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Multilateralism and the EU in the Contemporary Global Order

Final Report Summary - MERCURY (Multilateralism and the EU in the Contemporary global order)

Executive summary:

MERCURY examined the European Union's contribution to multilateralism, asking whether it makes good on its commitment to effective multilateralism as enunciated in the European Security Strategy of 2003. Researchers made a number of important findings, which are summarized here. Multilateralism in Europe – which is in large part the result of Europe's own internal history – is difficult to replicate in other parts of the world, despite the fact that a number of regional organisations look to the EU as a model. Multilateralism is often less institutionalized, more fluid, often ad hoc or temporary, and subject to conflicting forces such as multipolarism and regionalism. Great powers often see multilateralism in the same way, and consistently over time – that it ties their hands and restricts their scope of action. Moreover, though there is increased demand for multilateralism, and the EU has developed principles which it intends to apply, it has yet to develop a coherent doctrine of multilateralism.

Project Context and Objectives:

MERCURY is designed to examine, critically and globally, the European Union's contribution to multilateralism. Multilateralism as a concept is ill-defined and poorly understood. The term is used in different ways by political actors, often to serve their own purposes. There exists no single, accepted definition of multilateralism and it continues to be often understood in contrast to its alternatives: unilateralism, bilateralism and inter-regionalism.

MERCURY's primary research questions were:
1) How should we understand multilateralism, both historically and in contemporary terms?;
2) Does the EU live up to its ambitions to contribute to effective multilateralism globally?;
3) What policy lessons can be drawn from Europe's experience of promoting multilateralism?
The overarching objectives of the MERCURY project were:
- identifying and clarifying forms of multilateralism
- exploring, explaining and evaluating the EU's ambitions for and practice of multilateralism
- building an interdisciplinary, international network of scholars and practitioners, and disseminating widely the research findings.

Specific Objectives

MERCURY had several specific objectives which may be categorised as scientific, policy relevant, and strategic.

MERCURY's main scientific objectives were to: exploit general theoretical approaches to international relations for theory-building and to develop new operational definitions of multilateralism; generate innovative empirical knowledge that sheds new light on multilateralism by linking literatures on international relations, international law, international economics, and EU external action; and pinpoint the effects of the EU's external relations by gauging whether and how the EU contributes to building effective multilateralism through promotion of international law, widening the membership of international organisations, and encouraging domestic reforms that lead to better governance.

MERCURY's policy relevant objectives were to: develop 'best practice' criteria to guide choices about how multilateralism should be pursued as a strategic goal of EU external policy; specify how resources – both EU and state-based – may be best combined in the pursuit of effective multilateralism and engage policy stakeholders and decision-makers through (inter alia) MERCURY public lectures, newsletter, and policy briefs engagement.

Specific Work Package Objectives

MERCURY created four Work Packages to test its primary research questions. They were intended to build a programme of research that will maximise the impact of the project throughout its lifespan and beyond. In addition, two other Work Packages, which are horizontal (V and VI), were designed to coordinate external dissemination and internal management respectively.

Work Package I, Mapping Modes of Multilateralism, explores and elaborates the conceptual and theoretical approaches to multilateralism. The Work Package's specific objectives were:
- To elaborate and clarify forms of multilateralism, both in theory and practice.
- To situate multilateralism within the full range of international relations strategies, and account for changes in how multilateralism is understood over time.
- To investigate how multilateralism informs EU strategic and normative behaviour.
- To build awareness among stakeholders of the impact of different forms and models of external relations, and their consequences.

Work Package II, Towards A New Architecture of EU External Relations? explores systematically how the EU 'machinery' and policy externalisation equips it to contribute to a multilateral order. Its objectives were:
- To examine the structural framework of EU external relations in institutional and treaty forms.
- To evaluate the causes and dynamics of externalisation of internal policies, with particular emphasis on single market and immigration and asylum policies.
- To build a database on EC and CFSP external relations instruments.
- To build awareness among stakeholders of the mechanics and processes of EU decision-making in external relations, as well as the effects of EU policy externally.

Work Package III, Multilateralism in Practice: Key Regions and Partners, analyses interactions with external regions and strategic partners in the Neighbourhood, Asia and Africa, including those conducted by individual EU member states.

The objectives of this Work Package were:
- To analyse and explain patterns of EU external relations with key regions and partners.
- To determine the extent to which the EU promotes effective multilateralism in its external relations.
- To evaluate the extent to which the EU builds regional capacity and legitimacy through inter-regional cooperation.
- To gain a better understanding of perceptions of the EU outside Europe.
- To devise tests and metrics for determining how the EU balances the defence of EU interests and promotion of multilateralism.

Work Package IV, Organised Multilateralism: The EU in Multilateral Fora, assesses the EU's performance in a multilateral context by focusing on major international organisations and informal groups of which it is part.

Work Package IV's objectives were:
- To enhance our understanding of how the EU interacts in both formal and informal multilateral organisations, and assess whether and how it promotes effective multilateralism.
- To examine whether and how the EU's internal workings within international organisations enhances their roles and effectiveness in international relations.
- To compare the EU's role in economic organisations (WTO) versus security/political organisations (UN, Middle East Quartet) to gain greater insight into the importance of capacity in EU external relations.
- To consider how the UN builds a security identity within the EU.
- To spread greater awareness and knowledge about the consequences of EU interaction in multilateral organisations among practitioners.

Work Package V, Adding Value: Dissemination and Outreach, ensures the inter-linkage of different activities of the project in the form of work package deliverables as well as dissemination to stakeholders. Its objectives were:
- To design and implement an Outreach Strategy covering dissemination, engagement of knowledge users, and capacity building for WPs I-IV.
- To design, launch and manage a state-of-the-art web-site, and disseminate regular electronic up-dates to a specially established data-base of contacts.
- To coordinate publications across all work packages.
- To plan, secure financing for, and organise the workshops, conferences and other events foreseen in the Outreach Strategy.

