Newsletter n. 8 - March 2024
A Decade of Deadlock. The EU’s Shipwreck on Palestine Embodies the EU’s Blockade Problem KRISTINA KAUSCH

The weak, erratic European response to Hamas’ 7 October 2023 attack on Israel and the latter’s retaliation in Gaza was the natural continuation of a long-standing pathology. For a decade before Hamas’ attacks, EU foreign and security policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been at a stalemate. The Israel/Palestine file has displayed in a particularly harsh manner the impact of the EU’s larger structural problems that lead to member states’ niche interests and domestic dynamics holding the bloc’s whole foreign policy apparatus hostage.

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The International Spectator Special Issue: Re-imagining EU Foreign and Security Policy in a Complex and Contested World Guest Editors: Riccardo Alcaro and Hylke Dijkstra

The European Union increasingly formulates and implements foreign and security policy under the constraints of internal contestation, regional fragmentation and multipolar competition. While such contextual challenges can inhibit the EU from adopting an ambitious foreign and security policy, this Special Issue shows that the EU and its member states have developed ways of mitigating their impact. Through institutional, functional and diplomatic measures, the EU has managed to reduce the adverse effect of the contextual factors on its foreign and security policy towards conflicts and crises.

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Unlocking EU Foreign and Security Potential: Measures to Mitigate Internal Contestation, Regional Fragmentation and Multipolar Competition SARAH VAN BENTUM and GREGOR WALTER-DROP

The paper emphasises the significance of achieving a delicate equilibrium between ameliorating disagreements within the EU and among member states while simultaneously addressing global issues and international crises shaped by the fragmentation of state and regional governance mechanisms as well as great power rivalry. The paper highlights institutional, functional and diplomatic-coalitional measures that can reduce the negative impact of these factors and enhance the long-term viability of EUFSP.

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The EU’s Geopolitical Enlargement – Ukraine’s Accession Will Make the EU a Stronger Security Actor ANNA OSYPCHUK, KRISTI RAIK

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine led the EU to grant Ukraine candidate country status. This major shift in the EU’s approach was broadly seen by member states as a geopolitical imperative. This eminently geopolitical enlargement is an essential part of EU efforts in preventing that Russia imposes its sphere of influence and its vision of European security order.

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Playing the Long Game in the South China Sea: The Potential and Limits of ASEAN–EU Cooperation ANDREW W. MANTONG, STEVEN BLOCKMANS

The security dilemma between China and the US is threatening rules-based multilateralism, which runs deep in the veins of the EU and to a great extent defines its international posture. While the EU’s position is still taken into account by regional players, it is not strong enough to shape policy outcomes according to its own interests. In line with its Indo-Pacific Strategy, the EU should double down on efforts to address the issues that constrain international regimes in the South China Sea.

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Challenges Ahead for the EU in Syria – Aid, Sanctions and Normalisation ÖZLEM TÜR

There is an ongoing and robust debate regarding whether the EU should reconsider its sanctions policy towards Syria. This reconsideration spans various aspects, including the efficacy of sanctions, the EU’s role in reconstruction efforts, and the potential normalisation of relations.

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All publications
(In)Effectiveness of EU Foreign and Security Policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
From Strategic Denial to Geopolitical Awakening: EU Foreign Policy towards Ukraine
The Vicious Circle of Fragmentation: the EU and the Limits of its Approach to Libya
The EU's Indo-Pacific Strategy in the Face of Rising US-China Rivalry
EU Foreign Policy and Security Challenges: Navigating Ethiopia's Post-Tigray Conflict Landscape
Conflict management vs. Internal Priorities: EU's approach towards Syria
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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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