Europe in the World
Today’s global system is characterised by an extremely high degree of fluidity in virtually all domains. This has various impacts on the actors operating on the world stage, both in terms of actual trends and policy-relevant challenges and opportunities.
The European Union and its member states have helped to shape global trends and systematise these trends through rules-based governance. Yet the collective weight of the EU on the international stage is dwindling. The EU faces an arc of instability in its neighbourhood and new economic and demographic forces in Asia have pulled the world’s economic centre of gravity away from Europe. Differences of geostrategic and economic outlook among member states have tended to hamper the formation of coherent, consistent, and effective EU foreign policy. While the diplomatic and institutional processes that shape the EU's profile in external action are improving, the Union continues to punch below its weight internationally.
Thematic research in the unit focuses on the European Union’s relations with its neighbourhood, security and defence, and diplomacy. Attention is also devoted to the role of the EU in multilateralism, TTIP and relations with Asia. CEPS aims to inform and influence the debate on EU foreign policy and aspires to translate its research findings into actionable policy recommendations to strengthen the EU's role and influence in the world.