Work Package VI, Coordination, Communication and Management, is the management and communications hub of MERCURY. The objectives of Work Package VI were:
- To oversee the financial and scientific management of the project.
- To coordinate regular meetings of the Advisory Board in order to guide the project and provide advice and orientation to other partners.
- To lead plenary meetings intended to discuss the state of the project but also to increase each partner's familiarity with the partners and to link to external experts, stakeholders and the broader public.
- To develop operational guidance on ethics and appropriate information management systems
- To build and maintain contacts and links to external actors such as the Commission, other FP7 projects such as EU4Seas and EU-GRASP and third country institutions.

Project Results:

MERCURY's objectives were to clarify the concept of multilateralism, investigate the theory and practice of multilateralism, offer conceptual and policy advances to improve understanding and practice, build networks and capacity among partner institutions and fellow researchers, and disseminate findings widely. In this part we describe the principal scientific findings of the project.

Scientific Results:

MERCURY developed new, enhanced, refined, operational definitions of multilateralism. It also generated innovative empirical knowledge shedding new light on multilateralism, and evaluated the extent to which the EU contributes to building effective multilateralism. The project began with an exhaustive examination of theoretical issues surrounding the conduct of multilateralism, then built upon this platform to focus on how the institutional dynamics of the EU have affected its practice of external relations, as well as how the Union externalises internal policies and with what effects for the transmission of norms. We then applied findings from these first two research programmes to cases of EU relationships with partners and regions in selected areas. Finally, research examined the practice of EU action in key international organisations.

Mapping Modes of Multilateralism

Under the thematic heading Mapping Modes of Multilateralism, MERCURY delivered a set of conceptual papers aimed at understanding the competing definitions of multilateralism, as well as a glossary which provide understandings of multilateralism over time from different disciplines and different places, including different member states of the EU.

Conceptualising Multilateralism: Can We All Just Get Along? lays the groundwork for an analysis of the evolution of the concept and practice of multilateralism. The central aims of the paper are to provide a conceptual framework for understanding multilateralism and – in particular - a working definition that can guide further research. The paper provides a platform for research that conceptualises multilateralism by reviewing contending past definitions, before focusing on main factors that condition multilateralism: 1) different contexts, 2) different goals, 3) different forms, and 4) different meanings.

Competing Patterns of International Relations? The Cases of the United States of America, China and the European Union explores the diplomatic strategies of three major international actors – the United States (US), China and the European Union (EU) – in order to better understand current patterns of international relations. Relevant factors are identified in order to categorise strategies as "unilateral", "bilateral", "multilateral" or "pluralistic". Applying an actor-centred perspective, the paper argues that the mixture of an actor's diplomatic strategies remains rather stable over time. At the same time, the analysis shows that very different strategic considerations can lead to the same outcome.

The Evolving Doctrine of Multilateralism in the 21st Century, traces the 'doctrine' of multilateralism and its development in the 21st century. It questions the emergence of a "doctrine of multilateralism" and addresses the following research questions:
(1) Is there a single doctrine of multilateralism governing different policy areas?
(2) How has the EU contributed to the evolution of the doctrine of multilateralism?

In addition, partners produced a Glossary of Multilateralism with definitions and references for roughly 40 terms. The purpose of the Glossary is to provide understandings of multilateralism over time from different disciplines and different places, including different member states of the EU.

The scientific results stemming from these outputs are, first, that multilateralism is still the 'ugly duckling' amongst ideas used in the study of international politics. Compared to anarchy, sovereignty, or interdependence – multilateralism is defined in a rich variety of different ways, particularly in different parts of the world. One result is uncertainty about whether the EU can lead in building 'effective multilateralism'. A more general result is confusion.

Why the confusion? One possible answer is that multilateralism has gone through many changes since the post-1945 settlement which gave birth to the UN and other organisations. Understanding and practices of multilateralism are shaped both by conflict, such as the Cold War and the War on Terror, and by ongoing forces of globalisation. On the other hand, multilateralism may simply be a 'weapon of the weak': states that seek multilateral agreements lack the power to impose solutions to international problems that serve their own interests. Most EU states, especially its many small ones, could be categorised as such. By the same token, many claim that the United States simply 'does not do' multilateralism. The investigation also found that Europe's own internal experience of multilateralism might be unique and impossible to replicate. Yet, there is growing evidence that other regions of the world, particularly Asia, are looking to the EU for lessons about how multilateral cooperation can solve transnational problems. The 2008-10 financial crises suddenly made the Group of 20 (G20) – a previously obscure configuration with no permanent staff – the main forum for debates about how to restore global economic growth.

Towards A New Architecture of EU External Relations?

Building on the research carried out initially, MERCURY moved on to the next research agenda, Towards A New Architecture of EU External Relations? Here, four working papers systematically applied theoretical approaches and concepts tailored for the analysis of (EU) multilateralism.

Externalising Migration Policy: The European Union's 'Global' Approach focuses on the efforts to implement the EU's Global Approach with Mediterranean partners. The paper explores the constraints imposed by the sharing of competencies between the European Commission and the European Council on migration issues. It also investigates the Commission's role in implementing migration policies through international organisations such as the International Organization for Migration and the UN Refugee Agency in third countries as a way of bypassing these constraints.

Assessing EU Multilateral Action in the Fields of Trade and Foreign and Security Policy: The Legal and the Living Framework explores the question to what extent does the set-up after the Lisbon Treaty enable the EU to act multilaterally and to contribute to "effective" multilateralism? The paper focuses especially on two main fields of external action, namely the Common Commercial Policy (former pillar 1) and the Common Foreign and Security Policy (former pillar 2). Drawing on core findings from DATEX (see below), this paper provides a framework for assessing the varying levels of multilateral action in EU external policies.

Market Power Europe focuses on a specific policy area, i.e. market-related policies. In multilateral settings, the EU actively externalises its internal market-related policies and regulations. This externalisation provides clear evidence of the EU acting as a Market Power and suggests an oft-overlooked way in which the EU pursues effective multilateralism.

Cooperation in the North - Multilateralism or Mess? explores whether the European Union (EU) has lived up to its commitment to "effective multilateralism" through its policies towards the Baltic Sea Region. The emphasis is on the EU institutions, but the paper also examines the roles of the countries involved in cooperation as well as their relations to the EU and its institutions.

Multilateralism in Practice: Key Regions and Partners

The focal point of the thematic agenda entitled Multilateralism in Practice: Key Regions and Partners was the evaluation of how the EU interacts with partners and key regions. In a series of e-papers we investigated the EU's behaviour with key partners, identified significant aspects of partnerships cultivated by the EU and strategies that it employs in dealing with its partners.

The EU Neighbourhood and Comparative Modernisation analyses the European Union and its member states' role in promoting democracy and human rights in the neighbourhood. Its key research question is whether the European Union lives up to its rhetoric and in practice and prefers multilateral to bilateral activities. The paper consists of three case studies (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and Morocco) and examines the EU's involvement in providing stability and democracy in the different regions of its close neighbourhood.

The focal point of the paper As Multilateral as Envisaged? Assessing European Union's Engagement in Conflict Resolution in the Neighbourhood is the European Union's practice in resolving conflicts in its neighbourhood. It analyses the extent to which the EU lives up to its declarations and proceeds multilaterally, in cooperation with other international actors. Two case studies are presented – on Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – in which concrete EU's behaviour on the ground is studied.

The EU Engagement with China in Building a Multilateral Climate Change Regime: Uneasy Process Towards an Effective Approach focuses EU and China's role in climate change politics. Analysing the development of EU's engagement with China, the paper points out that past bilateral cooperation and dialogue between the EU and China have shown mixed impacts on the construction of a multilateral climate change regime. The paper argues that the EU's approach in engaging with new rising players, particularly China, should be improved to be more effective.

"Chasing Pavements": The East Asia Summit and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Discursive Regionalism as Disguised Multilateralism focuses on multilateralism in Asia. This paper is concerned with examining trajectories of regional integration. However, such processes may involve not only forms of intra-regional cooperation and ostensible community-building, but also forms of bilateralism and, above all, multilateralism. The paper examines questions of region, regionalism and minilateralism and aims at answering these questions by providing an analysis of the East Asian Summit and providing a comparison with another regional project, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Multilateralism In Practice: An Exploration of International Involvement in Solving the Crisis in Darfur explores aspects of the numerous international efforts (2003-2011) to solve the crisis in Darfur. It examines two specific questions: how do we explain the failure to reach a resolution to this crisis despite the scope of international involvement through various international organisations? And what do we learn about 'multilateralism in practice' by studying the Darfur crisis?

The European Union Development Strategy in Africa: the Economic Partnership Agreements as a Case of Aggressive Multilateralism examines EU's approach to African development. For several decades, Europe entertained a preferential relationship with its former colonies in Africa, which translated into a set of trade and development preferences. With the progressive diffusion of market liberalization, this preferential relationship came to be called into question. This paper analyses how the 'multilateralisation' of development has influenced the EU approach, culminating with the adoption of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with sub-Saharan African countries.

The EU Trade Policy and China: Cooperation in the interest of Multilateralism evaluates the changing EU-China trade relationship. It argues that the three strategies (or pillars) the EU has employed – engagement, education (capacity building activities), and enforcement – are under ever greater pressure. The EU is itself learning from its interaction with China, and China is beginning to assert itself as it becomes a more confident player. The paper reviews these strategies and how they connect the two sides. It also looks at the stages of interaction between the two sides, from pre-WTO accession to post-accession.

The joint paper The European Union and Multilateralism in the Mediterranean: Energy and Migration Policy aims to explore the practice of EU multilateralism vis-à-vis the Mediterranean — a key region for the European Union — by examining energy and migration policies. These two issue-areas are crucial in the Union's strategy for incorporating internal policy objectives into external, multilateral frameworks. The paper assesses the extent to which the EU can be defined as multilateral by exploring the actions of the European Commission and member states in relation to the different stakeholders concerned with the pursuit of these policies, such as partner countries and a range of organisations.

The scientific results from this part of the project concern the extent to which the EU fosters multilateralism with external with partners/regions and also external partners' perceptions of the EU. We not only mapped and analysed the effects of the EU's external relations and its contribution to effective multilateralism, but also addressed the question of how the EU encourages domestic reforms that lead to better governance and conflict resolution in the neighbourhood and in Africa. Detailed accounts were produced on the EU's contribution to institution/regime building in a region such as East Asia and at the international level as in the case of global climate change negotiations.

Work demonstrated that multilateralism is the Union's preferred method as well as its ultimate objective in relations with other regions and partners. Both the Treaty and in the European Security Strategy make clear that EU's history serves as the key argument in its effort to create a world order based on rules. In order to be effective, multilateral institutions, regimes and their member states must be ready to act when the rules are broken. In reality, however, effective multilateralism remains a distant goal. The EU does approach its partners and certain target regions multilaterally sometimes, but behaves bilaterally or even unilaterally as often too.

We also found that there are a number of interconnected issues that hamper the EU's multilateral efforts and where the EU needs to improve its performance to become more effective. First, while the EU claims to prefer multilateral solutions, often the most important result is not a multilateral structure but rather positive solutions to problems. Without a solution on the ground, the number of partners is less important.

Second and related, the EU needs to understand the situation on the ground in order to define its objectives correctly. A wrong assessment leads to wrong priorities. This is true in resolving conflicts, where it must correctly identify the conflict parties and their motives (as the case of Georgia shows). Moreover, other regional actors may use the same form of words but mean different things than the EU - as the example of regional integration in East Asia suggests. Without a sophisticated understanding of meanings, cooperation can founder.

Third, the EU must delimit its role and the role of the member states more clearly. If the member states do not use the EU as the primary channel of their engagement, the EU will remain only one among many European actors, as in the case of Darfur. A plurality of European voices blurs messages and fails to deliver effective solutions. Moreover, the EU and its member states will remain vulnerable in negotiations because their partners will make use of the EU's divisions and sideline the EU, as the EU-China climate change talks show. However, the EU knows how to use these tactics itself against weaker collective players (such as the ACP countries in the Economic Partnership Agreements).

