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Workshop: Strategic Partnership as an instrument of EU foreign policy

April 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Location:Carleton University
Contact Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 1087

Registration required.  More information, the draft agenda, and registration can be found here.

The European Union has utilized the rubric of ‘strategic partnership’ to frame its relations with a variety of important countries. In applying the notion to a such wide range of international actors, the basis of selection as well as the nature of the relationship is not explicitly defined. As the EU continues to deepen relations with some strategic partners such as Canada, South Korea, and the US through negotiations about and the conclusion of deep and comprehensive trade agreements and associated political agreements, other strategic partnerships, such as the one with Russia, seem under threat. At the same time, the EU shows increasing interest in developing partnerships with rising world powers, such as the BRICS countries.

This workshop will analyze the EU’s strategic partnerships from a comparative perspective, and will evaluate the instrument’s future potential, taking note of differing challenges in using the tool as the basis of relationships with established democracies, emerging democracies, and semi-authoritarian systems. The concept of strategic partnership is only vaguely conceptualized in EU usage. However, implicit in the notion of ‘strategic partnership’ is an element of long-term mutuality of interest and of joint decision-making. Two criteria seem to be particularly important: normative congruence and the long-term importance of the relationship on a broader (economic, security) scale. This workshop will unpack the EU’s notion of strategic partnership and assess whether it seems a viable framework for the EU’s pursuit of a role as a global actor and assess the utility of the approach in terms of the EU’s underlying goals and objectives. The workshop will also seek to assess the state of Canada’s strategic partnership with the EU and place it in a comparative context.

This event is cosponsored by the Centre for European Studies and the SSHRC-funded Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue.