The European Union in International Diplomatic Relations

EUDIPLO is a Jean Monnet Network between the universities of Geneva (Christine Kaddous), Groningen (Ramses Wessel; coordinator), Leuven (Jan Wouters), and Pisa (Sara Poli). It is co-funded under Erasmus+ of the European Union (620295-EPP-1-2020-1-NL-EPPJMO-NETWORK). Associate partners are based in a number of EU neighbouring states, as well as in Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America and Oceania.

The central question on which this network focuses is: what are the internal and external constraints and opportunities for the European Union to further its ambitions as an international diplomatic actor? In focusing on this question, the network aims to generate a stronger awareness on, and contribute to deeper insights into, the European Union's  diplomatic activities throughout the world, in third states as well as at multilateral fora.

Both the EEAS and the Union delegations – and hence the Union’s diplomatic institutional machinery – remain largely unknown to the public. Yet, the Union not only has a worldwide network of more than 140 ‘embassies’, but at the same time it has assumed ‘state-like’ functions on the basis of the adoption of diplomatic rules that were originally created for states only. Many challenges do remain, but the deep and wide legal and policy powers – and the sheer size and universal network - of the EU also offer opportunities that remain as of yet untapped. Academic and policy analyses have pointed to many legal and political questions related to the developing role of the EU in international diplomacy. EUDIPLO brings experts in this area together to focus on these questions, in order to make public authorities at all levels (EU institutions, governmental institutions in Member States and in third countries, international organisations, international and national civil servants and diplomats), young professionals and students,  as well as the public at large, aware of the challenges and opportunities in this area.

The central means to reach the main objective of the Network is to strengthen cooperation between senior and junior staff at the four key partners as well as with all associate partners around the globe.