Fourth, the EU needs to agree on its approach together with its member states. The case of EU Neighbourhood Policy shows how ineffective European assistance may be if not coordinated properly and if not supported by all member states. At the same time, convergence within the EU does not necessarily guarantee a multilateral - much less effective - action externally. It might be a precondition, but it needs more than internal agreement, as the example of energy policy suggests. Moreover, the EU must not confuse internal negotiations with multilateralism, as sometimes in case of Bosnia. Reaching a compromise within the EU may take a lot of time, but multilateralism begins only when the EU as a whole reaches out towards other external partners. Partners should not feel that the negotiations have already been concluded.

Organised Multilateralism: The EU in Multilateral Fora

Focusing on the role of the EU in formal multilateral organisations, Organised Multilateralism: The EU in Multilateral Fora, analysed its leadership role, its role as a source of ideas and its capacity to act, in order to assess its contribution to effective multilateralism. It also considered the role of the EU in ad hoc, informal or unconventional forms of multilateralism. The purpose was to determine the EU's role in developing the emerging rules and practices of these organisations.

The EU, the Middle East Quartet and (In)effective Multilateralism explores the question of effective multilateralism while taking the Middle East Quartet (EU, Russia, UN and US) as a case study. It examines the Quartet as a case of a crystallizing multilateral mediation while focusing on questions such as can the Quartet be regarded as a case of 'effective multilateralism'? Has it been genuinely multilateral? How can we assess the EU's performance as an actor in the Middle East Quartet? And has the EU contributed to the Quartet as a case of effective multilateralism?

The European Union and the reform of the United Nations: towards a more effective Security Council? aims to assess the possible impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the EU's presence and performance at the United Nations and outlines the prospects for future developments under three main dimensions: coordination (among EU member states and institutions); representation (of the EU as a single actor); and impact (assessed in terms of what the EU and its member states collectively achieve). In particular, these benchmarks are used to evaluate what influence the positions of the Union's institutions and member states produce on the crucial issue of UN Security Council's reform. This paper offers an analysis of the EU's cooperation with other regional entities at the UN (primarily the African Union) and provides a model for testing the possible role of regional organizations and the evolution of regionalism within the UN system.

In sharp contrast to the Great Depression, the Great Recession of 2008-2010 saw an unprecedented level attempts to coordinate macroeconomic policies internationally. In the light of increased international policy interdependence, the need for international policy coordination has been brought into bolder relief. Fiscal Multilateralism in Times of the Great Recession investigates the state of fiscal multilateralism and the European Union's (EU) contribution in the G20 during and in the aftermath of the last economic and financial crisis.

The EU and Multilateral Crisis Management: Assessing Cooperation with the UN provides a comparative analysis of EU-UN multilateral crisis management in a selected number of case studies. It looks at both the top-level cooperation between Brussels and New York and the quality of actual coordination on the ground, including the role of other key actors such as individual EU Member States and regional organizations such as the African Union, the Arab League and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. While the main authors of the paper are from the MERCURY project, this deliverable is the result of a comparative analysis of a set of contributions by researchers involved in both the MERCURY project and the research consortium EU-GRASP: The EU as a Global and Regional Actor in Security and Peace, both funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

Trade and Climate Change: Harnessing European Multilateralism for Africa's Development explores the multilateral dimensions of the trade/climate change relationship, with specific emphasis on Africa-EU trade and investment relations. Climate and trade issues lie at the intersection of two of the world's most contested multilateral negotiations – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the World Trade Organisation's Doha Round. With their complex inter-linkages, there is still no clarity about the rules governing trade and climate change. The paper focuses on the potential trade impact of EU climate policies on Africa, specifically border tax adjustments on commodities and carbon standards and labelling for consumer goods. The paper provides tentative ideas on how European multilateralism in the UNFCCC could address Africa's concerns, promote transparency, confidence and trust among the parties, and support the continent's development.

Potential Impact:

In this section we provide a description of the impact of the project, including dissemination activities and exploitation of results. In summary, MERCURY produced a database on external relations instruments in the framework of the EC and the CFSP (DATEX), a twice yearly Newsletter, and organised events such as stakeholder conferences and MERCURY lectures. A simulation exercise on G20 negotiations involving young researchers and students from partner institutes was carried out in July 2011. MERCURY produced four policy briefs, and together with EUGRASP and EU4SEAS, issued a Joint Policy Brief in November 2011 with nine recommendations. In April 2012, MERCURY also issued The EU as a Global Actor - A Compendium of MERCURY's Policy Briefs drawing together all policy briefs plus a review of MERCURY by the Socio-economic and Humanities Research for Policy (SCOOP Project). Finally, MERCURY organised a final conference in Pretoria, South Africa from 16th to 18th April 2012 to promote MERCURY's work and perform outreach activities.Impact occurred through: public outreach talks at the plenary meetings; MERCURY lectures by partners at other universities; two stakeholder events in Brussels (September 2010/October 2011) involving media and EU discussants as well as MERCURY discussants; and panels organised through major academic conferences. The finalisation of the MERCURY edited book also triggered additional efforts on behalf of all MERCURY partners to go public in various media. Moreover, results have been 'distilled' in policy briefs for the use of stakeholders and the wider public. The MERCURY website is also part of the process of disseminating results as e-papers and policy briefs are available there.

Knowledge Transfer and Policy Utility
Our deliverables were uploaded as e-papers to the MERCURY website. In addition, outreach took three forms: 1) engaging the user community (stakeholders, practitioners and policymakers) in the design and execution of the project; 2) capacity-building among policymakers, practitioners and the next generation of academics; 3) disseminating the research findings to the wider policy community as well as the public.

Building upon existing networks, MERCURY engaged in sustainable dialogue with stakeholders (such as policymakers and politicians, civil servants, opinion-shapers, think-tanks, the media, NGOs, external government agencies, established academics, early career researchers and students). It is contributing to a reshaping of understandings of (and attitudes towards) multilateralism. MERCURY built a trans-European network of scholars, which links to academics and practitioners outside Europe. It has transmitted findings in ways that outlive the life of the immediate project. For example, MERCURY created innovative learning and research tools (such as Web learning tools and online databases) that may be used in later teaching or research. One example of this was the DATEX database, a dataset of EU decisions on external relations. DATEX covered the institutional development within three major policy fields, namely trade, foreign and security policy and migration policy. Another example is the glossary of multilateralism, a definitional tool for researchers. MERCURY also produced a Dissemination Barometer which measured impact through the life of the project, and showed results were very good. For example, it showed an average of 4600 website hits per month through the life of the project, with a peak of nearly 9000 in July 2010. Project partners also published a total of 23 articles, papers and books. MERCURY lectures were given in Athens, Beijing, Cape Town, Cologne, Edinburgh, Prague, Pretoria, Pulau Pinang (Malaysia), Shanghai and Sydney.

Policymakers were engaged not just in the research itself but in the transmission of findings, for example through stakeholder events which included EU officials, government and think-tank officials in member states and in African states. MERCURY had pedagogical impact through its simulation exercise on G20 negotiations and e-newsletters. It built capacity within the consortium, both among junior researchers and also less developed institutional partners. The trajectory of research on EU external relations will be maintained by creating a durable network of researchers within and beyond Europe. Through outreach events, researchers and end users engaged in genuine dialogue. Research results and policy recommendations were not simply be transmitted to stakeholders. Rather, end users participated in shaping deliverables, for example by commenting on work in progress. The aim was to integrate end users, especially drawing on the expertise of the Advisory Board, into the design and execution of the outreach strategy.

Dialogue with stakeholders occurred at workshops and plenary sessions in Edinburgh, Brussels, Prague, Rome and Pretoria, and also in Stakeholder conferences – Challenges for Global Europe and Global Europe Conference - in Brussels. MERCURY public lectures were staged in these events and made research findings available in laymen's terms to invited audiences of academics, students, local stakeholders, and the media at host institutions. MERCURY also produced short policy briefs (1-2 pages for media outreach and policymakers) distilled research findings to their very essence.

Following the Global Europe Conference, MERCURY with EU-GRASP and EU4seas collaborated on a joint policy brief entitled The EU and Multilateralism: Nine Recommendations. This joint policy brief aimed to stimulate debate and reflection among stakeholders, from citizens to EU decision-makers. MERCURY also produced The EU as a Global Actor - A Compendium of MERCURY's Policy Briefs. This publication contains the Policy Briefs resulting from the three years of MERCURY research, the joint Policy Brief created by MERCURY, EU-GRASP and EU4SEAS, and a short review of MERCURY by the Socio-economic and Humanities Research for Policy (SCOOP Project).

While doing their fieldwork for working papers, several researchers took the opportunity to share results with stakeholders. Thus, researchers were able to get feedback on their work from policymakers in Brussels and other capitals of EU Member States but also in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Morocco, Russia, China and South Africa. Another specific example of how this occurred in practice was the participation of a member of the Pretoria team but also a South African negotiator in the climate change talks as an insider in the COP17/CMP7 UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa at the end of 2011. The perspective of a policy insider was a significant addition to MERCURY's output.

Moreover, MERCURY also made sure to address audiences outside the EU in its dissemination activities. Translations of e-papers into Portuguese and Mandarin ensured they were available in Brazil and China. Finally, it is significant that President Barroso sought out MERCURY partners to meet and discuss findings. Professors Christopher Hill and Wolfgang Wessels met him at the EUI in Florence, and the Commission declared in its interim assessment report that 'MERCURY is likely to have impacts on EU external relations and already attracted the attention of President Barroso'.

These events:
1) facilitated peer review of research and linked to junior researchers (internal MERCURY workshops);
2) disseminated findings (plenary sessions, the final conference, and external academic conferences);
3) enabled local outreach through partner contacts and links;
4) built capacity in stakeholder workshops, where results on the EU as a multilateral actor were disseminated and reviewed (capacity-building refers, for example, to contributing to a wider understanding among practitioners, upgrading problem-solving capabilities, and linking NGOs and policymakers);
5) created a media outreach function whereby results were transmitted more widely through public information channels. The following events took place:

- Presence of MERCURY at international workshops and conferences: The partners presented findings in workshops and in panels and roundtables at major European and international conferences in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The conferences included the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the European Policy Network (EPN), the European Union Studies Association (EUSA) Biennial International Conference in 2009 and 2011 and other meetings organised by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), Political Studies Association (PSA), GARNET and the South African Association on Political Studies, and equivalent bodies in ICPCs. They also included ad hoc events organised by partners in various countries. These academic activities were not part of the official deliverable list, but have formed a critical part of the academic impact agenda. As one example, we would point to the paper 'Market Power Europe', which has been published in the Journal of European Public Policy Special Issue on Best Papers of 2011 EUSA Conference and is already attracting a great deal of attention. Indeed it is an important response to the well-known 'Normative Power Europe' thesis and it is likely to continue to be cited and engaged. Also, this year we will publish an edited Routledge volume drawing together the most important of MERCURY's working papers, and this book will certainly have impact among the community of scholars engaged in work on the EU's external relations. It is being translated into Mandarin for Chinese audiences. Further research papers are continuing to emerge from MERCURY partners, building on the research and forming an important academic legacy to MERCURY's original research.

- MERCURY's own events and workshops: These were open events bringing together experts from different disciplines and national origins, thus broadening the scope of debate and reflection.

- Stakeholder Workshops: Particular workshops addressed stakeholders, in order to communicate research findings to the interested policy communities in Brussels and other European capitals.

- Joint conference with EU-GRASP and EU4SEAS – Global Europe Conference, Brussels, October 2011: MERCURY held a joint conference with the other two consortia funded by the within the within the FP7 Cooperation Work Programme Multilateralism Topic of Activity 4. The purpose was to share findings and cross-fertilize research between the consortia. An important result was the joint policy brief produced by the three consortia.

