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European Diplomacy Practices post-Lisbon: Adding Value through Cooperation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EuroDipl (European Diplomacy Practices post-Lisbon: Adding Value through Cooperation)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2022-03-31

The practice of diplomatic representation has traditionally been associated with the nation state, with national embassies taking on the task of representing the state and its citizens abroad. The emergence of European/EU diplomacy challenges this longstanding practice. Although not a state, the European Union (EU) has a diplomatic network of embassy-like EU delegations. Since the Lisbon Treaty (2009), EU delegations represent the EU, its member states and its citizens alongside and in cooperation with national diplomatic services. The Marie-Curie project “European Diplomacy Practices post-Lisbon: Adding Value through Cooperation” (EuroDipl) investigates how cooperation between EU delegations and the embassies of EU member states in third countries impacts European foreign policy-making, and how, if it all, this particular feature of European diplomacy might add value by enhancing European foreign policy cooperation.

This research offers conceptual tools, empirical data and an analytical framework that policy-makers, diplomats and citizens can use to more accurately assess the effectiveness of European diplomatic coordination.
The objectives of EuroDipl therefore are threefold:
1. EuroDipl contributes to the conceptual, theoretical and methodological innovation in studies of European diplomatic practice.
2. EuroDipl explains the impact of post-Lisbon European diplomatic practice on European foreign policy.
3. EuroDipl improves the exchange between policy practice and academic research.
EuroDipl ran for 16 months, from 1 April 2020 to 31 July 2021 at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) at the University of Bristol. It was conducted by the MSCA fellow Dr Heidi Maurer, under the supervision of Prof Ana E. Juncos.
EuroDipl contributed to conceptual, theoretical and methodological innovation on European diplomatic practices (objective 1). The theoretical development was supported by an in-depth methodological training in Social Network Analysis and a literature review that engaged with European studies, diplomatic studies but also social relational scholarship. After 12 months, the focus of EuroDipl shifted to understanding the impact of European diplomatic practices (objective 2). It developed a relational theory of European diplomacy and was also able to provide a novel definition of “added value” as an emergent property. In addition, EuroDipl d offered hands-on training opportunities for professional research management to the MSCA fellow and it designed and implemented various cross-fertilization activities with policy-makers (objective 3).

Over the duration of the project, EuroDipl actively contributed to cross-fertilization activities, reaching 45 academics, 5 civil society representatives and 192 practitioners. Through its communication, outreach and dissemination activities, EuroDipl furthermore reached 1.657 academics, 1.871 students and 214 practitioners.

EuroDipl work were disseminated via the following scientific publications:
• Heidi Maurer & Nick Wright (2020). Still governing in the shadows? Member states and the Political & Security Committee in the post‐Lisbon EU foreign policy architecture. Journal of Common Market Studies 59(4): 856-872.
• Heidi Maurer & Nick Wright (2020). A New Paradigm for EU Diplomacy? EU Council Negotiations in a Time of Physical Restrictions. Hague Journal of Diplomacy 15(4), 556-568.
• Heidi Maurer (2021). The European External Action Service. In: Palgrave Handbook of EU Crisis, edited by Marianne Riddervold, Jarle Trondal, Akasemi Newsome.
• Heidi Maurer (2022 forthcoming). The added value of European diplomacy for EU regional and international actorness. In: The EU’s global actorness in a world of contested leadership ed. Daniela Nasciment (et al), Palgrave Macmillan.
• Heidi Maurer & Nick Wright (2021). How much unity do you need? Systemic Contestation in EU Foreign and Security Cooperation. European Security 30(3): 385-401.

EuroDipl Communication & Outreach activities (selection):
• the Hague Journal of Diplomacy Podcast on the future of diplomacy in Europe the-future-of-diplomacy-in-europe
• Guest interview about the relevance of public diplomacy for students of the course by Natalia Chaban at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand):
• Public Virtual Talk “Increasingly illiberal and populist politics in Europe: (How) does it matter for European foreign policy cooperation” at Seminar Series of Political Science Department of the University of Vienna, 2 June 2021. See recording at

Policy Dissemination
• The EEAS from a network perspective. Policy brief published at
• Ten years after Lisbon: Member States in EU foreign and security policy” in the LEGOF Policy of ARENA at the University of Oslo:
• ENCOMPASS Blog: The EU’s Political and Security Committee: still in the shadows but no longer governing? Heidi Maurer and Nick Wright / Nov 2020 (number of views unknown):
• LSE blog: The EU’s Political and Security Committee: Still in the shadows but no longer governing? 1 April 2021 (34 shares):

EuroDipl also supported active learning dissemination
• How to teach comfortably in an online world: the core principles of learning. 30 September 2020. ECPR Loop (blog post for newly established ECPR Series)
• Heidi Maurer & Maxine David (forthcoming) Whose Agency? Skills, Academics and Students in the Social Sciences. European Political Science (accepted)
• How to organise your Phd and think about publishing, NORTIA professionalisation roundtable, 23 June 2020. See
• Co-Organiser of NORTIA teaching case study activity, including training for case writers (October – December 2020):
The results and impact of EuroDipl relate directly to its three objectives:

1. Theoretically and methodologically, EuroDipl furthered the scientific understanding of the quality and significance of European diplomatic cooperation in third countries. It showcased the need to understand the variety of European diplomatic practices in third countries and to evaluate the unique features of European diplomatic cooperation differently from national diplomacies.
2. Conceptually, EuroDipl developed a relational theory of European diplomacy and established a novel way to measure the added value that EU delegations bring to the collective European diplomatic network.
2. EuroDipl build, fostered and inspired a network of policy-makers, diplomats, researchers, students and think-tankers with a keen interest in diplomatic practices and the future of European diplomacy.
Variation in European diplomatic representation in third countries