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Changing Multilateralism: The EU as a Global-regional Actor in Security and Peace

Final Report Summary - EU-GRASP (Changing Multilateralism: The EU as a Global-regional Actor in Security and Peace)

Executive Summary:
Changing Multilateralism: the EU as a Global-Regional Actor in Security and Peace, or EU-GRASP for short, is a European Union (EU) funded project under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). EU-GRASP was a 3-year project that started in February 2009 and ended in January 2012. EU-GRASP is composed by a consortium of nine partners. While the project is coordinated by the United Nations University – Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Bruges, Belgium, its other partners are drawn from across the globe. These are: University of Warwick (UK), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Florence Forum on the Problems of Peace and War (Italy), KULeuven (Belgium), Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada), Peking University (China), Institute for Security Studies (South Africa) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel).

EU-GRASP was aimed at studying the role of the EU as a global-regional actor in security and peace. At the preliminary stage, project researchers undertook an assessment and refinement of concepts that would be used in the course of the project. The central argument of the first conceptual research is that there is need to develop a specific theoretical framework for analysing the EU as a peace and security actor. Whilst the EU/European security governance literature certainly provides a flexible analytical prism for this purpose, it falls short, in our view, of the optimal analytical tool in that its application is limited to the conceptual notion of security and therefore remains pre-theoretical.

The second major theme we investigated concerns the levels of transversal cooperation the EU is involved in (bilateral, regional, interregional and global). The mapping of bilateral cooperation focused on EU’s interaction with some specific states including the United States, Russia, China, Japan, etc. Similarly, the mapping of interregional relations offered an overview of the current cooperation with Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. With regard to cooperation at the global level we focused mainly on the relation between the EU and the United Nations, taking into cognisance other multilateral frameworks that have a global reach. Finally the mapping of the EU as a regional actor highlights the EU’s institutional and policy outputs through an investigation of its coherence and its current level of accountability and legitimacy.

The deepening of theoretical and conceptual knowledge about the various issues elucidated above, inspired a more robust and comprehensive research of the twenty-three (23) case studies in the six security issues selected by EU-GRASP. The landscape of security studies is over the last years completely changed by the debate between traditional and non-traditional security issues. EU-GRASP takes stock of this and includes the in-depth study of six security issues: regional conflict, terrorism, WMD proliferation, energy security and climate change, severe human rights violations and migration.

Against the background of its analytical work and the results of the case studies and transversal reports, EU-GRASP has designed a foresight exercise. The foresight exercise was divided into three ‘phases’. The first concerned the identification of key variables likely to affect the future multilateral security governance on the basis of a questionnaire to experts and scholars involved in EU-GRASP. The second phase consisted of a participatory workshop with scholars and practitioners aimed at identifying future ‘scenarios’ or ‘images of the future’. Finally, the third phase included a second participatory workshop, this time involving a larger number of EU policy makers, aiming at identifying security and policy implications for each scenario.

The project resulted in the organisation of 23 events and 134 publications. Amongst the latter, the publication of 12 policy briefs, 30 working papers, 6 (forthcoming) books, and 27 (forthcoming) peer-reviewed journal articles and 59 (forthcoming) book chapters and other papers. The project website contains also 7 short videos with more details about the project.

Project Context and Objectives:
EU-GRASP was conceived to contribute towards the understanding and articulation of the current and future role of the EU as a global actor in multilateral security governance, in a challenged multilateral enviroment. The project examined the notion and practice of multilateralism and security in order to provide an adequate theoretical background for assessing the EU’s current security activities at different levels of cooperation, ranging from bilateralism to interregionalism and multilateralism, and their inter-linkages. EU-GRASP was a 3-year project that started in February 2009 and ended in January 2012.

The project work plan consisted of the following components:

• An analysis of the evolving concepts of multilateralism and security, and the EU’s role as a security actor;
• Case-studies of the EU’s approach to a number of specific security issues: regional conflict, terrorism, WMD proliferation, migration, energy and climate change, and severe violations of human rights;
• A transversal comparative analysis applying and integrating the case-study findings;
• A foresight study, which builds on the project’s findings and proposes scenarios for future EU policy directions towards external security relations and multilateral approaches to threats and challenges.

Overall, EU-GRASP examined the notion and practice of multilateralism in order to provide the required theoretical background for assessing the EU’s current security activities with multi-polarism, international law, regional integration processes and the United Nations system.

Who coordinated the project?

The coordination of EU-GRASP was done by the United Nations University institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS).

Who was involved in the project?

Consortium partners of EU-GRASP are: University of Warwick (UK), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Florence Forum on the Problems of Peace and War (Italy), KULeuven (Belgium), Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada), Peking University (China), Institute for Security Studies (South Africa) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel).

The EU-GRASP International Advisory Board

Louise Fawcett (Oxford University), Nicola Harrington-Buhay (UNDP Brussels, EU-UN Liaison Office), Karen Fogg (former European Commission official, associate research fellow Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies), Ole Waever (Copenhagen University), Alain Délétroz (International Crisis Group), Alvaro de Vasconcelos (EUISS), and the two academic coordinators of sister FP7-projects MERCURY (Mark Aspinwall, Edinburgh University) and EU4SEAS (Jordi Vaquer i Fanes, CIDOB).

What were the project objectives?

• Strengthening the understanding of multilateralism, and its relation with other concepts such as multi-polarity and interregionalism;
• Understanding the changes within the field of security and their effect on the governance structures namely in the approach to security cooperation and multilateralism;
• Better understanding of the evolving nature of the EU as a global actor within the field of security and EU’s current role in global security governance;
• Understanding and developing the changing role of the EU towards other regional integration processes in the peace and security field;
• Better understanding of the relationship between external and internal dimensions of the above mentioned policy domains, namely the legal aspects of EU’s involvement in security at regional and global levels;
• Suggesting future roles to the EU on the world stage within the field of security;
• Advancing state-of-the art theories on multilateralism, by integrating the contemporary agenda of international security, multilateral security governance and the overall role of the EU within these fields;
• Advancing policy-making - Increasing awareness and information, and improving the contribution to the formulation and implementation of European cooperation initiatives at the global and interregional level.

EU-GRASP is aimed at studying the role of the EU as a global-regional actor in security and peace. This remit implies research that is committed to studying not only the present role of the EU in a multilateral environment, but which also inquires into the EU’s anticipated role in the emerging global order.Attempting such a study enumerated above presents, at the best of times, a multi-layered challenge to a researcher. It is even more so in the environment of challenged multilateralism in which the EU currently finds itself. Not only is the topic somewhat intractable in its various and varied dimensions, but also, undertaking such a research is fraught with such pedagogic challenges such as what is the best ‘entry point’, what methodological strategies should be adopted, and, more importantly, how best to present the findings.

At the preliminary stage, we undertook an assessment and refinement of concepts that would be used in the course of the project, and which are relevant to study and understand the role of the EU as an actor in peace and security. This inceptional endeavour focused principally on clarifying theories of security, especially those relating to the so-called non-traditional security studies, in order to link such theories to empirical research. Additionally, our rudimentary research also focused on the concept of ‘security governance’ and its applicability to EU’s practice. In the final analysis, these two research components were brought together with the aim of bridging the existing gap between the literature on security theory and those on security governance, using the results deriving therefrom to interrogate the EU as a global-regional actor in peace and security.

The central argument of the first conceptual research is that there is need to develop a specific theoretical framework for analysing the EU as a peace and security actor. Whilst the EU/European security governance literature certainly provides a flexible analytical prism for this purpose, it falls short, in our view, of the optimal analytical tool in that its application is limited to the conceptual notion of security and therefore remains pre-theoretical. We propose that it is by utilising the security studies literature that we can provide a flexible framework and a comparative methodology, which transcends the traditional notion of security -a notion that is essentially defined in terms of threats to states. This suggested approach, in turn, would engender a more sophisticated and comprehensive understanding of how the EU does and speaks security.

The second major theme we investigated concerns the levels of transversal cooperation the EU is involved in (bilateral, regional, interregional and global). The mapping of bilateral cooperation focused on EU’s interaction with some specific states including the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Israel, etc. Similarly, the mapping of interregional relations offered an overview of the current cooperation with Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. With regard to cooperation at the global level we focused mainly on the relation between the EU and the UN, taking into cognisance other multilateral frameworks that have a global reach. Finally the mapping of the EU as a regional actor highlights the EU’s institutional and policy outputs through an investigation of its coherence and its current level of accountability and legitimacy.

The deepening of theoretical and conceptual knowledge about the various issues elucidated above, inspired a more robust and comprehensive research of the twenty-three (23) case studies in the six security issues selected by EU-GRASP. The landscape of security studies is over the last years completely changed by the debate between traditional and non-traditional security issues. EU-GRASP takes stock of this and includes the in-depth study of six security issues: regional conflict, terrorism, WMD proliferation, energy security and climate change, severe human rights violations and migration.

Against the background of its analytical work and the results of the case studies and transversal reports, EU-GRASP has designed a foresight exercise. The foresight exercise was divided into three ‘phases’. The first concerned the identification of key variables likely to affect the future multilateral security governance on the basis of a questionnaire to experts and scholars involved in EU-GRASP. The second phase consisted of a participatory workshop with scholars and practitioners aimed at identifying future ‘scenarios’ or ‘images of the future’. Finally, the third phase included a second participatory workshop, this time involving a larger number of EU policy makers, aiming at identifying security and policy implications for each scenario.

Project Results:
The purpose of the EU-GRASP project can be said to have been two-fold. On the one hand it aimed at advancing the state-of-the-art of theory on multilateralism, by integrating the contemporary agenda of international security, multilateral security governance and the overall role of the EU within these fields. And on the other hand it also expected to advance policy-making, by increasing awareness and information, and improving the contribution to the formulation and implementation of European cooperation initiatives at the global, interregional and bilateral level.

