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A Joined-Up Union, a Stronger Europe. A Conceptual Framework to Investigate EU Foreign and Security Policy in a Complex and Contested World


Fractious domestic debates, the fragmentation of regional politics and growing interstate competition all affect the capacity of the EU to forge a joined-up and sustainable foreign and security policy (EUFSP) in crises and conflicts. The problem is amplified by EUFSP governance structures, which have evolved irregularly, with a multiplicity of actors resorting to an increasingly diverse array of policy instruments when engaging with external players on multilateral, regional and bilateral levels. The potential for improved action depends on the capacity of EU institutions and member states to work within the multi-dimensional perimeter of the EUFSP governance system to create the conditions to mitigate the effects of intra-EU contestation, regional fragmentation and multipolar competition.

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