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European Foreign Policy Unit

The European Foreign Policy Unit (EFPU) acts as a focus for research and teaching on issues relating to the attempts to create a collective European foreign policy. The International Relations Department is one of the world's leading centres for research into European foreign policy, and EFPU aims to build on and contribute to that reputation.


EFPU members are currently researching and writing on topics such as the European Union's policies towards the Mediterranean and Middle East region; the EU's relations with south-eastern Europe; EU-UN relations; European diplomacy; and EU trade policy. For more information on EFPU members, click on the links below:

Dr Federica Bicchi

Dr Alexandra-Maria Bocse

Dr Spyros Economides

Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi

Dr Ulrich Sedelmeier

Professor Karen E. Smith (Director of the European Foreign Policy Unit)

Dr Stephen Woolcock

EFPU and the BREXIT debate:

EFPU members have contributed to the debate on Brexit:

Karen E. Smith participated in the LSE IDEAS and Sarasin & Partners event, ‘The EU Referendum: What Now?‘, 27 June 2016.

Spyros Economides and Julia Himmrich, 'What price autonomy? Brexit's effect on Britain's soft power, trade deals and European security', BREXIT blog, 23 May 2016.

Summary of EFPU-sponsored workshop on views of BREXIT from other member states, 9 March 2016.

Karen E. Smith and Katie Verlin Laatikianen, 'Without EU clout, how would the UK fare at the United Nations?', BREXIT blog, 8 March 2016.

Karen E. Smith, 'Would Brexit spell the end of European defence?', BREXIT blog, 21 October 2015.

EFPU's contributions of evidence to parliamentary committees on Brexit are summarised in an International Relations Department blog posting, 7 October 2015.


EFPU news:

EFPU members' evidence is cited extensively in the House of Lords report on 'Europe in the world: towards a more effective EU foreign and security strategy', which was published on 16 February 2016.

EFPU members have contibuted evidence to two recent UK parliament enquiries: 1) the House of Lords Subcommittee on EU external affairs, inquiry on the review of the EU's security strategy; 2) the House of Commons  Foreign Affairs Committee, inquiry on the implications of Brexit for UK foreign policy. 

Dr Economides was Visiting Fellow at the EU Centre in Singapore  from mid-August to mid-September 2015. He completed a project on ‘EU Foreign Policy and the Rise of Revisionist Powers’, and gave a number of lectures and seminars on EU foreign policy, and on the implications of the current eurozone crisis for Europe’s external relations.

EFPU members contributed evidence to the UK Government's Review of the Balance of Competences between the UK and the EU: Enlargement. The evidence, submitted by Dr Economides, Dr Sedelmeier and Professor Smith, was cited extensively in the December 2014 report, which can be read here.

Professor Smith's Impact Case Study on influencing EU policies on human rights and mass atrocity prevention is available here.

Dr Bicchi presented research to SAIS Europe (Bologna, Italy) on 4 December 2014 on Europe's strategy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Watch the video here.

Ongoing and past research projects:

The European Foreign Policy Unit is and has been active in several European research programmes:

From October 2015 to September 2018, EFPU members Prof Smith and Dr Economides are participating in the Jean Monnet network on EU-UN relations (EUN-NET). There will be teaching and research activities, and public events. More information to follow shortly.

From October 2014 to September 2017, EFPU is participating in the ANTERO Jean Monnet Network, which addresses the needs of teaching, education and research on EU foreign policy. ANTERO is led by Professor Ben Tonra of University College Dublin, and involves institutions across the EU. More information on ANTERO is available on the ANTERO website.

Between 2002 and 2005, EFPU was the British member of FORNET - a European Foreign Policy Research Network - the first attempt to co-ordinate a network of researchers across Europe focusing on foreign policy governance.  Between 2005 and 2009, Karen E Smith led a team of researchers in the EU-funded research programme entitled Challenge (the Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security). In addition, some EFPU members were active in the EU-funded research network, EU-CONSENT , which linked researchers working on EU reform and enlargement.


The EFPU Working Paper series showcases research conducted by EFPU members as well as by other academics working in the field of European foreign policy. If you wish to submit a paper to be considered for publication in the series, please contact Professor Karen E. Smith ( k.e.smith@lse.ac.uk ).

EFPU Working Paper Series

The LSE team's principal contribution to the Challenge research programme was a series of research papers, available here: LSE-Challenge working papers

The first project undertaken by EFPU was the edited publication by Christopher Hill and Karen E. Smith, European Foreign Policy: Key Documents   (Routledge, 2000). It provides students and scholars with access to key documents relating to the practices of European foreign policy from 1948 to 2000, along with commentary and bibliographic guidance.


Roundtable on 'Brexit and EU Foreign Policy:  the view from other EU member states’ with Ben Tonra, Stephen Keukeleire, Annegret Bendiek, Christian Lequesne and Petr Kratochvil; 9 March 2016. A blog post on the roundtable is available here.

Workshop on European Diplomatic Practices: Contemporary Challenges and Innovative Approaches, 15 December 2015.

EFPU chaired a session during a workshop on Myanmar and the International Community, 27 November 2015. A report on the session and on the workshop are available.

Workshop on Are EU Sanctions Effective?, 14 May 2015.

Workshop on the EU as a Diplomatic Actor, 28 January 2015. A report on the workshop, including links to videos of some of the talks, can be found here.

During the 2011-12 academic year, EFPU has organised a series of 10 roundtables on 'EU Foreign Policy after Lisbon'.

On 4-5 November 2010, the LSE and IEMed (Barcelona) hosted a workshop entitled, 'The Lisbon Treaty one year on: what progress for European Union foreign policy? The implications for the EU and for the Mediterranean'  [PDF]

The LSE held a conference on 'Europe and the World: The Changing Landscape of Liberty and Security in the EU's External Relations', on 2-3 April 2009.
Challenge conference at LSE 2009 final programme [PDF]

Challenge and Consent 20-22 September 2007 [Word doc]

The EU and the UN: Strengthening Multilateralism 23 June 2006 [Word doc]

Research student conference on European foreign policy LSE 2-3 July 2004

EFPU workshop on 'Europeanisation of national foreign policies' - 5 June 2002 


EFPU members actively contribute to teaching on the subject at LSE. At the doctoral level, EFPU members run a research workshop on European International Politics..At the masters level, EFPU members teach several courses in the subject area: The EU in the World; European Security and Defence; The International Politics of EU Enlargement;,EU Policy-Making in a Global Context; and Europe, the US and the Middle East. These courses are available primarily to students on the MSc International Relations/Msc in International Relations (Research) and the MSc EU Politics


Information on European foreign policy can be found in our European Foreign Policy Information Centre.

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