During the 3 years of the EU-GRASP project, the different consortium members have thus focused on improving knowledge and developing theory by focussing on the role that the EU can play as a global actor in Peace and Security. This endeavour was realised firstly by some conceptual and theoretical research but was also complemented by more empirical analysis through the conduct of more than 25 case studies exploring the ways that the EU deals with a variety of security issues in different parts of the world. By doing so the EU-GRASP project has been able to answer a number of questions on EU’s presence, actorness and capabilities in regional and global security. In addition, a foresight exercise was conducted and allowed academia and stakeholders to together explore scenarios of future roles of the EU in security and propose some policy recommendations in order to allow the EU to become a more effective actor in peace and security.

Some of the findings and foreground results of the EU-GRASP project are detailed below. They essentially focus on four aspects:

• The evolution of multilateralism in the 21st Century; detailing how the emergence of new issues and new actors has opened up a space where the EU can play an active role
• The emergence of European Security Governance; illustrating how the EU has developed wide ranging institutions and policies in order to respond to threats
• The EU’s cooperation with non-European actors; giving an overview of EU’s cooperation ranging from bilateral relations to inter-regionalism and the EU’s engagement with multilateral institutions
• The need for the EU to adapt in order to better respond to future challenges in the field of peace and security; stressing the need for the EU to become more flexible, fast and focused. The transformation of multilateralism

Multilateralism was created as a form of cooperation among states that institutionalises intergovernmental cooperation and substitutes anarchy. The starting point for most scholars who study multilateralism is the definition by Keohane and its expansion by Ruggie. ‘I limit multilateralism to arrangements involving states’ says Keohane and that is a core issue of most of the academic thinking on the issue. Multilateral arrangements are institutions defined by Keohane as ‘persistent sets of rules that constrain activity, shape expectations and prescribe roles’ in a purely institutional (rather than normative) manner. Ruggie however, presents a definition that is not only institutional but also normative, including behaviour. For Ruggie, multilateralism is an institutional form that coordinates relations among three or more states on the basis of generalised principles of conduct (…) which specify appropriate conduct for a class of actions, without regard for the particularistic interests of the parties or the strategic exigencies that may exist in any specific occurrence. A common feature of these and other contemporary viewpoints is the centrality of states: they are regarded as the constitutive elements of the multilateral system and it is their interrelations that determine the form and content of multilateralism. This implies, as noted by Schweller, that international politics is regarded as a closed system in at least two ways: it spans the whole world and there are huge barriers to entering the system. Indeed, the world is today almost fully carved up in sovereign states and this affords little or no room for the creation of new states. Things are much different today than in in 1648, – seen as the birth of the Westphalian world order – when the chunkiest parts of the world were not composed by sovereign states, thus affording great opportunities for state creation. Consequently, there was an open international system for a long time. However, over the years the whole globe became partitioned into sovereign states.

Multilateralism is clearly under challenge in the 21st century and has been so since the end of the Cold War. More than a reflection of the failure of the concept, this crisis is the sign of a changing international context, which has rendered anachronistic the traditional intergovernmental multilateralism of the immediate post-World War II era. In today’s reality, states play a relatively declining role as protagonists in the security system, as threats have acquired a system-wide significance. In order to overcome this crisis, multilateral institutions, such as the UN, need to adapt to this change, reinventing themselves according to the new context. Thus, as the world is changing, so must the concept of governance, namely its reflection in the multilateral system.

The emergence of truly global problems, such as climate change, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and many others, have indeed led to an increasing paradox of governance: ‘the policy authority for tackling global problems still belongs to the states, while the sources of the problems and potential solutions are situated at transnational, regional or global level’. As such the building blocks of multilateralism, the states, seem to be less and less capable of dealing with the challenges of globalisation. But because the multilateral world order is so dependent on the input of states, multilateralism itself is not functioning well. The drama according to Weiss is that the UN would never had emerged at all, if it was not configured as an instrument of state interests.

In sum, there seems to be sufficient reasons to claim that ‘the values and institutions of multilateralism as currently constituted (…) are arguably under serious challenge’. But, as suggested by the same authors, the fundamental principle of multilateralism is not in crisis! What is needed is an update of the organisational issues in order to be in tune with today’s reality.

Multilateralism is thus both a normative concept (it is an ideal to promote) a practice (it refers to a set of existing practices and institutions). At both levels it is subject to change and one can think of how an updated global multilateral governance system could look like. Such a vision could be called ‘Multilateralism 2.0.’ This is a metaphor as it refers to a jargon used in the ICT world. As all metaphors, it has its limitations. But metaphors in science can also serve the purpose of viewing things from new perspectives. The core of the metaphor advanced here is an implicit reference to what is now called ‘Web 2.0.’, a concept currently used to be described as the second phase in the development of the World Wide Web. It describes the change from a ‘web’ consisting out of individual websites to a full platform of interactive web applications to the end users on the World Wide Web. The Multilateralism 2.0. metaphor tries to grasp how the ideals and practices of multilateralism are currently undergoing a similar transformation. It is partially a descriptive metaphor as it tries to capture what is going on. But it is also a normative metaphor that points to what is possible and desirable.

The essence of introducing the ‘Web 2.0’ metaphor in international relations lies in stressing the emergence of network thinking and practices in international relations and in the transformation of multilateralism from a closed to an open system. In Multilateralism 1.0 the principal agents in the interstate space of international relations are states. National governments are the ‘star players’. Intergovernmental organisations are only dependent agents whose degrees of freedom only go as far as the states allow them. The primacy of sovereignty is the ultimate principle of international relations. In Multilateralism 2.0 there are players other than sovereign states that play a role and some of these players challenge the notion of sovereignty and that makes the system much more open. The trend towards multipolarity is more than just a redistribution of power at the global level. It is also about a change in who the players are and how the playing field is organised.

It is symptomatic of this trend that the Harvard Business Review chose as one of its ‘breakthrough ideas’ for 2010 the concept of ‘independent diplomacy’. In that article the question was raised: why should we pretend that only nation-states shape international affairs? There are signs that Multilateralism 2.0 already partially exists. But of course there are also strong forces to continue with Multilateralism 1.0. As such it is not even sure that a fully-fledged multilateral system version 2.0 will ever emerge.

The first characteristic of Multilateralism 2.0 is the diversification of multilateral organisations. In recent years there has been a dramatic rise of all kinds of international organisations and regimes. According to Schiavone, the number of intergovernmental organisations has grown from 37 to well over 400 in the period between 1990 and 2000. While mostly operating on an inter-governmental basis, some of these organisations have acquired some autonomy in the exercise of their competences and even have a ‘legal personality’ just as states. Increasingly these organisations look more to networks than to formal (bureaucratic) organisations. In line with a ‘trans-nationalisation of policies’ one can state that Multilateralism 2.0. implies the rise of transnational policy networks.

Secondly, there is a growing importance of non state actors at the regional rather than global level. States have by now created a large number of global and regional institutions that have themselves become players in the international order. Some of these new players, although not states, do resemble states in their behaviour. Such an institution as the EU exemplifies this trend (one can point for instance to its presence as observer in the UN, its coordination strategy at the International Monetary Fund, its membership at the G20, etc.). Other regional organisations are – although not to the same extent as the EU – following suit. As a result, one can say that we are currently witnessing a transition from a world of states to a world of states (including the BRICS as new global powers) and regions. This trend is further reinforced by the phenomenon of devolution whereby national powers are in some states transferred to subnational regions. Some of these subnational regional entities even have the ambition to be present at the international stage as well. In Europe, Flanders has perhaps more autonomy in Belgium than Luxembourg in the EU. Yet, Luxembourg is considered to be a sovereign state, while Flanders is not. In that article the question was raised: why to pretend that only nation-states shape international affairs?

Thirdly, next to the increased relations between ‘vertical’ levels of governance, there is a growing interconnectivity between policy domains horizontally. Finance cannot be divorced from trade, security, climate, etc. A distinctive characteristic of Multilateralism 2.0. is thus that the boundaries between policy domains (and the organisations dealing with them) are becoming more and more permeable. Instead of clear separated areas of policy concern treated within separate institutions, there are now communities of different actors and layers that form together a global agora of multiple publics and plural institutions.

Finally, under Multilateralism 1.0 the involvement of citizens is largely limited to democratic representation at the state level. The supranational governance layer does not foresee direct involvement of the civil society or of any other non-governmental actors. In Multilateralism 2.0. there is an increased room for non-governmental actors at all levels. This is perhaps the most revolutionary aspect of Multilateralism 2.0. but also the most difficult to organise. This is related to the state centric and institutional focus of classical multilateral organisations. In such a closed system there is hardly any room for open debate, let alone for the involvement of citizens. But as Klabbers argued, there is evidence that an alternative is emerging, that of multilateral institutions functioning not so much as an organisation but rather as an agora, that is ‘a public realm in which institutional issues can be debated and perhaps, be decided’.

In sum, the signs are there that multilateralism is moving from a 1.0. mode to a 2.0. mode. But, as mentioned above, states have been the architects of Multilateralism 1.0. and they crafted a form of multilateralism that is in tune with state interests. The big challenge today is whether non state actors will have the power and the degrees of liberty to be involved in crafting Multilateralism 2.0. Regional organisations could be in a position to contribute to such a new regionalised world order. Bull already imagined such a ‘more regionalised world systems’. More recently, Katzenstein stated that ‘ours is a world of regions’. And Slaughter described a ‘disaggregated world order’ where the model is in many ways the EU, that has indeed the ambition to be involved in such an operation. By embracing the principle of ‘effective multilateralism’, the EU has clearly indicated the willingness to contribute to reforming multilateralism. But the paradox might be that its own member states with their own 1.0. form of diplomacy are perhaps not ready yet for such a move. The emergence of an European Security Governance

The loose concept of governance seemed to be apt in capturing the idea of a variegated environment characterised by a multiplicity of actors and levels. This was especially the case with the EU given the multifaceted nature of its policy-making milieu. Webber et. al. began with some important definitional points, and in particular, focussed the analysis on security governance in Europe. That is, the concept was considered in part to be European specific, in part a socially constructed product of the societies and structures dominant on the continent, has taken these issues forward, and asks the important evaluative question, as to the way in which the concept of security governance can be seen to lead to offer significant advances on other means of thinking about the security of Europe.

In Kirchner’s words, security governance is an ‘intentional system of rule that involves the coordination, management and regulation of issues by multiple and separate authorities, interventions by both public and private actors, formal and informal arrangements and purposefully directed towards particular policy outcomes’. A ‘governance approach’ should help understand vertical and horizontal interactions among different actors, serving as an organisational framework, analysing how security is produced and ultimately representing an observable trend. According to Krahmann, security structures or a coalition’s fluidity and flexibility represent a distinctive characteristic of security governance, so that security coordination takes on different shapes. Of particular relevance for Kirchner is, instead, the working and coordinating mechanisms of security governance within and across issue areas. In this regard, co-ordination, management and regulation are the three components of governance and also the three tools used to empirically test it. Specifically, co-ordination concerns the way in which actors interact and who, among them, leads the policy-making process, implementation and control. Management relates to risk assessment duties, monitoring, negotiations, mediations and resource allocation, while regulation is conceived as the policy result, its intended objective, its fostering motivation, its effective impact and the institutional setting created.

A significant part of the literature on security governance deals with the EU and its role therein. This is not surprising: Europe’s ‘post-Westphalian traits’ seem to be the ideal-type of a governance structure for several concerns, security included. The interdependencies that resulted from the internal economic project and the loss of some sovereign prerogatives related to that objective, suggested that a certain degree of multilateral coordination at more levels and among different actors was necessary to face ongoing risks. Indeed, the idea that global solutions to security problems can better be achieved through the existence and the practices of post-Westphalian states spurred debates on the exportation of the European system of governance. According to this reasoning, this exportation could overcome some of the heterogeneity in the international system and set the basis for institutional and normative regulation of security challenges. However, threats can also be perceived and assessed differently; some actors prefer unilateral strategies rather than multilateral solutions and opt for hard tools to solve security matters. This is so, the argument goes, because some Westphalian states exist in the international context and characterise different systems of security governance from the European one: this ends up overburdening and complicating the achievement of global security.

As already stated, the literature on security governance is problematic in that it focuses predominantly on the dynamics of ‘governance’, on the multiplicity of actors, tools and instruments rather than the complexity of security and the implications varied meanings of security have for our understanding of the EU as a security actor. As acknowledged by its proponents, security governance ‘is a heuristic device for recasting the problem of security management in order to accommodate the different patterns of interstate interaction, the rising number of non-state security actors, the expansion of the security agenda and conflict regulation or resolution’. Thus, the security governance approach, although possessing ‘the virtue of conceptual accommodation’ by its own admission, is ‘pre-theoretical’, and thus lacks nuance in terms of how the EU constructs its understanding of security and engages in security practice. Our argument, therefore, is that the security governance literature would benefit from incorporating a theoretical approach to security: this will provide a more complex understanding of the way in which security comes to be understood and intersubjectively defined, which in turn has implications for the relevant actors involved, governance strategies, processes of engagement, and finally, policy practice and outcome.

Another potential shortcoming of the security governance literature is its predominantly Euro-centric contextual focus. Our argument here is that in order to understand the EU as an actor in security governance structures, a more global outlook is required to incorporate other dimensions and influences in the framing of EU/European security issues and practices, and on how they are constructed, managed and regulated. On this point, a significant step has been taken by Sperling. He envisages the possible existence of different systems of security governance characterised by the following features which include: the regulator, considering the mechanisms adopted to face security problems and resolve conflicts; the normative framework, identifying the role that norms play in determining interests and behaviours; sovereign prerogatives, investigating the degree of hierarchical interactions; and the security referent, defining the nature of the state, the interaction between identity and interests and the usefulness of force, and the interaction context, investigating the strength of the security dilemma.

In our view, this is a productive way forward which aims at overcoming the strict European focus of current research, whilst simultaneously dealing with the EU’s role in different security structures, and adding a comparative perspective to the analysis of EU security governance. In this context, our contribution would not only be in acknowledging that overlapping systems of security governance have implications for the EU, but also in laying down the methodological foundations to investigate how and why the EU can interact within them, and contribute to the sustainability, transformation or dissolution of such arrangements. Moreover, it moves beyond a pre-theoretical, functional aggregation of factors and characteristics of systems of security governance (and states within them) to ask critical questions of how they were constructed in the first place, and how this impacts on the way in which the EU can speak and do security. In summary then, whilst there is an acknowledgment in the latest European security governance literature of the security referent, the role of norms and the context of interaction – which is also of interest within our approach – there remains limited discussion on what is meant by security per se, or how it can be understood theoretically and explored methodologically in the context of the EU and Europe.

How then, do we propose to take security governance forward and move it from a pre-theoretical to theoretical framework of analysis? To reiterate, our argument is that we must move beyond characterisations and typologies towards a clear theoretical and methodological foundation. More specifically, we contend that there is a need to take the constructivist turn in security studies seriously in order to allow us to move beyond security as an objective phenomenon that is ‘out there’ and can be measured or analysed through a linear or deductive methodology. We also argue in this context that a more obvious synergy with the security studies literature will enhance the analytical sophistication of the security governance literature.

Whilst the EU/European security governance literature certainly provides a plastic or flexible frame for this purpose, it falls short in our eyes, as it does not move beyond a conceptual notion of security (it is pre-theoretical). The suggestion here, therefore, is that through utilising the security studies literature, we can provide a flexible framework and a comparative methodology, which moves beyond traditional notions of security as the activity of states; a notion that is fixed or defined simply as a threat, and provides a more complex understanding of how the EU does and speaks security. We recognise that for many such a comparative or eclectic approach is problematic on a philosophical and intellectual level, but our position merely suggests that there is much to connect such theories (although not to collapse them into one theoretical approach – and that, whilst not compatible in terms of the methodological minutiae can at an intuitive and comparative level illuminate the problems in each, whilst also providing a platform for dialogue and theory building).

Thus, it is not the assertion here that security governance is not a fruitful avenue for research. Indeed, we very much concur with the conceptualisation of security governance provided in this literature and its notion of European security as part of broader regional and global security governance structures. However, we do believe that it lacks a more complex understanding of the variegated meaning of security and security logics in the context of the EU/Europe. Our approach, therefore, almost takes a step backwards in its conversation with this literature – in that it seeks first to analyse the discursive construction of ‘security’ in different policy areas, whilst also not losing sight of the connection between construction, governance/governmentality, policy practice and outcome. Overall, we suggest this is a more nuanced approach which allows the analyst to probe the dynamics of EU security action, and indeed, the implications and consequences of such action in terms of policy governance, effectiveness and its own identity.

Since the creation of Europe, security and defence concerns have been both of primary importance and highly controversial. Early attempts to set up a defence union were largely unsuccessful. The emergence of new security threats at the end of the Cold War provoked a renewed interest in security and defence-related issues. In parallel, the setting into place of the basis of the EU’s foreign policy dates back to the early 1990s. At the time, the mutations of the European institutions, and the world they were evolving in, called for a profound review of the way the European foreign policy should be organised. As such, the Maastricht Treaty represents an important milestone with the introduction of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The Title V of the Treaty which established the CFSP as one of the three pillars of the European Union represents a turning point for the European integration process since it calls for an institutionalisation of cooperation of the member states’ foreign policies. The CFSP essentially marks the attempt by the member states to resolve their lack of coordination when faced with a crisis situation. The conflict ensuing from the breakdown of Yugoslavia clearly showed the need for an institutional framework to guide the various European foreign policies and favour common positions rather than disaggregated responses to similar crises. The Amsterdam Treaty further reinforced the CFSP by creating the position of a High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Initially the position was established in order to better coordinate the implementation and conduct of the CFSP but gradually has expanded to encompass additional functions including the post of Secretary General of the Council of the European Union.

It is in his position of High Representative/Secretary General (HR/SG) that Javier Solana was tasked by EU foreign ministers to draft a ‘European strategic concept’. The result was the publication of the document “A Secure Europe in a Better World. European Security Strategy” in 2003 and its adoption by the European Council during its meeting in December of the same year. The ESS represents the document leading the way for what European foreign policy should be like. In other words, “it outlines the long-term policy objectives and the instruments that can be applied to achieve them” and therefore “it could indeed serve as a reference framework for day-to-day policy-making, defining also the legitimacy of actions and leading the development of capabilities within the EU”. Among the various elements contained in the document it is noteworthy to stress the call it makes for increasing collaboration with international organisations and cooperation with major actors of the international scene. Within the part dedicated to the Strategic Objectives of the ESS special attention is thus given to multilateralism by calling for ‘An International Order Based on Effective Multilateralism’. The 2008 review of the European Security Strategy also clearly underscores the fact that the EU has to work in favour of multilateralism and in collaboration with international institutions. The Review states that “At a global level, Europe must lead a renewal of the multilateral order. The UN stands at the apex of the international system.” It also adds that the EU finds itself at “a unique moment to renew multilateralism, working with the United States and with [its] partners around the world.”

The signing of the Lisbon Treaty marks yet another important step in the integration of Europe, as with its adoption the EU aims to improve coherence in its external actions and, at the same time, enhance its accountability towards European citizens. The most relevant innovations related to the Union’s global actorness concern, first, the appointment of a President of the European Council, to give more visibility and consistency to both ‘the work of the European Council’ and ‘the external representation of the union on the CFSP issues’ (Article 9B paragraph 6, Treaty of Lisbon). Second, the creation of a ‘High Representative (HR) of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’ – called the ‘EU Minister of Foreign Affairs’ – who is also Vice-President of the Commission, and thus responsible for the coordination between the Council and the Commission. Third, the introduction of a European External Action Service (EEAS) to assist the HR and streamline the EU’s external services by representing the Union in non-EU countries on all matters of foreign policy. Fourth, by conferring legal personality onto the EU (Article 46A), the Lisbon Treaty enables the Union to sign treaties or international agreements falling under the competences transferred to the EU by its member states. Finally, the Lisbon Treaty also streamlines decision-making procedures by extending the use of Qualified Majority Votes for matters pertaining to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), thus demonstrating the EU’s willingness to facilitate decision-making among the 27 member states. Although these innovations do not challenge CFSP’s intergovernmental nature at its core, they nevertheless affirm the EU’s commitment in improving its efficiency and coherence at the international level.

The EU has therefore continuously strengthened its organisational structures with the Lisbon Treaty only representing one of the latest stage – albeit a major one – that installed some major changes and innovations, while at the same time stepping up its global presence. This has also been witnessed very practically as since 2003 more than 22 civilian and military missions have been carried out by the EU in the Balkans, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Therefore, in terms of civilian and military capacity, these missions deployed under the ESDP demonstrated a certain EU potential. However, military capability, be it human or material, is still generally insufficient. Despite the absence of an EU standing army, standby battlegroups have been settled as well-trained and -equipped forces that can be deployed on short notice. Further, the Permanent Structured Cooperation constitutes a remarkable attempt aimed at tackling the capability deficit. But an issue that remains to be dealt with is the absence of a common operational structure for coordinating efforts and deployments on the ground.

Despite this demonstrated ability, we cannot forget that the EU is not a state but a regional organisation that operates in a complex international environment comprising states, multilateral organisations as well as other regional organisations. The willingness of the EU to involve itself in international peace and security and address the threats it is faced with has thus been translated in the structure and policies it has adopted to respond to these threats. Of course, the structures and policies are not uniform and largely depend on the threat they are meant to tackle. Nevertheless, some common features can be identified and most importantly is the EU’s readiness to engage with other international actors and act in favor of an effective multilateralism. Secondly, the EU also shows elements of bilateral, regional, interregional and global actorness. As such, the EU contributes to establishing a fluid architecture of security governance spanning from the global, the regional and the national levels and that embodies different actors at multiple levels according to the problems that need to be faced. The EU and the different levels of cooperation

The EU is part of a multipolar environment where it plays a role not as a state but as a regional organisation operating in a complex international environment comprising states, multilateral and regional organisations. The EU itself, in its relations with other actors, is characterised by its multi-faceted appearances as one can distinguish elements of bilateral, regional, interregional and global actorness. As such, the EU contributes to establishing a fluid architecture of global, regional and national solutions to security threats that embody different actors at multiple levels according to the challenges that need to be addressed. Within such a fluid architecture, there are no fixed roles or positions for any actor - hence the growing need for coordination, management and regulation. Not surprisingly then, there emerged the new concept of ‘security governance’, which focuses on how multiple actors in a web of power and responsibility coordinate, manage and regulate their actions. The concept of security governance is therefore useful to overcome the conundrum of state-centrism while at the same time allowing for the inclusion of a larger definition of security and the means put in place by a variety of actors to address various security issues. In this framework, security governance can therefore help to understand the proliferation of transnational cooperation amongst both state and non-state actors in the post-Cold War era, where new security threats are challenging the ability of sovereign states to ensure the security of their citizens.

To evaluate the successes and failures of the EU as a global actor in security and peace requires an analysis of EU action at multiple levels of security governance. Instructively it should be noted that the EU is not a single state. Consequently, the EU can be understood as a geographical “region” and/or an integrated set of institutions that create a multilevel and multilocational foreign policy. This creates two significant problems for understanding bilateral relations. Firstly, as the EU is itself a region, bilateral relations constitute “regional-state relations”. This has led to Hänggi going beyond the term bilateralism, and referring to EU bilateral interactions with single powers as ‘hybrid interregionalism’. “Hybrid interregionalism” refers to a framework where one organised region negotiates with a group of countries from another (unorganised or dispersed) region. For instance, in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) the Mediterranean countries negotiate individually with the EU. Similarly, referring specifically to commercial relations, Aggarwal and Fogarty take the Lomé Agreement as an example of hybrid interregionalism, whereby the EU is unified and has trade relations with a set of countries that are not grouped within their own customs union or free trade agreement. Hänggi goes beyond formal frameworks and refers to hybrid interregionalism, in which a region, such as the EU, interacts bilaterally with single powers. Formally, this can be thought of as a “region-to-state” (or “region-to-country”) relationship.

In its broader sense, interregionalism refers to the process whereby two specified regions interact as regions, that is, region-to-region relations. The most institutionalised form of interregionalism, so-called “pure interregionalism”, develops between two clearly identifiable regions within an institutional framework (for instance the EU and the African Union). Pure interregionalism captures, however, only a limited part of present-day interregional cooperation. This is because many “regions” are dispersed and porous, without clearly identifiable borders, and demonstrate only a low level of regional agency. In other words, regional organisations are not discrete actors, which can be isolated from classical intergovernmental cooperation between nation-states (i.e. classical bilateralism). It is widely contested among scholars even to what extent the EU (sophisticated as it is) should be considered a discrete actor. Although interregionalism is not explicitly mentioned as an objective in the Treaty on the European Union (TEU), it is deeply rooted in the European Commission’s and the EU’s foreign policies and external relations. There is a long history of a rather loose form of interregionalism between the EU and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, and this interregional policy has been partly revised under the new Cotonou Agreement and other frameworks. Since the 1990s interregional cooperation has been further developed as a key feature of the EU’s foreign policies with other counterpart regions, at least in official declarations. Indeed, we are witnessing a trend whereby the European Commission and other European policymakers seek to promote interregional relations and partnerships with the Global South, albeit not always with a consistent formulation.

Our analysis of the EU’s interregional cooperation with Africa, Latin America and Asia reveals that the EU uses a variety of instruments and models of engagement to foster relations with countries and regional partners. As we have seen, EU-driven interregional cooperation tends to be multifaceted, with different issues and themes receiving different emphasis in different counterpart regions and in different security issues. Interregional policy is, therefore, not a fixed set of guidelines but rather is subject to adaptation. A comparative assessment suggests a variation in the way that the EU conducts its foreign policies towards different regions.

This implies that the EU does not appear to have a specific preference for one particular model of cooperation. It is evident that the EU tends to be pragmatic in its various relationships with the rest of the world. In this regard, the EU increasingly behaves as an actor on a variety of levels in world affairs — having “a global strategy”. Far from being locked into a specific foreign policy doctrine (such as interregionalism), the EU uses any type of policy that it has at its disposal and which appears to be most suited to a given objective.

It is useful to distinguish between security issues and other types of (non-security) issues, such as trade, aid and development. Needless to say, security and development may affect one another. Together forming the much-talked about security-development nexus. Yet, it is also relevant to point out that generally speaking interregional cooperation is quite often more developed in the field of trade, aid and development compared to security.

A general characteristic of interregional cooperation (both in the security and non-security sphere) is that issues are often dealt with through multi-country dialogues, summits and policy declarations. Interregionalism may therefore be criticised as rhetorical, symbolic and sweeping. In contrast, however, there is also evidence that interregionalism may provide a useful forum for dialogue and framework for enhancing cooperation at lower levels. In this way, interregionalism may reinforce bilateral collaboration, or may be a stepping-stone to multilateral cooperation. As a result it is not useful to analyse interregional cooperation in isolation from other forms of cooperation. There is a tendency that interregionalism sometimes is important even if it is not so well-developed or intense.

Our research result reveal that it is misleading to only concentrate on pure interregionalism, that is, institutionalised cooperation between two regional organisations. The more complex and pluralistic processes of transregionalism and hybrid interregionalism reveal that especially the counterpart regional organisations are more open-ended and ambiguous, implying that policies of regional organisations interact with policies of states/governments. Taken together, this leads to the possibility of an increasing number of (interacting) forms of collaboration on different “levels” (hence the relevance of transversal cooperation as an analytical device).

The interregional model is perhaps most developed in the EU’s relationship with Africa, at least in the sense that interregional cooperation and partnerships exist in most issue-areas and with Africa as well as all sub-regional organisations. Yet, it is very evident that EU-Africa interregional cooperation is dominated by the EU and to quite a large extent it depends on the EU’s interests and agenda. This is however not equivalent to saying that asymmetric interregionalism is necessarily detrimental. And it is not simply that EU dictates the agenda. For example, many observers would say that the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is African-driven and EU-Africa interregional cooperation is to a large extent designed in order to strengthen APSA and African management of its own security crises.

EU-Asia collaboration is at least partly different in terms of the degree of institutionalisation as well as the nature of the issues covered. For instance, terrorism and WMD are greater concerns in Asia than in Africa and Latin America, whereas Africa is heavily affected by a large number of regional conflicts. But interregionalism in Asia is clearly affected by the fact that ASEAN is more or less the only viable regional organisation. But the EU is not necessarily advocating in favour of increased pure interregionalism. On the contrary, while in the past the EU has combined pure interregionalism with forms of hybrid interregionalism, there is today a growing preference for hybrid interregionalism and more flexible solutions. “This may be explained in part by the difficulty of negotiating over very complex and politically contentious issues with disparate groups of countries. The EU has found that the difficulty of completing such negotiations, and the subsequent problems in implementation and compliance, make different forms of region-state treaties a more effective instrument for economic cooperation”. Hence, despite the many official declarations about the EU’s preference for interregional relations, a closer empirical review reveals a complex pattern of intersecting, complementing and at times competing models of external relations — resulting in a mixture of bilateral, multilateral and interregional policies in a world with external and internal obstacles.

Previous research suggests that the EU’s policy mix depends very much on who the counterpart is. We argue that this variation in interregional relations is often linked to questions of relevance and power. The EU cannot deny the contemporary relevance and power of key East Asian states which results in partnerships that are symmetric in nature. This contrasts sharply with the EU-Africa relationship, which, although officially designated as an equal partnership, for now at least clearly remains asymmetrical. Compared to the more flexible and pluralistic approach to Asia, the EU tends to emphasise the interregional and regional model much more strongly in the African context.

A similar asymmetry, although not as one-sided, can also be detected in the EU’s relationship with Latin America. This suggests that, while much of the EU’s interregional relations are conducted under the pretext of mutual benefit, the distribution of these benefits appears to be a function of the power position of the EU relative to its counterparts. That is, the stronger the counterpart (in terms of power and relevance), the more concessions are made by the EU. With weaker “partners”, the EU seem to dictate far more of the conditions for interregional cooperation. The relatively stronger East Asian region benefits from access to European markets and Asian countries are generally invited to participate in equal or symmetric partnerships with the EU. There is little conditionality attached to East Asian cooperation, which reflects the EU’s response to an increasingly powerful region. Indeed, security issues, such as human rights are sensitive for many Asian countries and the EU has chosen to maintain a rather low profile on these issues instead of pressurising for political changes. However, the EU attaches economic, trade and political conditionalities in its dealings with Africa. The EU’s dealings with Latin America appear to lie somewhere between these extremes. Foresight

Building on its analytical work and the results of a number of case studies and transversal reports, EU-GRASP has designed a foresight exercise to project the consequences of its findings into the near future.

Foresight can be defined as a systematic, participatory, future intelligence gathering and medium-to-long-term vision building process aimed at present-day decisions and mobilising joint actions. The use of foresight techniques has the potential to improve regional and global cooperation policies, as well as their consequences. More indirect effects of foresight include better-informed decisions, generation of a broader consensus, promotion of strategic and long-term thinking, and the accumulation of policy-relevant knowledge. The idea is to explore possible future EU policies regarding different security issues, and according to the different forms of multilateral cooperation as a variation of key policy choices.

The foresight exercise was thus divided into three ‘phases’. The first concerned the identification of key variables likely to affect the future multilateral security governance on the basis of a questionnaire to experts and scholars involved in EU-GRASP. The second phase consisted of a participatory workshop with scholars and practitioners aimed at identifying future ‘scenarios’ or ‘images of the future’. Finally, the third phase included a second participatory workshop, this time involving a larger number of EU policy makers, aiming at identifying security and policy implications for each scenario. Interaction with the policy community is key for the success of this project, given that EU-GRASP wants to assure that its findings will be relevant for EU’s decision-making and role in multilateral security governance, pertinent to the EU officials’ daily work objectives, to member states’ agendas, and at best, critical for the development of EU’s strategy to become a relevant world player in security governance, an effective supporter of multilateralism, a competitive partner in bilateral relations in the growingly multipolar international system.

This document reports the results of the foresight exercise. Through the scientific coordination of the Forum on the Problems of Peace and War and the UN Institute for Comparative Regional Integration Studies, the first participatory workshop was held on 5-6 October 2011 and the second one on 24 January 2012, both in Brussels. Participants included a sub-group of scholars involved in the EU-GRASP research, a selection of external experts from a variety of fields (including strategic studies, international relations, political science and economics) and policy makers.

First Phase Foresight Exercise: Building Future Scenarios

The main goal of conducting a scenario analysis is to raise awareness amongst policy makers about possible future changes and, consequently, the changing roles of the EU with respect to multilateral security governance. These exercises must provide room for novel, creative and even surprising future projections.

A scenario is an internally consistent story of the future. As the future is, by its very nature, uncertain, several scenarios may exist simultaneously. A set of scenarios does not try to predict what will happen by extrapolation: instead it gives an overview of what could happen on the basis of exploring the underlying connections (or convergence) of key driving forces. Applying scenarios is an approved method that explores environmental factors and mutual relationships to produce more insight into future situations. Effective scenarios provide systemic insight, shared understanding and a platform for action.

The final output consists of several ‘images’ of future global security contexts, whose main objective is to alert the EU with a view to helping it (re)adapt its policies and strategies in order to successfully deal with potential evolutions in the new future. The time horizon adopted by the EU-GRASP scenario exercise was of approximately 15 to 20 years from today (e.g. 2025-2030). The reason for using this date is that it represents a reasonable timeframe for strategic foresight since structural change is possible through policy reforms.

Key drivers of change

The future is shaped by fundamental transformations, which are called the drivers of change. Driving forces include changes in demographic, social, technological, environmental, economic and political/institutional factors. These driving forces however are surrounded by uncertainty. The core question that had to be solved in the first EU-GRASP foresight workshop was: “Which major forces may shape the environment of the EU?”

After this exploration, the key driving forces were analyzed and assessed along two axes, according to their ‘degree of uncertainty’ and ‘degree of impact’ on global security. The drivers that fared quite low on both accounts were then discarded, while those that fared low in terms of uncertainty (and were therefore deemed to be ‘quite likely’) and could have a high impact on global security were subsumed under the category of ‘givens’. These givens come back in each of the future scenarios.

As a consequence, a small subset of drivers was believed to be both highly uncertain and with a high impact on security governance. Since we aimed at achieving policy relevant results, it was decided to further condense the range of variables in order to produce a limited set of distinctive scenarios. Thus, through a roll-call vote in which each workshop participant was given the option to rate the level of ‘relevance’ of each remaining variable, the number of drivers to shape the framework for the scenario-building exercise was further reduced to three: unipolarity vs. multipolarity; state-centric governance vs. growing influence of non-state actors; open vs. closed (inward-looking) societal values Participants agreed that while the unipolar-multipolar dichotomy was highly relevant per se as a key characteristic of the future distribution of power at the global level, two other factors – i) influence of non-state actors, and ii) societal values, could be combined into one single axis. Finally, the various ‘givens’ and remaining variables were then incorporated into the model as background variables to take into account while developing the various scenarios’ narratives.

The selected variables are the following:

• Unipolarity/multipolarity. This axis describes the degree of concentration of power in the international arena. On the one hand, we find a world dominated by only one superpower (unipolar) in charge of delivering the necessary public goods that keep the system together. This may look like an ‘imperial’ scenario in which international norms and rules are fundamentally set by the superpower and international institutions are, by and large, serving the purpose of maintaining hegemony. Other countries and regions are willingly or unwillingly incorporated into various spheres of influence and strictly cooperate with the global ‘hegemon’ although areas of resistance may remain. On the other hand, we find a multipolar distribution of power in which international influence is fundamentally regionalized, with hubs of influence distributed across the globe. In this context, political and economic power is shared by various great powers (likely regional powers) that may cooperate in certain fields while acting solo in other areas in international affairs;

• Societal values and state/non-state governance. This combined axis looks at both the evolution of values in society along a continuum between open (e.g. cosmopolitan) and closed (e.g. inward-looking parochialism), and the intensity with which non-state actors, especially corporations, business groups, NGOs and social movements would influence global governance. One end of the spectrum describes a world in which values such as tolerance, inter-culturalism and globalism have become deeply entrenched in society. To a certain extent, this would be the triumph of cultural globalization and the apex of post-modernity and post-materialism. In terms of governance, this scenario depicts a world in which non-state actors have become increasingly influential. They hold de facto power due to their resources, influence and expertise. Some multinational corporations are richer than entire states and international NGOs drive development policies in most of the world. At the same time, they also have institutional powers and play a significant role in global governance. This is the triumph of public-private partnerships and the idea of inclusive governance, where the boundaries between the state, the market and civil society are blurred. On the opposite side, we find societies that have become increasingly parochial and inward looking. In this context, we find the rise of nationalism and sub-nationalism in societies that tend to be more and more afraid of cultural differences. This may well be the backlash of globalization and global crises that, instead of promoting stronger solidarity across ethnic groups and peoples, leads towards cultural protectionism and potentially xenophobia. Moreover, governance processes are exclusively driven by states and non-state actors experience a severe reduction of both institutional power and influence in society. The budgets of corporations shrink, NGOs are merely relegated to service delivery functions and their capacity to bring alternative perspective into policy making, especially at the local level, is severely reduced or eliminated altogether.

Scenario A1: Progressive Hegemony

This scenario describes a situation in which unipolarism in the global distribution of power is associated with increasingly open societies and cosmopolitan values as well as a growing influence of non-state actors on the political and social agenda. In this scenario, the US is likely to re-emerge as the gravity centre, but this is by no means the only possibility. It could also very well be that the new ‘hegemon’ would emerge out of new balances of power that are difficult to foresee at this stage. Depending on its geo-strategic characteristics, this new international system may very well be a Pacific or Atlantic dominated world. Economic and cultural globalization would accelerate and instabilities would mainly derive from asymmetric threats and pockets of isolated violence.

Security governance would be centred on ‘coalitions of the willing’ assembled in NATO or in ad hoc groups which would deal with crises. In this scenario, institutions such as the UN and the G20 would remain largely unreformed and they would become less and less relevant. Instead, a G2 may see the light (perhaps consisting of the US in combination with either China or a strengthened EU). The influence of private security companies would be rising and NGOs would see their influence in security governance grow through the emergence of a truly global and well-structured civil society.

In this context, some issues concerning security governance may be given priority over areas. It is likely, for instance, that international terrorism and the possession of weapons of mass destruction would remain high on the agenda, at the expense of regional conflicts (which are likely to decrease in numbers). Energy security would also grow in relevance and the abuse of human rights would be dealt with through both hard-measures and civilian means.

Scenario A2: Backward Hegemony

This scenario is characterized by unipolarity, inward-looking societies and a low influence of non-state actors. This type of hegemony would be exercised in a rather regressive fashion, with limited resources and little propensity of the only ‘superpower’ to be directly engaged in too many fields. In this context, energy security would become the most significant concern for the hegemon as well as the possession of weapons of mass destruction. Terrorism is likely to be downgraded to secondary concern, at least insofar as it does not threaten the ‘superpower’ directly. Migration may be increasingly framed as a security threat. Due to an increasing gap in global wealth between centre and periphery, it is indeed likely that human flows would grow exponentially and directly challenge the tenability of the hegemon’s borders and those of its region.

In accordance with this distribution of power, the G20 may transform into a weak and obsolete G1+, in which the superpower forges alliances with different partners on a needs basis. At the UN Security Council, veto rights would only be granted to the hegemon. Moreover, this country would be more and more reluctant to provide public goods. Threats to the international system would be dealt with through military action resulting in more repression of internal contestations. Recent evolutions such as the responsibility to protect and the concept of human security would be likely to fade away.

