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Workshop: Strategic Partnership as an instrument of EU foreign policy

April 13, 2015 at 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Location:2nd floor Conference Rooms Richcraft Hall
Contact Phone:613-520-2600, ext. 1087

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 such a 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 that with Russia, seem under threat. At the same time, the EU shows increasing interest in developing partnerships with rising world powers, such as the other 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 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.

Registration required: click here to register for the event.

For directions to River Building, see the Carleton Campus Map.

Agenda (Draft as of February 2, 2015)

8:45 – Opening remarks:

  • Joan DeBardeleben, Director, Carleton EUCE
  • Manfred Auster, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the EU to Canada

9:00 – Topic 1: Europe’s Asian strategy: More than just trade? Importance and nature of the EU’s Asian strategy from a geopolitical viewpoint. The balance of normative, economic, and political goals.

  • Nicola Casarini, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, EU-China relations
  • Michito Tsuruoka, National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Japan Ministry of Defense, EU-Japan relations
  • Discussant: Jacob Kovalio, Carleton University

10:45 – Topic 2: The potential of the EU’s transatlantic partnerships: Canada and the US as strategic partners. The US as the ‘essential’ partner? Canada-EU relations as a pathbreaker partnership? Trade as a central element of the partnerships. Reciprocal influences and spillover effects of the EU-Canada and EU-US partnerships Importance of the relationship for Canada and of the Canadian partnership for the EU. Areas of common interest or potentially divergent interests in the EU/US EU/Canada relationships

  • David Long, Carleton University, The EU-Canada Relationship
  • Daniel Hamilton, Director, Centre for Transatlantic Relations, Washington DC, The EU-US Relationship
  • Discussant: Frédéric Mérand, EUCE Montreal/McGill

12:15 – Lunch

1:15 – Keynote: Strategic Partnerships in the EU’s Foreign Policy Approach: Challenges and Opportunities

Opening remarks: Matthew Levin, Director General, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Government of Canada

Urszula Pallasz, Senior Advisor, Strategic Planning Division, European External Action Service (Brussels)

2:00 – Topic 3: The Troubled Partnership: The EU and Russia. Still a strategic partnership? The wrong instrument for an important relationship? Reasons for partnership breakdown. What does it tell us about the instrument?

  • Arkady Moshes, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Vadim Voynikov, Immanuel Kant Federal University, Russian Federation
  • Discussants: Joan DeBardeleben, Carleton University and Merje Kuus, University of British Columbia

3:45 – Topic 4 : SPs and emerging actorsThe EU’s tools in dealing with developing powers and changing geopolitical realities. Strategic partnerships and multilateral instruments. SPs and development strategy /aid.

  • Stephan Sberro, ITAM, EU-Mexico
  • Thomas Renard, Egmont and Co-head, Strategic Partnerships Laboratory
  • Discussant: Urszula Pallasz

5:15 – End of workshop


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