS), as indeed the wider Indo-Pacific, the European Union is facing a deepening strategic rivalry between China and the United States. In the SCS, China has been able to create physical realities in defiance of international law through the construction of artificial islands in the attempt to sustain its claims […]

JOINT Briefs

The EU’s Geopolitical Enlargement – Ukraine’s Accession Will Make the EU a Stronger Security Actor

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine prompted the European Union to grant candidate country status to Ukraine. This major shift in the EU’s approach was broadly seen by member states as a geopolitical imperative. Indeed, this time the geopolitical significance of enlargement is stronger than ever. A successful enlargement will be an essential part of Western […]

JOINT Briefs

The EU’s Entry Point into the Post-Tigray War Context

Ethiopia’s federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) made a rational choice when they ended their two-year civil war through the signing of the Pretoria agreement in November 2022. As the peace deal nears its first anniversary, critical issues remain unresolved. These include the perception by the Tigrayan side that the cessation of […]

JOINT Briefs

Ukraine’s NATO Membership Will Strengthen Europe’s Security

NATO’s refusal to set a clear pathway for Ukraine’s membership largely dominated the expert and public debate over the Alliance’s summit in Vilnius last week.[1] It also overshadowed its significant, even historic, results.[2] After all, in Vilnius, NATO all but acquired a new member (barring surprises from Turkey’s parliament): not (yet) Ukraine but Sweden. Coming […]

JOINT Papers

JOINT Effectiveness Checklist for EU Foreign and Security Policy in Conflict and Crisis Situations

The JOINT Effectiveness Checklist provides a comparatively simple framework for policy-makers and researchers to analyse the effectiveness of the EU’s response to conflicts and crises. It adds value to existing evaluation tools by a) assessing effectiveness relative to the level of difficulty of the policy environment, and b) adapting and further developing existing standard policy […]

JOINT Briefs

A Critical Juncture: EU’s Venezuela Policy Following the War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine accelerated a global energy crisis just as the world was beginning to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Venezuela has the largest crude oil and the eighth largest gas reserves in the world and can therefore offer an alternative for Europe to replace its fossil fuels imports from Russia. The problem is, […]

JOINT Papers

How to Reduce the Impact of Internal Contestation, Regional Fragmentation and Multipolar Competition on EU Foreign and Security Policy

In a Union of 27 member states, differences in (geo)political interests, socio-economic realities, historical trajectories and national identity construction constantly threaten the internal unity and thus also the external coherence of EUFSP. The following three factors and their mutually reinforcing interplay appear to have a significant impact on the creation and shaping of EU foreign […]

JOINT Briefs

Resolving Libya’s Legitimacy Crisis: 2023 Elections as a Pathway for Peace and Democratisation?

Beyond having an internationally recognised government, Libya is in dire need of a legitimate administration to take it a step away from political stagnation and division. A legal framework and a roadmap associated with a timetable for Libya’s elections in 2023 is therefore paramount, although caution is required – as to not be too hasty. […]

JOINT Papers

Tackling the Constraints on EU Foreign Policy towards Ukraine: From Strategic Denial to Geopolitical Awakening

This report explores the evolution of EU policy towards Ukraine, with major turning points occurring in 2004, 2014 and February 2022 when Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started. The dominant constraining factor in the case of Ukraine was multipolar (or rather bipolar) competition between the EU and Russia over the European political, economic and security […]

JOINT Papers

Ethiopia and the Tigray War: Limits and Challenges of EU Policy in a Fragmented and Contested Region

The Horn of Africa is a main item in the Africa policy of the European Union. The EU and its member states have traditionally considered Ethiopia, due to its population, economic size and military capacities, the strategic partner for regional stability. This assumption has led the Europeans to turn a blind eye to Ethiopia’s internal […]

JOINT Papers

The Vicious Circle of Fragmentation: The EU and the Limits of Its Approach to Libya

Due to the weak state structures inherited by Qadhafi’s regime, Libya has entered a vicious cycle of fragmentation since 2011, as sub-national and regional players have engaged in a competition for resources and power. The involvement of several international actors has exacerbated these dynamics, turning Libya into a proxy conflict. EU action in Libya has […]

JOINT Papers

The Unfulfilled Promise of EU Foreign and Security Policy towards Iran

With the 2015 nuclear deal dead in all but name, Iran is getting closer to Russia and more repressive at home, while EU member states’ priorities about the Islamic Republic now extend beyond nuclear proliferation to human rights and European security. This shift in priorities cements a re-orientation of the EU’s approach to Iran from […]


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