European foreign policy in turbulent times: Does differentiation make the EU a stronger actor?

Webinar · 23.03.2021 15:00 - 16:30

War-torn neighbourhoods, increased great-power rivalry, as well as major global challenges such as climate change and the pandemic, call for a stronger EU foreign policy. Yet the diverging interests of EU member states continue to hamper efficient EU action. However, various modalities of differentiation within and outside the EU framework have allowed the EU member states to make Europe’s voice heard in world politics. France and Germany have addressed the Ukraine crisis in the Normandy format with Russia and Ukraine. Together with the UK and the EU, they have played a key role in the EU/E3 format aimed at resolving the conflict over Iran’s nuclear programme. Moreover, informal collaboration among a limited number of EU members has contributed, for instance, to the Middle East peace process. Recently, the EU has launched the Permanent Structured Cooperation enabling willing and capable member states to deepen their defence policy cooperation.

When and how has differentiation advanced the EU’s role in world politics? Is more differentiation inevitable because of Brexit? What are the dangers of more differentiation in European foreign policy?



Opening words

Nicoletta Pirozzi

Head of the EU, politics and institutions programme, Istituto Affari Internazionali and EU IDEA Project Coordinator

Dr Nicoletta Pirozzi is Head of the Programme on the European Union and Institutional Relations Manager at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). She works mainly on EU governance, policy and institutional developments in CFSP/CSDP, civilian crisis management, and EU relations with the United Nations and the African Union. She is the Scientific Coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project EU IDEA – Integration and Differentiation for Effectiveness and Accountability. She is Associate at the European Governance and Politics Programme of the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole. She is author and editor of a number of publications, and an active member of various research associations and institutions. She is also member of IAI’s Steering Committee and Executive Committee, and of the Scientific Board of the online journal AffarInternazionali.

Keynote speaker

Federica Mogherini

Rector, College of Europe; High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission from 2014 to 2019

Federica Mogherini is the Rector of the College of Europe since September 2020. She co-chairs the United Nations High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement since January 2020. Previously she has served as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, from 2014 to 2019. Prior to joining the EU, she was Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (2014), and a Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (2008-14). She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group, Fellow of the German Marshall Fund, member of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, member of the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, and member of the Board of Directors of the Italian Institute for Foreign Affairs (IAI). She has a degree in Political Science from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

Panel discussion

Eduard Soler i Lecha

Senior Research Fellow, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs

Dr Eduard Soler i Lecha is a Senior Research Fellow at CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs). He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He is a political scientist and a part-time lecturer in International Relations. Between 2016 and 2019, he was scientific coordinator of MENARA, a European project on geopolitical shifts in the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2013 he also leads the El Hiwar project on Euro-Arab diplomacy at the College of Europe (Bruges) and in 2010 he was seconded to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an advisor in the Directorate-General for the Mediterranean, the Maghreb and the Middle East. His main areas of expertise are: cooperation and conflict dynamics in North Africa and the Middle East, Spanish and European foreign policies, and Turkey-EU relations.

Panel discussion

Marco Siddi

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Dr Marco Siddi is Senior Research Fellow at FIIA, where he focuses primarily on EU-Russia relations, EU energy and climate policy, and the politics of memory and identity. His publications include the monograph "European Identities and Foreign Policy Discourses on Russia: From the Ukraine to the Syrian Crisis" (Routledge, 2020) and numerous articles in academic journals, including Europe-Asia Studies, Politics, Geopolitics, The International Spectator, German Politics, Journal of Contemporary European Studies and International Politics. He is a member of the Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro-Atlantic Security, a platform established after the Ukraine crisis to promote dialogue between Russia and the West. He teaches courses on International Relations, EU-Russia relations and EU energy and climate policy at the universities of Helsinki, Tampere and Cagliari.

Panel discussion

Luigi Scazzieri

Research Fellow, the Centre for European Reform

Dr Luigi Scazzieri is a research fellow at the CER. He works on European foreign and security policy, focusing on the EU’s neighbourhood, migration and transatlantic relations. Before joining the CER, he carried out research at the UK in a Changing Europe Initiative at King's College London, the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He holds a PhD in European Politics from King's College London, MA degrees from the LSE and King's College London and a BA from the University of Cambridge. He has contributed opinion pieces and comments on European foreign policy and European politics to outlets such as The Guardian, CNN, The Times and EUObserver.

Panel discussion

Senem Aydın-Düzgit

Professor of International Relations, Sabancı University

Senem Aydın-Düzgit is a Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Sabancı University and a Senior Scholar and the Research and Academic Affairs Coordinator at the Istanbul Policy Center. She was previously Jean Monnet Chair of EU Political and Administrative Studies in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University. Her main research interests include European foreign policy, Turkish foreign policy, EU-Turkey relations, discourse studies and identity in international relations and particularly in European foreign policy. She has also conducted research and published in the field of international democracy support, both in the context of European foreign policy through enlargement and Turkish foreign policy. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Common Market Studies, West European Politics, Cooperation and Conflict, Third World Quarterly, Politics, South European Society and Politics and Politique Europeenne, among others. She is the co-editor of Is Turkey De-Europeanising? (Routledge, 2017), co-author of Turkey and the European Union (Palgrave, 2015) and author of Constructions of European Identity (Palgrave, 2012). She is a board member and the Communications Chair of the Young Academy of Europe, a member of the ECFR Council and the Carnegie Rising Democracies Network.

Panel discussion

Sven Biscop

Director of the Europe in the World Programme, the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations

Prof. Dr Sven Biscop directs the “Europe in the world” programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, and lectures at Ghent University. He is an Honorary Fellow of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). His research and teaching focus on the strategies of the European Union, NATO, and their Member States. He regularly lectures for the EU’s European Security and Defence College (ESDC), as well as in various European and American staff colleges, and at the People’s University of China in Beijing, where he is a Senior Research Associate of the Centre for European Studies. He is also a Senior Associate Fellow of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy and of the Baltic Defence College. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (UK) and of the Clausewitz Society (Germany). He co-edits the European Strategy & Security book series for Routledge, and he is a member of the editorial board of the journals European Security (UK) and The International Organisations Research Journal (Russia).


Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA

Dr Juha Jokela is the Programme Director of the European Union research programme at FIIA. His current research interests include political implications of brexit, differentiated integration (in EU’s external relations), and the EMU reforms. His previous projects and publications include political and security developments in the Arctic, EU’s role in the G20, EU’s Asia policy, Europeanization of foreign policy, and Finland’s EU policy. Previously he has worked in the EUISS as a Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Advisor in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Research Fellow and Director of the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. Dr Jokela holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK).