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EU Foreign Policy Facing New Realities (ENTER)

Represented by Helene Sjursen and Johanne D. Saltnes, ARENA contributes to a research network that aims to improve our understanding of EU foreign policy in times of major change, and to develop strategies to help practitioners make the EU more resilient.


EU foreign policy experiences unprecedented turbulences that put key achievements of the European integration project at risk. Externally, the EU’s global environment is characterized by the reconfiguration of power, growing divisions, and the contestation of established liberal order. Simultaneously, the EU’s neighbourhood is increasingly conflict prone and instable, triggering migration flows and the proliferation of illiberal values. ‘Domestically’, the EU faces severe internal conflicts, marked by austerity, Brexit, growing
nationalism, populism and new

The Action ENTER aims to improve our understanding of central properties of EU foreign policy in light of these new realities, focusing on perceptions, communication, contestation. In today’s world, the success of EU foreign policy depends on the EU’s ability to instantaneously respond to stimuli and pressures originating from both the international and the intra-EU levels. A central objective of the action is to derive theoretically informed, policy relevant advice for the EU's strategic approach to its international relations, its communication, and for dealing with the interaction between internal and external challenges. It will generate a step change in how the new realities of EU foreign policy are theorized and addressed. This will be achieved by establishing multi-national, multidisciplinary collaborations at the nexus of policy fields and research communities that have not sufficiently communicated in the past. Substantive efforts to bridge between the “academic-practitioner divide” are made, to synthesize knowledge, facilitate shared understandings, and inform EU foreign policy.

For more information, read the project summary document


The ENTER network is funded by COST Action.

Project period: October 2018 - October 2022

Tags: European Union, foreign policy, perceptions, International relations, international order
Published Dec. 17, 2018 11:10 AM - Last modified Feb. 1, 2022 9:34 AM


Academic Coordinators:
Prof. Michele Knodt (chair), Technical University of Darmstadt
Dr. Patrick Mueller (vice chair), University of the Basque Country

Project manager: Jonas Schönefeld, Technical University of Darmstadt

Academic Coordinator at ARENA: Research Professor Helene Sjursen

ENTER project website