Understanding and Strengthening EU Foreign and Security Policy in a Complex and Contested World

The project will analyse how intra-EU contestation, regional fragmentation and multipolar competition affect the capacity of the EU to set foreign and security policy objectives and generate and integrate diplomatic, military, economic and other sectorial capabilities to handle conflicts, crises and relations with external players

Duration: 2021-2024 (Open) Budget: 2.999.981,25


Challenges to EU foreign and security policy have been mounting in recent years. The dwindling global engagement of the US and the growing assertiveness of Russia and China hamper the ability of the EU and its member states to shape multilateral rules and compel them to rethink their role along new patterns of multipolar interactions, The collapse or severe weakening of state authority in the EU’s neighbourhood create interconnected challenges extending into policy areas outside the remit of foreign and security policy, thus augmenting the need for an integrated response. Meanwhile, the emergence of nationalist forces often espousing Eurosceptic views complicates efforts to reach intra-EU consensus on international security matters. The interplay between these factors is most evident in the EU’s difficulty in addressing crises and conflicts. JOINT  involves 14 partners from 12 countries.


Istituto Affari Internazionali

Centre for European Policy Studies 

Freie Universität Berlin

Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique 

Barcelona Centre for International Affairs 

Maastricht University 

The Transatlantic Foundation

International Centre for Defence and Security EESTI - Estonia

Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt (NUPI)

Università degli Studi di Siena

National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy"

Institute of Peace and Security Studies - Addis Ababa University

Centre for Strategic and International Studies