The changing world order and its implications for the "wider Europe"

Duration: 
February, 2011 to September, 2014

The European Union has succeeded to considerably expand its influence during the past 20 years. The EU’s normative pull, its stake in the benefits of US leadership and its economic and political weight formed the basis of numerous instruments for external action – ranging from enlargement to neighborhood – and of a close interaction with a high number of regional partners. In the past few years, however, the changing international order, the deterioration of European competitiveness and various internal compromises began to challenge the belief in the Union’s future capabilities to actively shape its environment. How does the EU’s changing global role influence its relations with a “wider Europe”? What is the interaction between current world political/economic trends and EU enlargement/neighborhood policies? What can be done to preserve the existing integrationist momentum? The research will identify and analyze the key global trends influencing Europe’s role in the emerging world order, provide an overview of prospective EU responses to these challenges and – most centrally - explore the potential effects of these on the Union’s broad neighborhood.