Obs – SGR (2017)

The European Foreign Policy Observatory was established as a research group in 2001 with the aim to encourage debate and increase knowledge about the European Union’s foreign policy. To this end, its activities focus on the development of new theoretical and thematic contributions on this topic and on the internationalization of its researchers. Within the framework of this research group, the researchers have a privileged platform to raise the visibility of their scientific work and to participate in national and European research networks. The Observatory has been directed by Professor Esther Barbé (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals) since it was first established. The Observatory has been recognized as a consolidated research group by the Generalitat de Catalunya in its Suport a grups de recerca (SGR 2017-2019) program.

Following the dynamics of the projects carried out so far, the group’s research focuses on two different areas for the period 2017-2019: (I) the internal contestation of the EU’s foreign policy (inside-out logic) and (II) the EU as an actor in a changing security framework (outside-in logic).

(I) The internal contestation of the EU’s foreign policy (inside-out logic).
If the research agenda for the 2014-2017 period focused on the ways in which EU preferences were/are contested by emerging powers, the group now considers the extent to which EU preferences are also being contested within the Union itself. Some previously widely accepted intra-EU norms seem to have entered into a crisis of legitimacy.  In terms of empirical analysis, the group will devote special attention to relevant areas of the political agenda, such as trade or the environment, which have generated citizen mobilization. The research aims to fill a gap in the EU literature and to establish if and how such internal contestation have an effect on the European foreign policy.

(II) The EU as an actor in a changing security framework (outside-in logic).
The group will continue the line of work carried out in the period 2014-2017 on the loss of EU influence in multilateral institutions, by assessing how the EU is redefining its role as an international actor in the framework of the global and regional security governance. In a world that is increasingly “connected, contested and complex” and marked by a proliferation of actors, conflicts and new types of threats, the relative global position of the EU (instruments and influence) is in decline due to a prolonged economic crisis and Brexit. The research aims to understand how the EU re-articulates and/or restructures its discourse (case of resilience) and its instruments (development of defense policy) in the framework of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy.

Observatori de Política Exterior Europea

Investigador principal
Esther Barbé

Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI).

Financiación del proyecto
Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR) de la Generalitat de Catalunya.

Duración del proyecto
De 2017 a 2019

Diego Badell, Oriol Costa, Elisabeth Johansson-Nogués, Marta Íñiguez de Heredia, Patrícia Garcia-Duran, Robert Kissack, Laia Mestres, Pol Morillas, Margarita Petrova, Juan Pablo Soriano, Eduard Soler, Martijn Vlaskamp and Jordi Mas; collaborators: Anna Herranz-Surrallés, Michal Natorski, Benjamin Kienzle, Gemma Collantes Celador.

© 2018 Observatori de Política Exterior Europea