- Final conference in South Africa: Multilateralism in the 21st Century: Perspective from Africa, Europe and Asia, Pretoria, April 2012: This extra deliverable raised the profile of the project and consortium, bringing together policy-makers and diplomats from the EU and Africa, including the National Security Advisor to the South African President, and the South Africa Ambassador to Mauritania. The coordinator of EU-GRASP was part of this conference, which included South African academics, students, and policymakers. It made great strides in linking MERCURY's work to the academic and policy community in South Africa. Moreover, MERCURY partners also, toured several South African institutions as part of the outreach surrounding this event.

- Media: Media outlets were tapped to ensure widely-based dissemination. Two of the stakeholders conferences were recorded on video; the joint Brussels conference with EU4SEAS and EUGRASP; and the final South Africa workshop event. The South Africa video will be edited and made available to interested stakeholders. Finally, the European Studies association UACES profiled MERCURY in 2010, and the FP7 project SCOOP profiled MERCURY research in its January 2012 publication (see http://scoopproject.org.uk/what-is-multilateralism.aspx online). MERCURY's representation in the media reached 28 appearances by the third year of project's lifetime. Such appearances were realised in the framework of online formats such as university websites and in the German online magazine europa-digital.de and radio formats. In 2011, the participation of MERCURY's research director John Peterson at a discussion on multilateralism at the BBC Scotland can be highlighted, as well as MERCURY member Nathalie Tocci's (IAI) participation at a debate on Europe and the Arab World published online by the international news network Al Jazeera. Moreover, the project partner Fudan University has regularly posted articles on MERCURY-related topics in the online newspaper "Asia Times" (English version).

Making impact sustainable
MERCURY's impact is a key long-term objective. Dissemination and sustainability were crucial areas where impact was measured in concrete terms. The MERCURY partners together built a dynamic and durable network whose trajectory continues well into the future. The following building blocks will contribute to sustainability:

- Effective dissemination throughout the research community is vital for sustainability. We expect our theoretical approach and empirical findings to contribute to a re-orientation of research towards understanding multilateralism in the light of new global challenges. Additional dissemination tools such as the Newsletter and leaflets reached a community that currently comprises 815 researchers and stakeholder in 44 countries. Thus, the size of the community of direct recipients of MERCURY information tripled as compared to the initial project phase.

- Sustainability through integration of the next generation of researchers. Capacity-building and career support are among the most important impacts. The distribution of research funds prioritised the recruitment of post-doctoral researchers. MERCURY invested in a support framework for these young researchers to sharpen their skills, make relevant contacts, and pursue careers in academia or policymaking. Each institute promoted the involvement of postgraduate research students in workshops and seminars connected to the project, and encouraged potential PhD applications relevant to the project themes. It is worth noting that the Marie Curie initial training network on EU External Action - EXACT - was a direct outgrowth of MERCURY, involving two other partners, and it will train a number of doctoral students at these partner institutions.

- Teaching activities. MERCURY also created output for students in universities and schools by developing a simulation exercise on G20 negotiations, which was piloted in Köln and made available via its web-site to other educational users. The exercise entitled New World, New Ideas: Security and Stability in the Contemporary Global Order. It provided negotiating briefs to advanced students from all MERCURY partner institutions who then role-played as representatives of the EU and other organisations/states. It kicked off in May 2011 in Cologne and continued from 3 to 6 July 2011 in Brussels. Two to three students from all MERCURY partner institutes set up mixed country delegation teams in order to prepare and simulate a round of G20 negotiations. Participants were directed to negotiate agreements on specific G20 issues, drawn from real-life events and scenarios, using different guiding principles or ultimate objectives. MERCURY project partners were also involved in various teaching activities for approximately 680 university students related to MERCURY's field of research. The courses were held at the Charles University, the University of Edinburgh, the University Roma Tre, the University of Cologne, the Fudan University, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and at the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA). Joint Papers, the simulation exercise, and other online tools will be available for integration into teaching packages for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on relevant topics. We hope this education strategy will both enlighten and stimulate interest in the conduct of external relations by the EU, leading to a new generation of interested researchers and professionals.

- Website. In terms of the medium through which dissemination occurs, one of the most important has been the website. As the end of the project approached we began creating a new website platform within the Europa Institute website at the University of Edinburgh (see http://www.law.ed.ac.uk/europa online). It will feature research on the EU as a global actor, and MERCURY's output will live on through that platform.

- Finally, MERCURY provided a basis for future collaborative research involving members of the consortium, as well as members of broader research networks. MERCURY partners were successful in applying for further FP7 funds to create the Transworld project on the evolution of the transatlantic relationship and its role in shaping global governance architectures (led by IAI, Transworld includes Edinburgh and Charles University). This contributes to the legacy effect of MERCURY. MERCURY's coordinator also acted as the Rapporteur for the Commission's publication on the Atlantic Space project, which resulted in a new call for proposals in February 2012. Thus, MERCURY builds on earlier EU-sponsored networks and projects including EU-CONSENT and GARNET, in which MERCURY partners also participated.

IMPACT ACTIVITIES

Summary of Policy Briefs
MERCURY sought to inform media and public debate and engage policy stakeholders and decision-makers through policy briefs, media appearances, and public lectures. It aimed to help policy-makers develop better strategies for external relations as well as a better understanding of the consequences of their decisions. MERCURY results were 'distilled' in four Policy Briefs for the use of stakeholders and the wider public.

The first policy brief focuses on the notion of 'effective multilateralism', which the European Union explicitly seeks to promote. Its main conclusions are that:
- Multilateralism is still defined in multiple, different ways, particularly in different parts of the world;
- All major powers seek multilateralism only as one strategy amongst many;
- Demand for effective multilateralism now extends beyond trade and security to climate change, disease control and migration. The EU shows consistency in the principles it promotes in all of these policy areas. But it has yet to develop a coherent doctrine of multilateralism.

The second policy brief concluded that:
- A single characteristic multilateral approach of the EU does not exist; on the contrary, EU external relations are characterised by varying multilateral strategies, depending not least on the respective institutional context;
- There are also varying degrees of multilateralism across policy fields;
- The EU's attempts to externalise its internal market-related policies and regulations in multilateral settings represent a power-driven approach, which has been largely neglected in the recent discourse on EU multilateralism and its normative foundations.

The third policy brief recommended that:
- The EU must offer solutions based on good understanding of the situation on the ground, positions and motives of its partners and the role of individual actors;
- The EU's engagement must be solution-driven, not form-driven. At the same time, the partners should not be left behind in the search for the solution
- The EU must have clear understanding of its own priorities, clear and streamlined representation and better coordination between the EU and the member states to play an active and useful role in building a better world through effective multilateralism.

The fourth policy brief addressed the EU's role in multilateral fora:
- The enlargement to an EU of 27 has often made it more difficult to act coherently or strategically within multilateral settings. At the same time, the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty has offered the EU a number of instruments and principles to act as a unitary and effective entity on the international stage. Yet, this opportunity has not yet been seized.
- The EU has been attempting to develop a workable concept of effective multilateralism and the strategic priorities connected to it. The EU's efforts have been hampered by its own internal dynamics, with member states still attached to different approaches, and the consequent difficulty of projecting its own identity and values vis-à-vis other international players.
- In practice the EU has been most effective where it possesses developed policies and instruments of its own, as in trade and development. It has been far less effective in the fields of crisis management and conflict resolution, mirroring its far less coherent and unitary positions in these latter domains. In other words, the EU's ability to promote effective multilateralism in different policy sectors is directly correlated with its ability to act as a coherent and unitary actor in such sectors.

In addition to these four policy briefs, MERCURY issued, together with its two FP7-funded partner projects EUGRASP and EU4SEAS, a Joint Policy Brief The EU and Multilateralism: Nine Recommendations in November 2011. It includes recommendations on the EU's approach to multilateralism on the following topics:
1) the EU must adapt to changing global multilateralism;
2) dealing with a multipolar world of regions;
3) internal decision-making determines the ability to succeed in Multilateralism;
4) single voice, single chair;
5) multilateralism is a strategic choice which serves EU interest;
6) coherence in values does not confer a higher moral ground;
7) the Union must make space for other organisations in Europe;
8) the EU has power, but its fragmentation must be overcome; and
9) The EU must look outward and be prepared to listen and to lead.

MERCURY also produced The EU as a Global Actor - A Compendium of MERCURY's Policy Briefs. This publication contains the Policy Briefs resulting from the three years of MERCURY research, the joint Policy Brief created by MERCURY, EU-GRASP and EU4SEAS, and a short review of MERCURY by the Socio-economic and Humanities Research for Policy (SCOOP Project).

Practitioner events
MERCURY's kick-off meeting, which took place in Edinburgh on 12-13 March 2009, consisted of a plenary session with both academic and policy presentation Speakers included Martin Barber, retired UN Chief of Policy Development and Advocacy in the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; John Grant, former UK permanent representative to the EU; and Gerrit Olivier, former South African Ambassador to Russia.

The MERCURY Plenary in Brussels on 3-4 March 2010 presented early research findings, and included presentations by Commission officials, such as Jean-Michel Baer (DG Research) and Matthew Baldwin (DG Trade). All participants, including many practitioners, had the opportunity to provide feedback on the initial research results.

MERCURY results were subsequently presented and discussed at a major seminar in Florence on the occasion of the launch of the European University Institute's new Global Governance Programme. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, gave a major lecture to mark the occasion. The President's cabinet had asked various people, including MERCURY's Christopher Hill and Wolfgang Wessels to prepare short papers as a basis for the discussion – which proved to be a notable example of genuine interchange between academics and practitioners, on Europe's role in the multilateral global system. The President expressed himself personally interested in MERCURY.

MERCURY took pains to involve current and future leaders. Decision-makers were invited to attend a keynote speech delivered by Jirí Šedivý, First Deputy Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic in Prague in March 2011. Another significant activity was Prof. Christopher Hill's keynote speech delivered in a public session in Rome in September 2011, which involved participants from Italian political institutions, think tanks and universities.

MERCURY findings were also presented at the stakeholder conference Challenges for Global Europe on 3 September 2010 (Month 20) and the joint conference Global Europe Conference (with EU-GRASP and EU4Seas) on 7 October 2011 in Brussels (Month 33). Both these conferences provided opportunities to engage with the policy community and to receive feedback on MERCURY's research.

The conference Challenges for Global Europe covered a variety of current challenges to the European Union, namely the financial crisis, climate change talks, migration, the relationship to the United States and the rise of China. Leading figures from the policy community, media and academia reflected on the EU's priorities and capabilities given the post-Lisbon restructuring of external policy. Participants included Lionel Barber (Editor, Financial Times), Jim Cloos (Council of the EU) and Jonathan Faull (Director-General, DG MARKT, European Commission)

The Global Europe Conference focused on topics such as understanding multilateralism – the evolving research agenda; the EU and the practice of multilateralism; the EU as a global actor: a view from outside; and the EU's future perspectives and policy options. The conference was specifically targeted at the policy community. Participants in the conference included Kristin de Peyron (EEAS), Jaroslav Kurfürst (Head of the CFSP Department at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Vahur Made (Estonian School of Diplomacy) and Mohamed Ibn Chambas (Secretary-General ACP Group).

Finally, Multilateralism in the 21st Century: Perspectives from Africa, Europe and Asia (MERCURY's final conference in Pretoria, South Africa from 16th to 18th April 2012) was a significant opportunity to engage with practitioners outside the European Union. Participants included HE Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, National Security Advisor, South Africa's Special Representative to the Great Lakes region, Brendan Vickers, South African Department of Trade and Industry, and HE Ambassador Hannes Spies, South African Ambassador to Mauritania. In addition to the conference, the MERCURY team organised additional outreach activities to enhance MERCURY's visibility within the policy communities in South Africa and engage in dialogue with African stakeholders. All these activities were designed to build bridges with the African policy community.

