IAI - Istituto Affari Internazionali IAI - Istituto Affari Internazionali
IAI - Istituto Affari Internazionali
Home About us Research Publications Library Conferences Italiano
Search      Map      Print

EU institutions and policies

Directors: Gianni Bonvicini, Nathalie Tocci
Scientific consultants: Natalino Ronzitti
Senior fellows: Nicoletta Pirozzi
Researchers: Eleonora Poli
Programme & Events assistants:
Elisabetta Farroni , Chiara Rosselli

Studies on the direction and on the aims of the European integration process have always had a central role in IAI's activity. Their importance has increased as a consequence of the radical changes which have recently occurred in the European and international arenas. In particular, IAI has focused its research efforts on the interaction between the evolution of the international system and the internal dynamics of the EU. Numerous studies of successive treaties' revisions, including the recent Lisbon Treaty, have been conducted. Prospective EU institutional reforms remain one of the central research issues, as well as the problems concerning the application of the treaties in force. Moreover, special attention is paid to the development of the enlargement process, to the EU responsibilities in the world (especially in the neighbouring Eastern and Mediterranean neighbouring areas), to the EU's increasing security projection on extra-European areas, and to Italy's role in the EU.

The main sponsors of these studies are the European Union and Compagnia di San Paolo, with which a triennial agreement has been reached.


Projects in progress


Towards a More United and Effective Europe: Beyond the 2014 European Parliament Elections (N.Tocci; E.Poli)

  New Pact for Europe (G. Bonvicini, N. Pirozzi)

The project was launched by the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium) and is supported by a large transnational consortium of European foundations. Project partners include organisations from across Europe. In a nutshell, the goal of the New Pact for Europe project is (1) to foster a wider public debate on the EU’s future at both European and national level, involving not only policy-makers but also citizens; (2) to contribute fresh but also realistic thinking and ideas on how to address the challenges facing Europe; and (3) to help close widening gaps between Member States and even within EU countries about Europe’s future. In the framework of the project, the IAI will organize three events in Italy in the first semester of 2014: (1) a public panel debate with media, NGOs and interested stakeholders and (2) a closed doors meeting with around 15 policy-makers, policy-shapers, opinion formers in Rome; and (3) a Citizens Advisory Group with a selected group of 25 citizens in Turin in collaboration with Centro Studi sul Federalismo.
The project will continue in 2015 with two new events in Rome organized by IAI in the first half: (1) a public round table with stakeholders, the media and NGOs, (2) a closed-door meeting with politicians and opinion makers.

Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue - former New Voices in the European Debate (N.Tocci; E.Poli)
The project engages in dialogue with emerging and re-emerging political actors and social movements in three southern member states (Greece, Spain and Italy). The aim is to discuss and converge on a paradigmatic shift from the austerity trap to a common prosperity project. By moving the terms of reference from austerity – for or against – to shared prosperity, the project would seek to shed the cultural stereotypes that are fuelling Euroscepticsm and intra-European divisions while at the same time developing concrete ideas to jointly exit the crisis, drawing on practical and grassroots experiences already at work across the member states, both north and south. Thus the focus would be on the needed economic, political and institutional reforms rather than on the pros and cons of austerity vs growth policies, and on the European instruments and programmes that can complement national adjustment efforts. In the framework of the project a political seminar took place in Berlin on 7-8 November 2013.

Documenti IAI 1312, Proceedings of the seminar
IAI Working Paper 1333, Paper by T.Dokos et al.

The New EU’s Institutional Balances (G. Bonvicini, N. Pirozzi, L. Vai)
The institutional imbalances occurred in the European governance during the current financial and economic crisis have been one of the major issues for the EU. The predominance of a system of governance led by the Member States through the European Council was achieved at the expense of a more influential role of the Commission, as executive branch, and linked to the relative exclusion of the European Parliament from the decision making processes. Nonetheless, the ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ innovation and the nomination procedure of the President of the Commission that followed, seem to let glimpse an opposite trend that should be evaluated - along the first year of the new Legislature - on the basis of concrete political acts and possible institutional reforms. IAI and the Center for Studies on Federalism (CSF) intend to launch an observatory/analysis on the future institutional balances induced by possibile political initiatives and by the new relations in the European Parliament/Council/Commission triangle. One seminar in Turin and one international conference in Rome are expected in 2015. The contributions of leading national and international experts will be published in a IAI/CSF series and available on the institutes’ websites.

Parliamentary Democracy in the EU (G. Bonvicini, N. Pirozzi, L. Vai)
Looking at the consequences for democracy after the last European Parliament election, it is important to evaluate to what extent the presence of new nationalistic and eurosceptic forces can modify the system of alliances and the way to act of the political groups within the European Parliament. This change can follow the pro-anti EU cleavage instead of a more traditional left-right one, or even mark the appearance of a stronger national cohesion in opposition to the discipline shown by the multinational political groups. In addition, the study of the impact of the European election on National parties in some Member states will be taken into consideration in order to investigate the possible alterations in the classical left-right political competition. This research will benefit from the existing collaboration between IAI and Vote Watch Europe and the TEPSA network. Lastly, the cooperation between the European Parliament and the National Parliaments - in relation to the reflection already started within the Pademia project framework - will be deepened. The research will be conducted by IAI and CSF in the course of 2015, with the organisation of an international seminar in Brussels and an articles series.

The EEAS Review (G. Bonvicini, N. Pirozzi, L. Vai)
The establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS), that shall support the EU High Representative in the conduction of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, has been one the most important institutional innovations of the Lisbon Treaty. After four years since its creation and as anticipated by two reports, the first by the High Representative in July 2013 and the second by the Court of Auditors in 2014, a process of review and reform of the Service will take place in 2015. These two reports have given an evaluation of the EEAS with a list of recommendations that must be analysed taking into consideration both the Service’s internal efficiency and the effectiveness of its external action. In 2015, a policy paper will be produced by IAI and CSF and presented in a conference which will be attended by relevant national and European policy makers and representatives from the academic and research community.

The Future of the CSDP: the Permanent Structured Cooperation (G. Bonvicini, N. Pirozzi, L. Vai)
Considering the theatres of crisis broken out in several areas close to the EU, the problem of giving institutional and political substance to the Common Security and Defence Policy is very timely. Effective instruments and mechanisms have to be identified in order to advance the European integration process also in this field and avoid the paralysis of the veto power. Taking into account that, according to the Lisbon Treaty, “the common security and defence policy shall include the progressive framing of a common Union defence policy”, an assessment of the opportunities offered by the instrument of the Permanent Structured Cooperation and of the problems that have hindered its realisation is crucial. This instrument is aimed at “those Member States whose military capabilities fulfil higher criteria and which have made more binding commitments to one another in this area with a view to the most demanding missions”. This analysis will produce a policy paper expected by the June 2015 European Council, that will focus on defence issues. The activity will be coordinated with the other IAI-CSF ongoing projects on the European defence.



The EU, Regional Conflicts and the Promotion of Regional Cooperation: A Successful Strategy for a Global Challenge? – RegioConf (N.Tocci, E.Poli)

Coercive diplomacy in global governance: the role of sanctions (N. Ronzitti, N. Pirozzi)
The aim of the project is to investigate the elements and the impact of the cooperation between the major international players in the use of coercive diplomacy focusing on the instrument of restrictive measures. The role of sanctions remains crucial in the response of international and regional organizations to crises and conflicts, as demonstrated recently in Iran, Libya and Syria. It is therefore necessary to analyze the scope and impact of their implementation by the European Union (in the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy) and the United Nations (under Chapter VII of the UN Charter), in collaboration with the United States and other relevant state actors. In particular, this project addresses the issues connected to the promotion of human rights and democracy, regime change and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The kick-off meeting of the project was held in Rome on the 11th of October 2013 ( Report ).
A final conference - scheduled for February 13, 2015 in Rome - will present and discuss a series of documents that will be collected in a final publication.

 Promoting stability and development in Africa: How to foster cooperation between public and private sector (N. Pirozzi)

Think Global - Act European (G.Bonvicini)

Advanced Research Workshop on the Crisis in Ukraine and UNSCR 1325 (N. Pirozzi)
In light of the recent approval by NATO of the new Policy and Action Plan to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, the project is part of a series of activity organised by NATO and aimed to promote gender issues in the current Ukrainian crisis. Among the various initiatives, the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme will finance a Conference in Kiev on the UNSCR 1325, that will focus on the women’s participation in crisis management. This activity will be organised by IAI in collaboration with the Ukrainian NGO Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, with the NATO support and in contact with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



PADEMIA - Erasmus Academic Network on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe (N. Pirozzi, G. Bonvicini)
The motivation of PADEMIA is to established a Europe-wide and sustainable network of 56 academics among 31 countries to promote research and teaching in reaction to the growing European demands to study parliamentary democracy in Europe. PADEMIA seeks to enhance discussion among students, junior and senior researchers, also in exchange with stakeholders on how to deal with the new challenges that parliaments and citizens are facing today. Several TEPSA member institutes are partners of the Erasmus Academic Network on Parliamentary Democracy in Europe. The project will run from October 2013 on for a duration of 3 years.


Europa - menu (en)

Projects in progress
- EU integration
- EU's global role
- Training

Projects concluded
- EU integration
- EU's global role
- Training

Papers & articles


Imagining Europe: Towards a More United and Effective EU

edited by N. Tocci

IAI Research Paper No. 15
June 2014, 220 p.