“Insights for Foreign Policy Analysis from European Union External Action Studies”, Sieglinde Gstöhl and Simon Schunz (College of Europe, Bruges)

The European Union (EU) has increasingly become a foreign policy actor in its own right, sparking the emergence of EU External Action Studies (EU EAS). Although this thriving field at the intersection of EU Studies and International Relations has gradually matured, the interaction of EU EAS with Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA) has so far remained limited. This contribution discusses whether concepts and approaches from EU External Action Studies hold valuable theoretical insights for FPA, and how these could be exploited. It argues that there is a largely untapped potential for cross-fertilization between the two fields. This claim is illustrated with several examples as well as two short instructive cases that show how the approach to studying the EU’s ‘external effectiveness’ helps addressing FPA’s blind spot regarding foreign policy impacts, and how the critical agenda on ‘decentring’ EU external action directs much-needed attention to the ‘foreign’ in FPA. 

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