MERCURY lectures
MERCURY lectures, which began in January 2009, also contributed to strengthening international links and solidify a thriving research network in Europe. They included:

- MERCURY Lecture by Nathalie Tocci (IAI) at Edinburgh University on "Political Islam" – 30 January 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by Chen Zhimin (Fudan) at Edinburgh University on "Understanding the Rise of China" – 12 March 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by Mark Aspinwall (Edinburgh University) at Fudan University, on "Understanding the EU's approach to multilateralism"- 30 March 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by David Camroux (CERI / Sciences Po) at Fudan University on the topic "Interregionalism, a Critique: The Case of EU-ASEAN Relations"- 15 May 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by John Peterson at the University of Cologne on the topic "Obama and Multilateralism – Hell No More?" – 9 July 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by John Peterson at the University of Edinburgh on the topic "Obama and Multilateralism – Hell No More?" – 16 October 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by Professor Gerrit Olivier (Pretoria) at Beijing Normal University, China on "Integrative Cooperation in Africa" - October 2009.
- MERCURY Lecture by David Camroux (Sciences Po – CERI) co-sponsored by the Lowy Institute and the University of Sydney, at the University of Sydney on "An EU style Asian Community? A few naïve perceptions",- December 2009
- MERCURY Lecture by Mark Aspinwall - at the University of Pretoria entitled "Green Regions? Comparing civil society activism in NAFTA and the European Union" - 6 September 2010
- MERCURY Lecture by David Camroux at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia on "Mulitlateralism: The Enigma of European Power" Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Sulong Lecture Series - 25 May 2011
- MERCURY Keynote Speech by Prof. Christopher Hill,at IAI. Rome - 9 September 2011

Conference presentations
To foster the development of an European research area with strong international links, MERCURY researchers have presented their work, including in MERCURY panels, at major conferences in the United States (International Studies Association (ISA) 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and EUSA 2009 and 2011), in Europe (PSA 2010, ECPR 2009 and 2010; "The EU in International Affairs II" Conference (GARNET) 2010 and UACES 2011) and in South Africa (South African Association of Political Studies 2010). Other MERCURY-related lectures, conferences presentations have included:

- MERCURY presentation at The European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and the New Global Challenges, Bilbao, Spain, 21 May 2009.
- MERCURY presentation at Transatlantic Relations 2009 – A Chance for a Fresh Start?, Prague, Czech Republic, 28 May 2009
- MERCURY presentation at EU-GRASP Workshop on Conceptual Issues and Levels of Cooperation, Bruges, Belgium, 1-3 July 2009
- MERCURY presentation at Ensuring peace and security in Africa: Implementing a new EU-Africa partnership, Rome, Italy, 7-9 October 2009
- MERCURY presentation at Small States in the International Political Economy (conference), Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, UK, 13 November 2009.
- MERCURY paper at the Annual autumn symposium of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences, 18 November 2009.
- MERCURY (CERI, Sciences Po) co-sponsored a conference on "Networked Regionalism versus Institutional Regionalism- Managing Complexities in Regional Cooperation and Global Governance", Singapore, 6-8 December 2009.
- MERCURY presentation at "The EU-South Korea free trade agreement" conference organised by the European Institute for Asian Studies Brussels, Belgium. December 10, 2009.
- MERCURY presentation at "La Chine et l'Europe dans la gouvernance mondiale" Conference (IFRI) Paris, France 21 June 2010.
- MERCURY presentation at NET4SOCIETY Workshop, Dublin, 7-9 July 2010
- MERCURY presentation at Ensuring peace and security in Africa: Implementing a new EU-Africa partnership, London, 27-28 October 2010
- MERCURY Fudan team played host to an international symposium on Conceptual Gaps in China-EU relations, 18-20 January 2011
- MERCURY Pretoria Team hosted an international conference on Regionalism in Europe and Africa, 16-18 February 2011
- MERCURY SIPRI team organised a seminar "The EU Foreign Policy – how to forward internal unity and external strength? Views from Germany , Poland, Nordic and Baltic countries", Stockholm, 30-31 May 2011
- MERCURY researchers (IAI, UCAM, SIPRI) represented MERCURY in a conference which was organized by IAI, EPC and Paralleli Istituto Euromediterraneo del Nord Ovest. Turin, 6-7 June, 2011.

- A selection of further activities includes the following:
- Christopher Hill (Cambridge University) and Wolfgang Wessels (University of Cologne) participation in Official Launch of the Global Governance programme comprising an inaugural lecture given by José Manuel Barroso and High Level Policy Seminar: 'What Should the EU Agenda for Global Governance Be?' 18-19 June 2010, European University Institute (EUI), Florence.
- Camroux, David and Egreteau, Renaud (Sciences Po – CERI) "Normative Europe meets the Burmese Garrison State: Processes, Policies, Blockages and future Possibilities" Paper given at the Burma / Myanmar Update, Australian National University, Canberra, 17-18 August 2009. Published in a volume edited by Trevor Wilson by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, in 2010.
- Camroux, David (Sciences-Po-CERI) "ASEAN at 40: Towards an Enhanced EU Relationship" Comments prepared for the European Economic and social committee Section for External Relations, Study Group on EU-ASEAN Relations Inaugural Meeting, Brussels, 20th November 2009.
- Camroux, David (Sciences-Po-CERI) "Are there European Lessons for a future Asian Community?", EUSI Special Lecture, EU Studies Institute, Tsuda College, Japan, 20 March 2010.
- -Ivo Šlosarcík (Charles University): Series of lectures on the EU and the global crisis in Fukuoka, Kobe and Tokyo, Japan (November 2011).
- Printing and distribution of MERCURY leaflets (April 2010); printing and distribution of a up-dated version of the MERCURY leaflet (September 2010) and dissemination of E-papers and leaflets at joint conference (October 2011). Reprinting in January 2012 and April 2012 for dissemination in South Africa.
- Translation of several E-papers from Work Package I into Portuguese (2011).
- Translation of the E-paper No. 2 "Diplomatic Strategies of Major Powers: Competing Patterns of International Relations? The Cases of the United States of America, China and the European Union" into Chinese (Mandarin) (2012).

List of Websites:
http://www.mercury-fp7.net/
http://www.europa.ed.ac.uk/global_europa/external_relations/MERCURY

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