Italy-sunset
Picture by Mark Tegethoff

Research

Innovative research with impact is at the heart of the GEC.  Our multi-national team conducts research across a wide range of interdisciplinary areas and provides policy advice to a variety of national governments, European and international organisations. Our current thematic research priorities include:

  • The EU, its neighbours and Central Asia
  • Foreign policy and security in Europe after Brexit
  • Global challenges, rising powers and changing hegemonies

We are committed to sharing research and thinking through our ongoing engagement with government, think tanks, journalists, professional networks and other commentators. We also disseminate our work widely through publications, conferences and events, as well as organising a public debate with leading European and international practitioners.

The Global Europe Centre is also hosting the Journal of Common Market Studies (JCMS). GEC Deputy Directors Richard Whitman and Toni Haastrup are currently Editors in Chief of JCMS.

Research projects

 Current externally funded grants

  • Erasmus+, NORTIA (Network on Research and Teaching in EU Foreign Affairs)
  • Horizon 2020: UPTAKE (Building Research Excellence in Russian and East European Studies at the universities of Tartu, Uppsala and Kent)
  • GCRF 1st Call GROW Funding: COMPASS (Comprehensive Capacity Building in Eastern Neighbourhood and Central Asia)
  • ERASMUS+ project (2018-19), Phase II

Completed externally funded grants

  • Jean Monnet Multilateral Research Group (EU-Russia relations: developing a transnational perspective)
  • Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (Normative Power Europe and the impact on the EU-Asia relationship)
  • Erasmus+, ANTERO (Addressing the need of teaching education and research on European foreign policy)
  • ESRC UK in a Changing Europe Senior Fellowship (The UK and the EU in a changing foreign policy context: diplomacy, influence and impact)
  • ERASMUS+ project (2017-18), Key Action One, with BSU (Belarus)
  • UACES Collaborative research network on EU as International mediator

Policy papers and reports

  • GEC survey brief ‘Belarus between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union: national values survey 2016
    • Commissioned by the Office for a Democratic Belarus (ODB) and supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Jean Monnet Chair @Kent, Professor Elena Korosteleva (PI) of the Global Europe Centre conducted a cross-temporal (2009, 2013, 2016) survey about European and national values in Belarus tilted ‘Belarus between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union: a national values 2016’.  The nation-wide representative survey took place during 18/01-07/02/3016 and focused on (i) the EU-Belarus relations: perceptions, interests and expectations; (ii) Belarusian values and norms; and (iii) Geopolitics: Belarus between the EU and the EEU. Detailed findings are available in the survey brief and on the ODB website.
      The survey showed that there were three particular trends observable among the Belarusian respondents:

      • There is a high-level understanding and appreciation of the EU as an international partner, underpinned by a growing sense of common interest and partnership in a number of areas
      • Differences in normative associations between BY, the EU and the EEU continue to persist. At the same time, fostering economic welfare may present a common ground for convergence
      • Perceived rivalry and strategic overlap between the EU and the EEU are becoming more pronounced. Public reasoning however is currently swayed in favour of economic cooperation with the EEU
  • GEC Policy Brief – ‘The EU-Russia relations in the context of the eastern neighbourhood
    • This policy brief examines EU-Russia relations in the context of the eastern neighbourhood. It contends that both the EU and Russia’s ambitions for the eastern region have evolved into two competing region-building projects underpinned by differing strategies, norms, instruments, and actors. Although projecting competing rationalities, the two projects, until recently, had peacefully co-existed, working around conflicting issues of political norms and economic convergence, which were not necessarily seen as insurmountable for furthering regional cooperation. Their subsequent politicisation and securitisation, as a consequence of events in Ukraine, have rendered regional partnership currently incompatible, revealing a profound lack of understanding the region by both the EU and Russia; and the EU under-exploited capacity to work co-jointly with the Eurasian Union (and Russia) vis-a-vis the region.  This report contends that the EU must make an effort to acknowledge and engage with the above actors in the region, in order to develop cooperative strategies, based on shared interests, international norms and compatible instruments for the advancement of economic and political convergence.
  • GEC focus groups brief 2014 ‘Moldova’s Focus Groups: Widening a European Dialogue in Moldova’

    • Commissioned by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC), Professor Elena Korosteleva conducted focus groups about European, national and Eurasian values in Moldova in order to contribute to the debate on the relations between Moldova and the European Union (EU) from the public’s perspective. Focus groups were conducted in Moldova between 28 March and 11 April 2014 focusing on the country’s relations with the EU and the (Eurasian) Customs Union (ECU); as well as public perceptions, values, and attitudes towards the afore-mentioned entities. Detailed findings are available in the survey brief enclosed.
    • For more information please also visit: http://www.ata-sac.org/publications/qualitative-survey-make-moldova-hom
  • GEC survey brief 2014 (GECSB2/14) ‘Moldova’s Values Survey: Widening a European Dialogue in Moldova’.

    • More information can be found at: http://www.cepolicy.org/publications/moldovans-attracted-eu-not-sure-about-membership.
    •  Commissioned by the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC), the Global Europe Centre (GEC), under the leadership of Professor Elena Korosteleva, conducted a survey about European and national values in Moldova in order to contribute to the debate on the relations between Moldova and the European Union (EU) from the public’s perspective. The nation-wide representative survey was conducted in Moldova between 19 October and 7 November 203 focusing on the country’s relations with the EU and the (Eurasian) Customs Union (ECU); as well as public perceptions, values, and attitudes towards the afore-mentioned entities. Detailed findings are available in the survey brief
    •  Three major trends are currently observable in the behavioural patterns of Moldova’s population:
    •  Public support of the EU and its policies (EaP) has slightly eroded which is reflected in the respondents’ perceptions, levels of interest, attitudes and behavioural preferences
    • Moldovan respondents signal deep confusion in relation to the values they associate with their country vis-à-vis those attributed to the EU, and the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU)
    • Levels of awareness about the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) are relatively high (85%), and many respondents see the ECU as equally effective as the EU in addressing immediate pressing problems of economic reforms, trade relations and employment in Moldova.
  • GEC survey brief 2013 (GECSB1/13) ‘Belarus and the Eastern Partnership: a National Values Survey’.
    •  More information can be found at: http://democraticbelarus.eu/news/survey-results-belarus-and-eastern-partnership-national-and-european-values-0.
    •  Commissioned by the Office for Democratic Belarus (ODB), the Global Europe Centre (GEC), under the leadership of Professor Elena Korosteleva, conducted a survey about European and national values in Belarus in order to contribute to the debate on the relations between Belarus and the European Union (EU) from the public’s perspective. The nation-wide representative survey  was conducted in Belarus between 20 May and 4 June 2013 focusing on the country’s relations with the EU and the (Eurasian) Customs Union (ECU); as well as public perceptions, values, and attitudes towards the afore-mentioned entities. Detailed findings are available in the survey brief
    •  Three particular trends are observable in Belarus’ public relations:
      • Comparative trends demonstrate a positive and substantive shift in public attitudes towards the EU; reflected in higher levels of awareness, more knowledge about EU structures and policies, more interest in EU affairs, more perceivable commonalities with the EU as a polity, more appreciation of EU support, and most importantly, identity-based preferences developing in relation to the latter.
      • At the same time, normative underpinnings of public behaviour remain firmly rooted in cultural traditions and historical legacies of the past.
      • Levels of awareness about the (Eurasian) Customs Union (ECU) are relatively high (90%). Importantly, the majority of respondents see the ECU as more relevant in addressing immediate economic and energy security concerns.
  • GEC Policy Paper – ‘Towards a European Global Security Strategy: challenges and opportunities’

    • This policy paper briefly examines the interplay between the European security strategic vision and capabilities, its institutional architecture and policy implementation practices, with a particular focus on the EU consular affairs, EU democracy promotion and EU engagement in frozen conflicts under the Neighbourhood Policy. It contends that in order for the EU to develop an effective and sustainable global security strategy, it first, has to reconcile the vision of its strategic priorities within its inter- and intra-institutional settings. Second, a serious effort is required to develop an integrated view on European security, which does not only focus on the internal dimensions of the EU Security strategy (capabilities), but also equally draws on its external aspects – a genuinely inclusive approach that would blur internal and external dimensions of security. For this to succeed a deeper understanding of a partnership-building process (especially of strategic partnership) is needed. Finally, while legitimation of the new security vision is essential within the EU, a greater emphasis should be placed on its external environment, which must not only include a cross-cutting approach to multiple policy instruments as suggested by the EEAs, but more essentially, their connection with the interests and needs of third parties. Case-studies in appendices elaborate further on some specific aspects of the EU security within the eastern neighbourhood context.
  • GEC Policy Paper – ‘Building a Stronger Eastern Partnership: Towards and EaP 2.0’

    • The European Union has been working to deepen the economic and political relationship with its Eastern neighbouring countries over the recent years. A set of formal agreements are intended for signature between the EU and Ukraine, Moldova and the South Caucasus states at the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit scheduled for 28-29 November 2013. These agreements have provoked a response from the Russian Federation which is seeking to offer an alternative set of economic relationship to the exclusion of the EU.
    • In the first Policy Paper to be published, the recently created Global Europe Centre (GEC) sets out a reform agenda that the EU needs to adopt towards the EaP states to enable a more binding relationship. The paper argues that the EU needs to define a ‘next generation’ objective for the EaPas it enters the implementation phase of the current set of Association Agreements (AAs). The proposal is that the EU should set a European Partnership Community (EPC) statusas a bilateral and multilateral goal for the EaP.
    • The paper contends that there is urgency for the EU to think more strategically vis-à-vis its neighbourhood, and create a more clear-cut place for Russia to avoid the current situation of divisive competition.
    • Further, the EU needs to reform aspects of its current EaP policy. The EU needs to define a clearer, and measureable set of objectives for its role in the resolution of the ‘frozen’ conflicts of its Eastern neighbourhood; refresh its policy towards Belarus; speed up visa liberalisation to ease travel for citizens of the EU’s neighbouring states; and deepen and broaden civil society engagement by investing more in deep democracy, linkage and people-to-people contacts.