The Initial Training Network “Integrated Training Programme for Analysis, Assessment and Advice on EU´s External Action and its Institutional Architecture” (EXACT) aims at preparing 14 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) for professional and academic careers in universities as well as in the public and private sector in academically based consulting for policy makers. The training network focuses its research on major current and future challenges of the EU in the fields of Commercial Policy, Common Foreign and Security Policy, Common European Defence Policy and Development Cooperation. The training provided through EXACT intends to bridge the gap between Ph.D. training within the academic world on the one hand and the “down-to-earth” need of potential employers in consulting or advisory circles on the other. Therefore, the project pursues an integrated two track curriculum that involves three universities and six think tanks: The scientific track concentrates on academic training leading to a Ph.D. degree, track II focuses on the training of professional skills. Given the growing market for academically trained EU experts in both public and private sectors, the integrated curriculum develops a triple “A” catalogue of skills: theory-led Analysis and Assessment of potential future scenarios in the field of EU’s external action and Advice for strategies. The early stage researchers will attend a 36 month training programme including local and network-wide activities (e.g. individual research projects and Network Seminars) provided by universities and think tanks in the network. The early stage researchers will be given the opportunity to obtain a double Ph. D. degree („co-tutelle”) from two participating universities as well as the EXACT Certificate issued by all participating organisations.

In the context of the project EXACT (Marie Curie ITN on EU external action), from the 1st March onwards, three Early Stage Researchers (ESR) has joined the TEPSA Secretariat in Brussels for eight months. Beside the elaboration of their PhD, they are involved in the daily work of the office notably in the organization of TEPSA activities and conferences.

Partner institutions

  • University of Cologne, Germany (Coordinator)
  • University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Univerzita Karlova z Praze (Charles University Prag), Czech Republic
  • Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels, Belgium
  • Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Brussels, Belgium
  • European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), Helsinki, Finland
  • Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, Italy
  • Institute for World Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary


01 January 2010 – 31 December 2013

This project is financed by the European Commission as a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), Seventh Framework Programme.

For more information please visit www.exact-training.net

EXACT Final Conference on EU External Action, 10-12 July, Brussels

Logo_Marie-Curie (1)Logo_EXACT blueThe Final Conference of the Marie Curie Training Network EXACT took place at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels from 10 – 12 July 2013. The EXACT Fellows presented their research in form of a poster exhibition and feedback sessions together with their supervisors and the EXACT Visiting Scientist Prof. Brigid Laffan (University College Dublin). Furthermore, guest speakers and a roundtable with participants from the EXACT partner projects INCOOP and PEGASUS contributed to the three-day conference. All in all the draft programme foreseed three public events: The opening of the poster exhibition in the framework of a public reception and an intervention by Prof. Jolyon Howorth (University of Bath); The key note address of David O’Sullivan (Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service) and a reception; and  The public roundtable “The Future of EU PhD Studies”.

Here you can consult the full Programme EXACT Final Conference and here the last EXACT Newsletter.

2013: the final year of the EXACT programme!

logo EXACT

The EXACT PhD Intervision Workshop

On 18-19 April, eight EXACT Fellows: Nicole Koenig, Niklas Helwig, Andrew Byrne, Anita Sek, James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh, Leonhard den Hertog, Merlene Gottwald and Adreas Raspotnik gathered at the University of Edinburgh for the PhD EXACT Intervision Workshop. The meeting was joined by prof. Brigid Laffan from the University College Dublin.


Publications and presentations:

Andrew Byrne, Conflicting Visions: Liberal and Realist Conceptualisations of Transatlantic Alignment, “Transworld Working Paper” No. 12, Istituto Affari Internazionali, 25 March 2012, available here.

Bogdana Depo, The values within the ENP: shared, imposed or a matter of business? The Perspectives of the Eastern and Southern Dimensions, presentation together with Rosen Dimov (University of Istanbul), LISBOAN seminar “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?”, Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, 22 March 2013.

Leonhard den Hertog and Ramses Wessel, EU Foreign, Security and Defence Policy: a Competence-Responsibility Gap?, in: Evans and Koutrakos (eds.), “The International Responsibility of the European Union: European and International Perspectives”, (Oxford, Hart Publishing), March 2013.

Sergio Carrera, Leonhard den Hertog and Joanna Parkin, EU migration policy after the Arab Spring: the pitfalls of Home Affairs Diplomacy, “Think Global – Act European Policy Paper”, No. 74 (CEPS & Notre Europe), February 2013.