Scenario A3: Fragmented Multipolarity

This scenario describes the intersection between a multipolar distribution of power, a low impact of non-state actors and the dominant presence of inward-looking attitudes among public opinion. In this context, the world would be likely to experience a fragmentation of the international system into state-led alliances such as the BRICS along with other major powers like the US, the EU, China and also emerging regional powers such as Nigeria and Iran. The relationship among them would be generally conflictual. Moreover, the economic relationship between the regions would be increasingly protectionist and mercantilist leading to frequent currency ‘wars’. While the Cold War was dominated by only two conflicting poles, this even ‘colder war’ would see the emergence of an extremely conflictual multipolarity resulting in ‘local’ wars, e.g. with a growing instability in the Middle East, South East Asia, Central Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

With regard to security governance, a reformed UN Security Council consisting of new regional powers would have diminishing impact and would be devoid of meaningful influence because of continued vetoing. ‘Clubs’ of powerful states such as the G20 might very well replace the UN. At the same time, regional powers would not manage to modify the G20 into a smaller and more effective Group of Regions and security governance would remain firmly in the hands of states. Non-state actors would be marginalized and alliances lead by strong military regional powers would deal with security threats, which may also lead to traditional warfare among sovereign states.

Against this backdrop, priority security threats would include regional conflicts, weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism. Energy security would likely become one of the main reasons why states wage war against one another, in the absence of clear international rule for the management of common resources. New concepts such as human security and responsibility to protect would fall off the agenda.

Scenario A4: Open Regionalism

In this scenario, a multipolar distribution of powers, an increasing influence exerted by non-state actors, and the emergence of a cosmopolitan culture intersect. Arguably, such an interaction between the three drivers would lead to the creation of regional pockets of influence built around significant regional hegemons with a high degree of openness to the external world and propensity to engage in multilateral processes. Competition between these hegemons will take place mainly through soft power. Regional cooperation and integration will become the key component of a coordinated system of governance. The global arena would be dominated by an intense set of interregional cooperation mechanisms which would define the norms and rules of the international system. Large public-private corporations would also become more significant, although in different degrees within each regional framework.

Security governance would mainly be dealt with at the regional level by strong regional organizations such as, for example, the EU, the AU, the Arab League, ASEAN and UNASUR. Besides reforming the UNSC to include the leaders of each of the major regions (perhaps substituting current Member States), the UN at large would turn into a multilateral forum where also non-state actors have a role to play. Under the auspices of a region-driven UN, regional security regimes would become more common and would lead action on the ground. The G20 may simply cease to exist or turn into a Group of 6 regions or a G6R which does not have a leading role in security governance to play. Large cities such as Shanghai would be likely to play a significant role as most power, people and threats would be concentrated in large urban areas. Bargaining about resources would be done through diplomacy at the interregional level so the scarcity of resources would lead to stronger interregional cooperation.

Second Phase Foresight Exercise: Policy Recommendations for the EU

It is important to mention that the scenarios are not predictions of what will happen, but rather paint images of what could happen. The real value of foresight methodologies is that the results of the scenario-building workshop lay the groundwork for an informed exchange and discussion among EU policy makers and experts. All these scenarios only provide the general contours of plausible future scenarios characterized by a high degree of uncertainty. How can the EU prepare itself to cope with the shifts described in each scenario? What are the policy implications for the EU in the field of security governance? In order to address these questions, a specific workshop with policy makers, scholars, and experts was held in Brussels on 24 January 2012. Here are some of the most relevant recommendations that emerged during the discussions.


Each of the four scenarios poses different challenges to the EU. In two cases (Scenario A1 and A4), the EU would find itself in a rather favourable context, where most of its core values and aspirations have been embraced by other global players (especially Scenario A4). In this future projection, the EU is likely to be seen as a pioneer by other regional organizations and states thanks to its longstanding experience with multilateral governance. Should the world be lead by a single ‘superpower’ animated by progressive values, then the EU stands a good chance to influence the former’s global agenda and its long-term goals. In the other scenarios, due to a diverse range of reasons, the EU and its current institutional/political setup would be threatened by the diffusion of values that are fundamentally different (when not completely opposed) to those underpinning the EU and by a distribution of power that would lead to global fragmentation and/or backward unipolarity.

Against this backdrop, one first set of recommendations concerns what the EU should do in order to build the political, economic and institutional condition to support the creation of a more ‘favourable’ context for security governance. The second set of recommendations focuses on how the EU should cope with ‘unwelcome’ changes in order to preserve its core values and objectives while exerting some degree of influence (as residual as it may be) at the global level.

• Achieving ‘nirvana’: the EU, progressive leadership and open governance systems While the first scenario is dominated by a progressive superpower, the ‘Open Regionalism’ scenario is characterized by a significant diffusion of ‘openness’ in society (marked by strong cosmopolitan and multicultural values), the existence of different (regional) poles of influence at the global level and the increasing importance of non-state actors, both at the supranational as well as the local level. While both cases are relatively enabling for the EU’s role, the second one is by far the ‘ideal’ scenario. As the future can be shaped through purposeful action in the present, the EU should aim to shape international politics in order to create the conditions for any of these scenarios to emerge. Among the key recommendations, we include:

a. Support for democracy and citizens’ participation throughout the world, so as to promote a peaceful encounter and exchange between civilizations and cultures rather than a ‘clash’. In order to achieve this objective the EU will need to revise some of its core security policies in a number of fields, including energy, migration and terrorism, and avoid the temptation of adopting ‘fortress’ legislation. The evolutions in the Arab world will be a test bed for the EU’s capacity to support interregional cohesion.
b. More inclusion of civil society in the running of the EU’s internal and external affairs as well as its long-term objectives. The current crises have shown that top-down approaches to regional integration may be effective at kick-starting regional processes but are not sustainable in the long run. In order to support more openness and inclusivity throughout the world, the EU will need issues concerning legitimacy and democratic accountability very seriously and also promote inclusive regionalism in other areas of the world.
c. Strengthening multilateral governance systems, not only in the field of security, but in as many areas of international politics as possible. Achieving this result would also imply being ready to give concessions to partner countries around the world, especially in sectors where the EU’s past conduct has been largely perceived as conservative and protectionist (e.g. trade). More willingness to engage with other countries and regions on an equal footing would allow the EU to build strong and durable partnerships while encouraging common approaches to global problems and shared values.
d. Using soft-power mechanisms and socialization processes to affect the values and priorities of the ‘progressive superpower’. In the field of security, this would include taking more direct responsibility in the design and execution of common policies and programmes, as well as in the implementation of initiatives on the ground. Preference should be given to civilian instruments and diplomatic means with a view to achieving ‘effective multilateralism’ and human security should be considered a key tenet in the running of military operations.

• ‘Dance with the wolves’: surviving and coping with unwelcome global changes The second and third scenarios present clear challenges to the EU, not only because the fragmentation of the global arena may exert centrifugal pressures on Member States, but also because a world dominated by inward-looking policies and regressive unipolarity would seriously threaten the capacity of the EU to retain its core values. Needless to say, the recommendations listed above (if adopted) should reduce the risk of seeing these two extreme scenarios materialize. Nonetheless, global affairs are affected by an infinite number of factors, most of which are beyond the influence and control of the EU. So, what should the EU do to survive and cope with unwelcome global changes:

a. Use its influence to keep the global security agenda as inclusive as possible. In both scenarios, it is likely that certain ‘hard’ security issues (e.g. weapons of mass destruction, energy provision, etc.) will be given a higher priority vis-à-vis softer security challenges (e.g. human rights violations). It is also likely that a number of social phenomena, such as for instance migration, will be increasingly ‘securitized’ and thus treated as matters of internal/international security rather than political governance. In this case, the task of the EU would be to use its economic and normative influence to keep certain issues on the agenda and avoid, whenever possible, an oxidization of multilateral governance mechanisms.
b. Use its influence to persuade the ‘superpower’ to behave as responsible as possible. Given that some degree of shared responsibility would also be in the interest of an inward-looking global leader, the EU should try and carve out some space for itself with a view to making the system of security governance as fluid as possible. Such a role would probably require the EU to equip itself with a stronger military force in order to become a credible ‘partner’.
c. Strengthen ties with likeminded actors and create incentive mechanisms to induce progressive governance reforms in other regions. In this regard, economic means (such as trade and investment) would be essential to build strong ties across regions and generate an area of prosperity that could, if necessary, become the springboard for a long-term alliance (or security community), similar to the way in which NATO was constituted and evolved. The need for the EU to become a flexible, focused and fast actor in Peace and Security

As would have been noted from the various segments in the foregoing sections of this report, there is no doubt that the EU earnestly desires to play a critical and important role in global and regional peace and security in an environment of multilateralism. It is beyond controversy today that multilateralism is the way forward in dealing with some of the most daunting challenges and threats to human security. The benefit of effective multilateralism to states is as assuring as the dividends of democratic and security governance are to a world of multipolarity.

Certainly effective multilateralism will necessarily require the diminishing and downscaling of the much-cherished principle of state sovereignty: each state that desires to be partner in an effective multilateral system unavoidably accepts the relinquishing of some of its grips on the traditional frontiers of sovereignty. Collapsing individual states’ will and predilictions under a regional or international organisation in the name of multilateralism implies a high level of trust that such an organisation shall deliver what the states ask of it through its constitutive instrument or state practice.

Together, there are three determinants that shape the role and influence of the EU as a global-regional actor in peace and security: willingness, capacity and acceptance. Willingness relates to the power that member states entrust upon the EU. Whatever the ambitions of the EU are, the need to be in tune with the positions of its member states. Capacity refers to the organisational capacity and operational experiences. This implies not only resources but also sophistication of command structures. Acceptance relates to the place of the EU in the geopolitical reality and the multilateral playing field. This includes the institutional collaboration with the UN but also its relations with the different powers of today’s multipolar world.

The EU has proved to be a formidable aspirant to effective multilateralism. In several aspects, it has adopted legal regimes and installed mechanisms towards ensuring that it continues to play a critical role in global and regional peace and security and continue to guarantee the trust placed in it by its member states. Nonetheless, the EU has not always got it right. And much remains to be done. In order to continue to be relevant and effective, the EU must be more ambitious and daring in its approach; it must step out of its comfort zone and embrace new prospects. In doing so, the EU needs to be purposeful and expedient. In short, it will serve the EU a great deal of purpose if it stays focused, remains flexible, and acts and reacts fast whenever situations arise. This approach is what the EU-GRASP project refers to as the ‘triple F’ approach: Flexible, Focused and Fast which concepts are articulated below in seriatim.


One major criticism that has been levelled against the EU is that it often fails to take into account the individual dynamics and particular context of the partners it engages with. Instead, the tendency is for the EU to adopt a one-size-fits-all strategy, which is more often counterproductive. ‘Rigidity’ would frequently be antimonious to dynamism in a multilateral environment, just as unbridled fluidity could equally threaten cohesion and undermine solidity. What the EU requires, is to temper its often-stifling obstinacy with some flexibity. This will not only enable the organisation to constantly evolve and adapt its strategies in consonance with developments around the world, such a process will also inspire confidence and increase trust among its partners.

As a regional organisation, the EU has had a tendency to emphasise inter-regional dialogue. This has brought forth some achievements and should be continued. However, the EU should endow itself with strategic approaches that would allow it to enter into interactions with a much wider variety of actors that make up the international environment. The focus should be on groups of states with multilateral ambitions, as well as on international organisations, especially the UN system.


As would have been noted from the case studies covered in this project, the EU clearly aspires to be a ubiquitous player in the field of peace and security. This is commendable. However, the EU does not have unlimited human and financial resources. Therefore, rather than risk becoming something of a jack of many trades and master of none, the EU should be more selective in its choices. While one may not prescribe for the EU exactly the thematic areas it should focus on -as an organisation the EU certainly knows where its strengths lies – we are of the opinion that the EU should be guided by various considerations in coming to decisions as to what and what not to include in its docket. However, ‘focusing’, as proposed by EU-GRASP, should not be mistaken for ‘tepidity’, or that the EU should stay condemned to those issues where it is always guaranteed some level of success even with minimal efforts.


Finally, the enlargement of the EU to its present strength of 27 members definitely bodes well for the organisation at least, as far as ventilating the ideas of the EU across Europe is concerned. As the aphorism goes, the more the merrier, and certainly even more so for Europe. However, the more is not necessarily the merrier for the EU-decision making process. Multilateral institutions are often propelled by national rather than collective interests of member states. The complex nature of CFSP decision-making process in the EU system does not help the matter. Debates are often endless resulting in either actions not being taken in time, taken at all, or taken outside the CSFP framework. It is tempting to suggest that core decision-making in the EU should be left to a group of states. While such a surrogate process will certainly reveal the lack of internal cohesion within the EU, it may in the short-term help to prevent stalemates and impasses. Were this option to be adopted, it will enhance EU’s decision-making processes and will mean that decisions are reached much faster.

It will be naïve to assume that ‘fast’ is an easy, ready-made option. To start with, the process for determining which group of states can competently take decisions on behalf of the whole EU should be expected to be as vitriaolically controversial as possible. Nonetheless, it is possible that with increased promotion of common values by EU institutions, increased information exchanges, dialogue and coordination among member states, the EU decision-making process becomes more expedient. Thus, for now, what the EU should focus on is developing mechanisms that can help it achieve a faster turn- around time in decision-making. A good start might be for the organisation to rid itself of the notorious, procedural complexities that characterise its systems. The institutional transformations resulting from the Lisbon Treaty, if made fully effective, have the potential to enable the Union to act in more timely and coherent way.

Potential Impact: Academic impact: raising knowledge

The impact generated by EU-GRASP with regard to academic and theoretical debates on multilateralism, security governance and EU foreign policy is discussed in much more detail in the previous part of this report covering the main S&T results. Policy impact: forming opinions/attitudes

EU-GRASP proposed to focus on policy-oriented research and therefore was a highly interactive project. Its approach was rather ‘traditional’, in the sense that only in the final stage of the project the interactive approach was really achieved when WP 6 on scenario building and foresight started. Interaction with the policy community is key for the success of this project, given that EU-GRASP wants to assure that its findings will be relevant for EU’s decision-making and role in multilateral security governance, pertinent to the EU officials’ daily work objectives, to member states’ agendas, and at best, critical for the development of EU’s strategy to become a relevant world player in security governance, an effective supporter of multilateralism, a competitive partner in bilateral relations in the growingly multipolar international system. Through the scientific coordination of the Forum on the Problems of Peace and War and the UN Institute for Comparative Regional Integration Studies, the first participatory workshop was held on 5-6 October 2011 and the second one on 24 January 2012, both in Brussels. Participants included a sub-group of scholars involved in the EU-GRASP research, a selection of external experts (from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, The Netherlands; European Institute for Asian Studies, Belgium; FRIDE, Spain; European Union Institute for Security Studies, France; Singapore Management University, Singapore; Egmont, Royal Institute for International Relations, Belgium; Royal Roads University, Canada and the Institute for European Studies, VUB, Belgium) from a variety of fields (including strategic studies, international relations, political science and economics) and policy makers (from the European External Action Service, United Nations Development Programme, Friends of Europe, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission, Council of the European Union and DG Development and Cooperation, European Commission).

It is important to refer here also to the fact that 5 Ph.D. manuscripts are currently under preparation that found their origin in the work of EU-GRASP: Francis Baert (Ghent University, supervisor Jan Orbie, co-supervisor Fredrik Söderbaum), Emmanuel Fanta (Université Libre de Bruxelles, supervisor Véronique Dimier), Sijbren de Jong (KULeuven, supervisor Hans Bruynickx), Meike Lurweg (Gothenburg University, supervisor Fredrik Söderbaum) and Carin Berg (supervisor Michael Schulz). These are important in order to show the enduring effect of theoretical and conceptual work of EU-GRASP for future scholarly work.

At several occasions, EU-GRASP researchers participated in policy seminars organized by EU institutions:

• Luk Van Langenhove represented EU?GRASP on 27 April 2009 in Brussels at a transatlantic seminar organised by the European Commission on "The EU and the US in a changing multipolar system: Transatlantic convergences and divergences" workshop jointly convened by Directorate?general for Research and Directorate?General for External Relations.
• Francis Baert was invited by the European Commission to represent GARNET and EU-GRASP during a closed conference on “Europe in the world “on 20-21 April 2009 in Brussels. Francis gave a presentation on the securitization of EU climate change policy.
• Luk Van Langenhove was invited by the EUISS to attend the EUISS Annual Conference, 22 & 23 October 2009 in Paris based on preparatory working group discussions. Luk Van Langenhove participated in the working group 4 discussion on global governance on 12 October in Paris.
• Francis Baert was invited by the European Commission and the EUISS to represent EU-GRASP during a Transatlantic Seminar on November in Washington D.C on 19-20 November 2009.
• Luk Van Langenhove participated as speaker and Jan Wouters as moderator and both were invited to represent EU-GRASP during a transatlantic seminar in Brussels on 25-26 January 2010. A summary of discussion was published by the European Commission as: Erik Jones and Angela Liberatore (ed.), Mapping the Future of EU-US Partnership, Luxembourg: European Commission.

EUISS in Paris invited several EU-GRASP members to attend brain storm meetings and workshops in Paris. As a token of continuous good relations between EU-GRASP Coordinator UNU-CRIS, EUISS (and its Director and EU-GRASP Advisory Board Member Alvaro de Vasconcelos) and DG Research, an event was organised in Brussels on 1 October 2010 on Civil Society’s role in Global Governance. Dissemination and/or exploitation of project results, and management of intellectual property

The events of the Arab Spring in 2011 have shown that new communication tools such as social media and blogs play a vital role within social communities and civil society. This way they allow us to reach an audience which is unthinkable through conventional channels. Neglecting these ‘new’ media channels is denying the way people are communicating today. Internet is one of these new communication channels. While this medium used to be a place where people could find information, today it has transformed into a place where everyone is becoming the author. This has implications for the way people interact with each other. That is to say, top-down communication is losing a lot of its credibility. Instead people tend to have more faith in their peers and word of mouth, which has been strengthened and extended by the rise of social media. A trend which Kotler et. al. also refer to as horizontal communication. Thus, the future of communication will be increasingly bottom up. Content will not only be submitted but also rated and discussed. Therefore a paradigm shift from the traditional media to the electronic dialogue (i.e. RSS and weblogs) is taking place.

Although there is a paradigm shift, it is important to note that these ‘new’ media have not replaced the ‘old’ ones. The communication environments people are living in have just become more individualized, and are integrating the different communication technologies. However, this also presents a big challenge: people will be confronted to an abundance of information. In order to overcome this, the project has consistently chosen to make the website of EU-GRASP, its central communication tool. This website, with an easy web address in order to improve search results and the generation of traffic to the website, became during its lifetime also increasingly an interactive platform for the project by introducing social media applications.

Communication channels

Communication tools can be displayed on two dimensions: online versus offline communication and personal versus mass communication. If we set out the different communication tools on both dimensions we get the following result:

Personal communication

Both online and offline personal communication channels where used during the lifetime of the project. Major EU-GRASP publications and events were announced through a newsletter. The project has used the newsletter of the coordination institute, UNU-CRIS, to use this as a tool for communication. This newsletter reaches an audience of around 3000 subscribers. Next to this, some 150 people registered to the newsletter system through the website of EU-GRASP. Other newsletter systems like the ones from UACES and the Leuven Centre for Global Governance were used to disseminate information related to the project.

EU-GRASP focussed on two major social media tools, Facebook and Twitter. Both communication tools have revolutionized the way we are communicating today and people are spending more and more time on these platforms. Through the EU-GRASP website, people can share EU-GRASP items on Facebook and Twitter. The website also includes electronic dialogue technology like RSS.

The most direct form of personal communication is through the attendance of conferences, meetings and workshops. In accordance with the contract, 11 academic and dissemination events were organised through the lifetime of the project.

