Newsletter n. 2 - March 2022
A Joined-Up Union, a Stronger Europe. A Conceptual Framework to Investigate EU Foreign and Security Policy in a Complex and Contested World RICCARDO ALCARO, POL BARGUÉS, HYLKE DIJKSTRA

Fractious domestic debates, the fragmentation of regional politics and growing interstate competition all affect the capacity of the EU to forge a joined-up and sustainable foreign and security policy (EUFSP) in crises and conflicts. The potential for improved action depends on the capacity of EU institutions and member states to work within the multi-dimensional perimeter of the EUFSP governance system to create the conditions to mitigate the effects of intra-EU contestation, regional fragmentation and multipolar competition.

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The EU and the Ukraine War: Making Sense of the Rise of a “Geopolitical” Union RICCARDO ALCARO

By ordering Russian armed forces into Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has arguably made the greatest blunder of his twenty-two-year long rule. The Russian president seems to have underestimated not just Ukraine’s capacity to resist the invasion, but also the resolve of the United States and its partners to oppose it. If that is indeed the case, the greatest surprise must have come from the European Union.

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The Continued Downturn of US–China Relations and Beijing’s Approach to the Ukraine Crisis SHI YINHONG

In spite of a few concrete instances of cooperation – all quite limited, indecisive and likely temporary – the 16 November 2021 online summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden demonstrated how wide the disagreements between China and the United States are, how difficult it is for both countries to achieve a lasting shared understanding in any major issue area, and even how easily several of them can deteriorate further from an already high level of tension.

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Afghanistan, AUKUS and European Strategic Autonomy POL MORILLAS

Security and defence are increasingly grabbing the spotlight in European public debates. While the American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the realignment of forces in response to China’s growing strength are increasingly discernible, the European Union has not moved yet from intent to action in the domain of security and defence.

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Not Yet Fit for the World: Piecemeal Buildup of EU Military, Cyber and Intelligence Assets KRISTI RAIK

In the past decades, the EU has developed an increasingly broad, multi-sectoral set of foreign and security policy instruments. As the EU’s scope of activity and level of ambition have increased, the need to strengthen the “harder end” of instruments – including military, cyber and intelligence tools – has been widely acknowledged, but these remain weak.

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Multi-Layered Actions? Sustaining Partnerships in the EU Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises DYLAN MACCHIARINI CROSSON, POL BARGUÉS, ZACHARY PAIKIN, STEVEN BLOCKMANS

The European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy can be conceptualised as “multi-layered” action. Multi-layeredness refers to two interrelated ways of intervening in crises abroad, which the EU has articulated in the so-called Integrated Approach to crises and conflicts. Yet despite the meaningful conceptual strides, the capacity of the EU to both “partner” and “prolong” remains severely limited.

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Collateral Damage: How EU Internal Policies Shape Crises and Conflict Abroad KRISTINA KAUSCH

Europe is increasingly affected by conflicts in its neighbourhood, but its ability to prevent and resolve them remains limited. A few policy areas with obvious internal-external linkages such as migration, energy or climate are more advanced conceptually. However, a systematic integration of internal policy areas into the calculus of how EU policy impacts human security abroad remains absent.

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Laying the Groundwork for Peace in a Fragmented Libya JESUTIMILEHIN O. AKAMO

Libya is fragmented, and this fragmentation raises questions about legitimacy for whoever emerges as the winner of the presidential elections, now scheduled for early 2022. To avoid post-election conflict in Libya, stakeholders like the European Union, by way of anticipation, may need to facilitate dialogues with domestic and relevant foreign actors towards accepting the election results and the president-elect.

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25 November 2021 A Conversation between Pol Bargués and Riccardo Alcaro on the JOINT project
25 November 2021 Roundtable "What EU Foreign and Security policy in a more contested world?" (25 November, Barcelona)
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JOINT is a multiannual project led by IAI-Istituto Affari Internazionali and involving 14 partners from 12 countries that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 959143

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