Marlene Gottwald, A human security perspective on the future of Europe, workshop “The changing nature of human security”, organised by the Chatham House and FRIDE, Brussels. See the Agenda_ESPAS Workshop.

Miguel Haubrich SecoTheorising and tracing EU promotion of regional cooperation. The cases of Mercosur and the Western Balkans, 2013 “ISA Annual Convention”, 2-6 April, San Francisco.

Niklas Helwig, Paul Ivan und Hrant Kostanyan, The New EU Foreign Policy Architecture: Reviewing the first two years of the EEAS, Centre forNiklas European Policy Studies, 10 February 2013.

Abstract: This CEPS book examines two interrelated questions: 1) How has the European External Action Service (EEAS) functioned in the EU institutional architecture in the first two years of its existence? 2) What improvements can be made through the 2013 review and the 2014 revision of the EEAS’ mandate? The study contributes to the current debate through an in-depth examination of the EEAS’ relations with the EU member states, the European Commission, the European Parliament and its Delegations. The analysis is complemented by in-depth interviews conducted with senior officials from the relevant institutions. The authors put forward specific recommendations, organised around three basic roles that the EEAS plays in the EU’s external relations: a) leader, b) coordinator and c) information hub. See more. 

Niklas Helwig, EU foreign policy and the High Representative’s capability-expectations gap – a question of political will, in “European Foreign Affairs Review”, 18(2), 2013, pp. 235-254.

Andreas RaspotnikThe Northern Corridor, in “The Maritime Dimension of CSDP: Geostrategic Maritime Challenges and their Implications for the European Union”, European Parliament, January 2013, Brussels. The full study available here.

Anita Sęk, An Audit of the EEAS in the Eastern Neighbourhood – to what extent have the new Treaty provisions delivered?, presentation at the LISBOAN seminar “The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Lisbon Treaty: What has changed?”, Instituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, 22 March 2013.

Marco SiddiAn issue of identity? Poland’s foreign policy toward Russia, “The European Congress of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) and of the International Council for Central and East European Studies (ICCEES)”, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, 5-8 April 2013.

Marco Siddi, ECPR Young Scholars School on European identity, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, 17-23 March, with participation of prominent speakers including Jeffrey Checkel, Sophie Duchesne and Michael Bruter. More information on the conference available here.

Marco Siddi, Italy-Russia relations: politics, energy and other business, in “East European Studies No. 4. Eurasian Challenges. Partnerships with Russia and other issues of the post-Soviet area”, ed. Zsuzsa Ludvig, Budapest, 2013, pp. 74-92.

EXACT fellows’ teach in a Masters-level seminar on ‘EU external action: examples and analyses from current practice’

The EXACT fellows Miguel Haubrich Seco and Simon Stroß conduct a Masters-level seminar titled ‘EU external action: examples and analyses from current practice’ in the current winter semester 2012/13 at the Charles University in Prague. The seminar will enable the students to learn and apply knowledge on EU external action on a concrete policy example such as the Free Trade Agreement of the EU with South Korea, EU neighbourhood policy after the Arab Spring or the involvement of the EU in international climate change negotiations. In doing so, the students shall get acquainted with theoretical explanations as well as with the political practice

EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Research Skills and Higher Education Qualifications

The two-week “EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Research Skills and Higher Education Qualifications” took place in the framework of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network EXACT from 15th and 28th September 2012 in Cologne. It was organized by the Jean-Monnet-Chair, Prof. Wessels, Department of Political Science. Participants included the thirteen EXACT Research Fellows and eight external guest researchers. The content of the Network Seminar aimed at improving academic, teaching and research skills as well as publishing and funding options and strategies. In a nutshell it can be said, that the academically outstanding program combined with the expertise of the guest speakers reflected the spirit of the EXACT Network as a silver thread throughout the whole Seminar.

The participants were generally pleased with the programme of the summer school as it included both interactive and expert-centered elements. In preparation of the course, all participants had to deliver one written assignment before the start of the course. Participants chose to present either one PhD chapter, a publication, an academic or policy paper. The expertise of the guest speakers generally matched the topics of the participants and thus presented great value added as these could get first-hand information and precious advice for their research projects and PhD. Participants highly appreciated the in depth input they received from the organizers on their respective PhD topics. The expertise of the guest speakers and the opportunities of the EXACT Network combined allowed even to go beyond academic expectations. EXACT and non-EXACT fellows could build synergies and transpose principles from one project to another. Publishing options were discussed with some of the expert speakers as well.

