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Evaluating the Post-Lisbon Effects of Delegation in the EU External Relations

Final Report Summary - DELEXPOL (Evaluating the Post-Lisbon Effects of Delegation in the EU External Relations)

The research project DelExPol (Evaluating the Post-Lisbon Effects of Delegation in the EU External Relations) within Marie Curie Career Integration Grants (CIG) aimed at mobility of the fellow (Dr. Ilze Ruse) from Austria, where she completed her PhD in Political Science, to the host institution in Latvia, namely, Riga Graduate School of Law ( Duration of the project has been 36 months. The project started on 1 September 2013 and was concluded on 1 September 2016. The objectives of the project has been fulfilled.
The main objective of the CIG grant project was long term integration of the researcher in the host country Latvia and host institution. This aim has been fully accomplished. During the term of DelExPol project Dr.Ilze Ruse collected the necessary merits, i.e. extensive teaching experience, supervising of Master degree students, participating at the international conferences with a research paper, publications, as well as active dissemination work. She applied for the announced position of Associate professor at Riga Graduate School of Law and was granted Associate professor position in academic year 2014/2015 in a competitive procedure by an external evaluation board outside the host institution. Her integration at the academic faculty of Riga Graduate School of Law is contributing to the inter-disciplinarity of the university, as Ilze Ruse becomes the only Associate professor at the host institution in the field of Political Science. The faculty of Riga Graduate School consists mainly of academic staff members representing the legal background.
During the term of the project Dr.Ilze Ruse has been actively taking part in the academic work of the host institution. She has been teaching 250 hours in 2013 (Master degree course – Policy Implementation and Negotiation Techniques; Mater degree course – European Foreign and Security Policy and Bachelors degree course – European Politics); 130 hours in 2014 and 2015 each.
During the duration of the project she was engaged as a supervisor of Master degree thesis at the host institution (Riga Graduate School of Law) and also in the partner institution (Tartu EuroCollege). Engagement of the Master degree students ensured the knowledge transfer to young researchers related to the subject of the EU external relations. The group of the Master degree students under her supervision have specifically addressed issues of DelExPol and broadened the perspective of the project to additional research questions, i.e. institutional aspects of External relations law; actorness of the EU as a global leader; role of the High Representative and her staff; limits of federalism in the field of external relations. The CIG grant has also helped to develop innovative teaching methods. She has established annual negotiation simulations at the host institution for the Master degree students, where the students practice in negotiating in the setting of the EU Council meetings.
In terms of the research, the project aimed at analysing effects of the Lisbon Treaty on the delegation mechanism between the EU member states and the EU institutions in the field of EU external relations by using an original method in this field of research. The fellow has developed a research design that uses principal-agent method (P-A) in approaching situations when one actor is delegating powers to another. In explaining the effects of DELegation of EXternal POLicies (hence the name of the project), the project addresses the coherence of EU’s external action after the adoption of Lisbon Treaty. According to the hypothesis the institutional complexity adds the challenges for the coherence of the EU’s external action. Drawing on the interviews with the policy-makers, the project empirically supported this argument and concluded that the member states have strong preferences with respect to EU’s foreign policy and that they authorize the institutions through a policy delegation to implement these preferences. The project concluded that the role of member states prevail in framing the foreign policy in the EU. The effect of member states acting as principals ask for more coherent interaction between the actors that frame foreign policy in the EU. The real-life implication is a need of better coordination and more effective information exchange.
In terms of deliverables the findings were discussed at internal seminars at the host institution and at three international conferences in 2013 (UACES conference in Leeds, UK), 2014 (UACES conference in Cork, Ireland) and 2016 (ESIL conference in Riga). By participation in the conferences the fellow ensured active networking with academic partners that are dealing with research on EU external relations and more specifically with the Political science approaches to these issues.
Apart from the deliverables related to the DelExPol research project, during the term of the CIG grant the fellow published one article at peer reviewed journal and one book chapter. The topic of these publications was related to her studies prior to the CIG grant. It has to be noted that these publications have to be seen as important deliverables and contribute to her academic merits, given the highly competitive publishers (Routledge editors and peer-reviewed journal Eastern-European Politics).
The project aimed at close interaction with the policy-makers. The topic of the research project provided excellent basis for interaction with the policy-makers at the member state’s level and other interlocutors. The time span of CIG project included the period when the host country Latvia carried out the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Given the previous engagement of the researcher as a practitioner in the foreign service, the project offered perfect conditions for linking the academic research with the policy-makers, thus contributing to the dissemination activities. Dr. Ilze Ruse has ensured the link between the academic environment and the policy-makers by participating at the public discussions and engaging in the work of the Council Presidency. The networking of the researcher and her footing in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia has contributed to formation of a new initiative, namely, Advanced Programme for European Neighbourhood and Central Asia countries in a consortium between several national and international academic institutions and the MFA of Latvia.
The project DelExPol has reached its objectives by:
(1) ensuring a long-term integration of fellow’s career, namely, obtaining the competitive position of Associate professor;
(2) by concluding the research project on EU external relations in the light of innovative methodology;
(3) establishing a solid research framework which can be applied to further studies in the field of EU external affairs that in future can be published as a consolidated journal paper;
(4) creating dissemination activities with academic networks and policy-makers; (5) by starting a new initiative on creating a programme at the host institution in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ot
her partners in engaging applicants from the Eastern Neighbourhood countries, Central Asia and Western Balkans. This latter deliverable illustrates the value added of the CIG grant and its impact not only on the host country but also beyond.
The DelExPol project concludes in 2016 but through its support to the host institution it has contributed to launching a new initiative – Advanced programme for Eastern Neigbourhood region, Central Asia and Western Balkans that will continue thereafter.