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Research project

EUDIC - EU foreign policy differentiation and integration: informal groups in EU approach to conflicts and crises

EUDIC addresses the occurrence of informal groups of EU Member States in EU foreign policy post-Lisbon.

This project has received funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement n. 892444)

Thanks to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, after decades of progressively increasing centralisation among Member States, the EU should have finally obtained a coherent foreign policy and a more unified apparatus for supporting it. Yet on several occasions a restricted number of Member States, and at times EU institutions, steered EU foreign policy post-Lisbon, often by cooperating with non-EU countries in international contact groups. As this phenomenon suggests a fragmentation of the EU institutional scene, EUDIC's main contribution will be to explain why and to what effect informal groups persisted in the post-Lisbon era. By doings so, this project will advance our understanding of EU Member States’ practices of cooperation in the post-Lisbon EU foreign policy governance.

EUDIC will rely on an interdisciplinary approach combining political science, international relations and sociology, while adopting an innovative mixed-method design. It will focus on EU approach to conflicts and crises. Within this empirical field, it will zoom-in on three sub-cases in which informal groups of EU Member States cooperated with non-EU actors in international contact groups: Kosovo - Group of Informal Dialogue on the Balkans Quint -; Syria - Friends of Syria Group -; and Venezuela - International Contact Group on Venezuela -. To address leadership dynamics, it will also provide an in-depth analysis of the role of Italy. Not only has Italy strong commercial and political links with these countries, but this Member State also took part to all the groupings under consideration. EUDIC’s findings will be published in a monograph, two journal articles and will be disseminated to a non-specialised audience via outreach initiatives.

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