A Public Roundtable Discussion on “EU Executive Powers and External Action” was only one of the highlights. Main discussants were Gianni Bonvicini, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome; Geoffrey Edwards, University of Cambridge; Marlene Gottwald, EXACT Early Stage Researcher- University of Edinburgh and University of Cologne; Robert Kissack, Institut Barcelona d` Estudis Internacionals; Nicole Koenig, EXACT Early Stage Researcher of University of Edinburgh and University of Cologe; John Peterson of University of Edinburgh and Wolfgang Wessels, University of Cologne. The main topics discussed were the role of the EU in the Libya crisis and EU crisis management as such, the Treaty of Lisbon`s institutional architecture and coherence in EU external action as well as the reform of the European Security Strategy and the setting-up of the European External Action Service.

The overall impression of the “EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Skills” was extremely positive. The participants significantly enhanced their PhD skills and also got more familiar with the formulation of research questions, different research methods and teaching skills. The two directors of the Seminar, Dr. Geoffrey Edwards (EXACT Visiting Scientist, University of Cambridge) and Dr. Robert Kissack (EXACT Visiting Scientist, Institut Barcelona d` Estudis Internacionals) managed very well to meet the expectations of researchers in the field of EU External Action.

New Marie Curie EXACT Fellow!

AnitaAnita Sęk joined the Marie Curie EXACT programme as EU External Action Early Stage Researcher on 1 December 2012, having terminated her stage at the European Commission, Cabinet of Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP Stefan Fule. Till the end of 2013 she will be based in TEPSA, in Brussels. Anita likes learning new languages, she is able to communicate in English, German, next to her mother tongue Polish, as well as – though less successfully – in French, Russian, Serbo-Croat and Greek. Recently, Anita joined the Brussels female mini-football team, she also practices capoeira. She loves Orkhan Pamuk literature, dancing, travelling and photography. Learn more about Anita.

Spring 2013 News from EXACT

EXACT Final Conference 10 – 12 July 2013, Brusselslogo EXACT

The Final Conference of the Marie Curie Training Network EXACT took place at the Fondation Universitaire in Brussels from 10 – 12 July 2013. The EXACT Fellows presented their research in form of a poster exhibition and feedback sessions together with their supervisors and the EXACT Visiting Scientist Prof. Brigid Laffan (University College Dublin). Furthermore, guest speakers and a roundtable with participants from the EXACT partner projects INCOOP and PEGASUS contributed to the three-day conference. All in all the draft programme foreseen three public events:

–       The opening of the poster exhibition in the framework of a public reception and an intervention by Prof. Jolyon Howorth (University of Bath) on July 10, 18h00;

–       The key note address of David O’Sullivan (Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service) and a reception on July 11, 17h00;

–       The public roundtable “The Future of EU PhD Studies” on July 12, 9h30.

For further information on the programme please visit www.exact-training.net.


EXACT Intervision Seminar at the University of Cagliari, Italy, 14-15 June 2013

On 14-15 June six EXACT fellows – Vanessa Boas, Andrew Byrne, Niklas Helwig, Nicole Koenig, Marco Siddi and Simon Stross – cagl2participated in the EXACT Intervision Seminar at the University of Cagliari, Sardinia. EXACT Visiting Scientist Dr. Geoffrey Edwards (Cambridge University) commented on the work presented by the Fellows. The event was hosted by Dr. Christian Rossi and Dr. Gianluca Borzoni of the University of Cagliari.

The seminar provided an excellent opportunity for the EXACT Fellows to discuss draft chapters of their PhD dissertation and analyse theoretical, methodological and empirical issues. The Faculty of Political Science at Cagliari University offered a stimulating and pleasant work environment. Other members of the academic staff and local PhD students also participated in the seminar proceedings.

News from the Fellows:

Leonhard den Hertog and Simon Stroß, Coherence in EU External Relations: Concepts and Legal Rooting of an Ambiguous Term, “European Foreign Affairs Review”, Volume 18, Issue 3 (forthcoming).

(69)Anita Sęk, participation in the International Summer School THESEUS “The Future of EU Economic Governance”, 17-21.06.2013, Brussels.

Anita Sęk, presentation “Azerbaijani perspective on the European Union as a regional and global actor”, at the “New Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientist’s 1st International Baku Forum“, organized by Azerbaijan Young Scientists, Postgraduate and Masters Union (AYSPMU), in cooperation with European Council on Doctoral Students and Young Researchers Eurodoc, 20-25.05.2013, Baku, Azerbaijan.

Anita Sęk“Workshop Report: The Development of a European Defence Technological and Investment Base”, European Parliament, May 2013, Brussels.

 Marco Siddi, Russia and the forging of memory and identity in Europe, in Studia Diplomatica 65(4), 2012, pp. 77-103

Abstract. This article analyses Russia’s role in collective memory and national identity construction in France, Germany and Poland. By comparing memory discourses across the case studies and Russia, it attempts to explain why profoundly different perceptions of Russia exist in European countries and how such discourses affect prospects for the emergence of a shared European memory of the twentieth century. This work argues that the different representations of Russia in national memory discourses are one of the main factors preventing the emergence of a harmonised European collective memory. Read full article here.

Marco Siddi, authoring, editing and coordination of special issue of Meridiani Relazioni Internazionali on Putin III, one year after re-election, May 2013, available here (in Italian).

Call for Application EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Skills – TEPSA Training 2012

The Call for application of the EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Skills -TEPSA Training 2012 is now open. The EXACT Network Seminar on Academic Skills is a special training programme for researchers moving towards the completion of their PhD research. Building on the EXACT network Seminar on Professional Skills 2011 and the TEPSA training programmes for young researchers since 2008, the training offers the opportunity to 12 Marie Curie early stage researchers and a selected number of others to participate in a 14 day intensive seminar. It will be held in Cologne from 15-29 September 2012 (start and end dates to be confirmed).The deadline for the submission of applications is 30 April 2012. Please click here to read the call and for more information.

Call for Application Early Stage Researcher

The Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) is recruiting a researcher under the Marie Curie Initial Training Network on EU External Action EXACT. The EXACT project originally started in October 2010 with 12 Early Stage Researchers who got the opportunity to combine PhD training at two European universities with two periods of gaining work experience at two leading European think tanks (for more information on the EXACT project: http://www.exact-training.net/). Now a new opportunity has been created to recruit a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher for the last 14 months of the project: from November 2012 till December 2013. The Early Stage Researcher will be hosted by TEPSA in Brussels (for more information about TEPSA: http://www.tepsa.eu/aboutus/).

The researcher will combine her/his individual research project with gaining professional experience by contributing to the diverse activities of TEPSA: policy research; organising conferences; project management; tender writing; editing the bi-monthly TEPSA Newsletter; maintaining contact with the European institutions, TEPSA member institutes and other relevant actors.


-one Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher of any age and nationality other than Belgium;

-with a Master’s Degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline dealing with EU foreign policy such as political science, law, or economics;

-in the early stages of her/his career (‘early stage’ is defined as no more than four years of research experience by October 2012, counting from the date a (first) Master‘s Degree or equivalent is obtained in a relevant discipline);

-preferably enrolled in a Ph.D. programme;

-for a period of 14 months from 1 November 2012 onwards;

-to be hosted at the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), in Brussels.

EXACT-TEPSA OFFER a unique synergy between:

-working on your PhD project or other type of individual research project on EU External Action; and

-gaining work experience at think tank and research network TEPSA.

Additionally, the researcher will benefit from broad EXACT network of contacts across academia and the private sector, thus, improving and increasing career prospects in growing and highly competitive European and national job markets.

We offer 14-months full-employment contract with full social security. The salary will be commensurate with a Marie-Curie Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) position in accordance with the regulations of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network, 2008 Work Programme, within the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme and Belgian labour laws. This grants a competitive gross monthly allowance, depending on host country and family status.

EXACT-TEPSA INFORM all interested candidates that

-particularly applications from women are welcomed,

-the deadline for the submission of application material is October 1, 2012,

-detailed information on the application requirements, and further information on the programme can be found on the TEPSA and EXACT webpages: www.tepsa.eu/category/job-opportunities/ and www.exact-training.net

Please read carefully the conditions and requirements on how to apply to the call in the EXACT Call for Application and EXACT Information on Application documents. In order to apply we would also kindly ask you to fill in the EXACT Application Form. Applications are to be written in English and submitted to TEPSA electronically  (recruitment©tepsa•eu)   at and in hard copy to TEPSA, rue d’Egmont 11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

The deadline for application is now closed. The selected applicants will be contacted within two weeks.