The Launch event of EU-GRASP was held at the Résidence Palace in Brussels on Tuesday 10 February 2009. More than 70 people attended the launch event. The attendees came from both the academic world (various universities and research centres) and the policy making world (EU Commission, etc.). The opening of the event was done by Jean?Michel Baer, Director of Science and Society, European Commission, and was followed by an introduction of the project by Dr. Luk Van Langenhove. Emil Kirchner from the University of Essex delivered a Key?note speech on the EU and Evolving Concepts of Security. Next was held a Roundtable comprising members of the consortium and of the Advisory board focusing on the EU and Multilateral Security Governance. The roundtable was then followed by a discussion with the members of the public. Eventually, Kurt Vandenberghe, Head of Private Office Commissioner Janez Poto?nik, offered the closing words for the event.

In order to make the necessary progress in the research of EU-GRASP workshops and seminars were organised in Bruges, Leuven, Gothenburg and Brussels.

In July 2007 the European Commission issued a call for proposals, on the theme of EU and multilateralism, within the Social Sciences and the Humanities of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research & Innovation. Three proposals were selected, each of them bringing together an international partnership of research institutions. Each team worked differently, adopting different approaches and methods. At the end of the three years, the projects known as Mercury, EU­GRASP and EU4Seas, jointly hosted the “Global Europe Conference on Multilateralism” held in Brussels on 7 October 2011. This final conference was an opportunity to share, discuss and converge ideas, and to present the projects’ findings to practitioners and stakeholders. The conference adopted a joint Policy Brief entitled “The EU and Multilateralism: Nine Recommendations” which articulated some nine policy recommendations. Speakers at this event included: Kristin de Peyron, Head of Division, Multilateral Relations, EEAS; Dr. Mark Aspinwall, MERCURY; Dr. Jordi Vaquer i Fanes, EU4SEAS; Dr. Luk van Langenhove, EU-GRASP; Dr. Angela Liberatore, European Commission; Professor John Peterson, University of Edinburgh; Professor Stuart Croft, University of Warwick; Dr. Oriol Costa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Professor Alberta Sbragia, University of Pittsburgh; Professor Emil Kirchner, University of Essex; Professor Jan Wouters, Catholic University of Leuven; Dr. Lorenzo Fioramonti, University of Pretoria; Mr. Jaroslav Kurfürst, Head of the CFSP department at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Vahur Made, Deputy Director of the Estonian School of Diplomacy and Head of Estonian Centre for Eastern Partnership; Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary-General ACP Group; Professor Andy Cooper, Centre for International Governance Innovation, University of Waterloo; Professor Chen Zhimin, Fudan University; Professor Joel Peters, Ben Gurion University of the Negev; Professor Meliha Altunisik, Middle East Technical University, Ankara; Dr. Ian Lesser, Director of Brussels office of the German Marshall Fund of the US; Dr. David Zounmenou, Institute for Security Studies Pretoria; Dr. Esther Barbé, Autonomous University of Barcelona / IBEI, Barcelona Institute for International Studies; Professor Wolfgang Wessels, Universität zu Köln; Professor Sonia Lucarelli, University of Bologna; Professor Alyson JK Bailes, University of Iceland; Dr .Luis Peral, European Union Institute for Security Studies and Karen Fogg, Associate Fellow, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies.

On 25 January 2012 an additional final event was organised in order to present the main findings of the project and to launch the publication of the final integrative report. EU-GRASP researchers Luk Van Langenhove, Ademola Abass and Lorenzo Fioramonti presented some of the main findings of the project. A final roundtable ended this event. Chair was Andy Cooper, CIGI. Panellists were Louise Fawcett, Oxford University; Nicola Harrington, UNDP; Alvaro de Vasconcelos, EUISS Paris; Alain Délétroz, International Crisis Group and Marco BianchiniSenior Liaison Officer at the UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security.

Next to this, some 11 additional events, that were contractually not obliged, were organised in Belgium, Italy, Canada, South Africa, China, Israel and the United Kingdom, these were mainly preparatory publication and dissemination events:

• The Leuven team organized a public panel debate on 3 February 2010 on energy and security: the securitization of a vital resource. Speakers were: Jan Wouters (KULeuven), Jamie Shea (NATO), Steven Everts (General Secretariat of the Council of the EU) and Danila Bonchkarev (East West Institute).
• In March 2010 a seminar was hosted in Warwick to prepare the submission of the European Security special issue.
• Roundtable “Assessing the EU’s Security Policies in a Complex Global Order: The EU-GRASP Project” in Ottawa on 15 March 2011 organized by CIGI (and DFAIT).
• Workshop on “Addressing Key Human Security Challenges in Africa: An EU-Africa Partnership?” in Pretoria in 13-14 June 2011 organized by the Institute of Security Studies.
• Workshop on the EU and the Middle East, organized by Gothenburg University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Jerusalem on 22 May 2011.
• Workshop on “Human Rights, democracy and the EU in the Middle East” in Florence on 2nd June 2011 organized by the FPPW and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
• Workshop on “Migration in Europe: the Politics of Confinement Structures” in Florence on 17-18 June 2011 organized by the FPPW.
• Workshop on “New Security Challenges: Chinese and European perspectives” in Beijing on 22-23 June 2011 organized by Peking University.
• The Forum has organized the Roundtable ‘winds of peace and War in the Middle East and North Africa’, 23 September 2011 in Florence.
• The Workshop ‘Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: the Role of the European Union’, has followed on the 24 September 2011 in Florence.
• A further Workshop on the Arab Spring has been organized in Florence, 28 January 2012.

EU-GRASP research results have been actively disseminated at academic conferences throughout the lifetime (and hopefully continuously after the project’s official end). 59 presentations were given at a wide variety of events in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including:

• ISA Annual Conventions in New Orleans (2010) and Montreal (2011)
• GARNET International Conference The European Union in International Affairs, Brussels (2010)
• ECPR conferences in Potsdam (2009) and Porto (2010).
• Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Studies Association of North America (2012)
• African Leadership Centre, Nairobi, Kenya (2011)
• Retreat for the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (2011)
• Seminar on Securing Stability in Africa: Unconventional Threats, Conventional Responses? in Addis Ababa (2009)
• At universities in Europe and Asia: University of Toronto, London School of Economics, Brunel University, Peking University, King’s College London, University of Cambridge, Oxford University, University of Gothenburg, Free University of Berlin, University of Rouen, University of Canterbury, University of Haifa, University of Kent in Brussels, 'Corvinus University of Budapest, Tel Aviv University & Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Mass communication

The project website has been the central piece for a streamlined dissemination strategy, as all communication channels could in some way be linked to the website. It is a great tool to combine both online and offline media and it can be reached anyplace, anywhere and anytime. In February 2012 the EU-GRASP generated traffic towards it from 40 countries in the world, the top countries being Belgium, UK, Italy, Germany, USA, Sweden, Canada, Spain, France and the Netherlands. The success of a website lies in its usability, navigation and accessibility. The website is hosted on the server of the coordinator, UNU-CRIS and will remain online for the coming years. Anticipated forthcoming publications will be uploaded on the website. In order to deal with the abundance of information on the web a good search engine optimization (SEO) is desirable. It is indispensible to optimize the Google ranking of the project website and its content. This helps to improve our visibility and awareness among the broader public.

Promotional flyers (post cards) for mass distribution and the final integrative report were widely distributed.

Some 30 EU-GRASP working papers were produced during the lifetime of the project. Moreover, 12 policy briefs were designed to directly target the practionner’s world containing pertinent and tailor-made recommendations. Policy briefs are specifically tailored to policy audiences. They focus on issues of particular salience to key questions and targeted at both public and private sector policy communities. Not all academics master the art of policy brief writing, so we foresaw a multiple-step review process where input was asked from policy makers, peer review was done by policy makers (sitting in the International Advisory Board and from outside the project) and special care was devoted to the reader-friendliness of the policy briefs for wider audiences.

EU-GRASP was very successful with regard to the publication of high-quality output. Some 28 peer-reviewed journal articles were produced during the lifetime of the project targeting some of the most important journals in the field of EU Studies, including European Foreign Affairs Review, Journal of European Public Policy, Global Policy, European Security, Political Geography, the Columbia Journal of European Law, the Yearbook of European Law & the Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies.

Not more than six book volumes were produced by the research team, targeting some of the core teams of the research:

• Christou, G. & Croft, S. (eds) European Security Governance, Routledge, 2012
• Lucarelli, S., Luk Van Langenhove e Jan Wouters (eds) The EU and Multilateral Security Governance, Routledge, 2012
• Söderbaum, F., Scaramagli, T. & Baert, F. (eds) Intersecting Interregionalism. Springer, 2012
• Peters, J. (ed) The Europe Union and the Arab Spring: Promoting Human Rights and Democracy in the Middle East, Lexington Books, 2012
• Van Langenhove Luk, Building Regions. The Regionalization of the World Order, London: Ashgate, 2011
• Peters, J. & Schulz, Michael (eds.), EU as partial actor in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Routledge, forthcoming.

Targeting the media is not an easy task and requires additional experience and expertise. It is often a dream of many research projects to target local and international media. EU-GRASP researcher Sharon Pardo wrote an opinion piece in one of the world leading newspapers The International Herald Tribune. Both Pardo and Luk Van Langenhove published pieces in Europe’s World, a widely distributed and read journal amongst EU policy makers and finally Ademola Abbass appeared several times on Al-Jazeera to report on regional conflict in Africa.

List of Websites:
Additional information available on the EU-GRASP website:

United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

Luk Van Langenhove
(EU-GRASP Academic Coordinator)

University of Warwick

Stuart Croft

Gothenburg University

Fredrik Söderbaum

Forum for the Problems of Peace and War

Sonia Lucarelli

University of Leuven

Jan Wouters

Centre for International Governance Innovation

Andrew F. Cooper

Institute for Security Studies

David Zounmenou

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Joel Peters

Peking University

Zha Daoijong

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 225722


Closed project

  • Start date

    1 February 2009

  • End date

    31 January 2012

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 1 944 200

  • EU contribution

    € 1 459 150

Coordinated by:

UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY - Comparative Regional Integration Studies