In January 2021, top-level researchers and experts from ten different countries have launched the EU-funded project ENGAGE – ‘Envisioning a New Governance Architecture for a Global Europe’ (https://www.engage-eu.eu/) – under the umbrella of the European Commission’s prestigious Horizon 2020 research program.
ENGAGE brings together a consortium of nine universities and four think tanks, including Esade Business & Law School (Spain, coordinator), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (The Netherlands), Sabanci University (Turkey), The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Carnegie Europe Foundation (Belgium), International Institute for Strategic Studies (Germany and UK), Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (France), Hertie School (Germany), GLOBSEC (Slovakia), Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (Spain), Tampere University (Finland), and College of Europe in Natolin (Poland) through its European Neighbourhood Policy Chair.
ENGAGE, which will run over the course of three and a half years (2021-2024), will advance goals that are aligned with the European Commission’s push to have a stronger and more united European voice in the world. The project will focus on how the EU can effectively and sustainably harness all of its tools in a joined-up external action, with an eye to meeting key strategic challenges and becoming a stronger global actor.
The ENP Chair leads Work Package 8 (WP8) of the project: “Engaging with the EU’s Neighbourhoods”. WP8 scrutinises the notion of “neighbourhood” and its impact on EU policies through a critical and thorough investigation of the EU’s past engagement with its neighbouring regions. It then analyses existing EU objectives, strategies, capacities and capabilities in order to identify neighbourhood- and ENP-specific areas for improvement when it comes to addressing present and future crises in the EU’s “near abroad”.
From 2016 to 2019 the College of Europe Natolin through its European Neighbourhood Policy Chair was an integral part of the international research project MEDRESET, benefiting from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement no 693055. The Chair led project’s Work Package 1 on EU Construction of the Mediterranean and Work Package 8 on Synthesis and Policy.
MEDRESET was a consortium of research and academic institutions focusing on different disciplines from the Mediterranean region to develop alternative visions for a new Mediterranean partnership and corresponding EU policies. It aimed at designing an inclusive, flexible, and responsive future role for the EU in the region based on the multiple perspectives of local and bottom-up actors. MEDRESET was a project mainly funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation with a total budget of 2,497 million euros.
MEDRESET’s double objective was to:
reset the thinking, understanding, and definition of the Mediterranean: mapping a region which has changed substantially in terms of geopolitical dynamics and in key policy sectors (political ideas, agriculture and water, trade and energy, migration and mobility), identifying the old and new stakeholders, their interaction, and the major policy issues around which this interaction flows. This was based on an integrated research design and a multi-method approach that includes a substantive perception component of top-down and bottom-up actors through an elite survey, in-depth interviews, and focus groups with local stakeholders on both shores of the Mediterranean.
reset EU policies in the Mediterranean: developing new flexible policy instruments which include a variety of crucial actors and respond to the needs and expectations of people on both shores of the Mediterranean and to the changing geopolitical configuration of the area. Country-tailored policy commendations were given for four key countries for the EU in the region: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia.