Call for Applications — 7th European Neighbourhood Policy PhD Summer School

The European Neighbourhood Policy Chair at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe and the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) in collaboration with the Chair of Middle East Politics and Society at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), welcome applications for the 7th  ENP PhD Summer School:

The EU and its Southern and Eastern Neighbourhoods: Reconciling Liberty and Security

The Summer School will take place from 15 to 21 August 2019 in the mountainous Alpine village of Alpbach (Austria) and will be an integral part of the prestigious European Forum Alpbach (EFA) – an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture, connecting international decision-makers from all sectors of society with committed young people and an interested audience.

About the ENP PhD Summer School

The European Neighbourhood Policy PhD Summer School, organised annually by the ENP Chair of the College of Europe in Natolin, is a unique initiative aimed at supporting PhD candidates in developing their research on topics related to the European Union’s foreign policy with a specific focus on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and/or related to the EU’s eastern and southern neighbourhoods, i.e. North Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.

The 2019 PhD Summer School is directed by the ENP Chair of the College of Europe in Natolin, in collaboration with the European Forum Aplbach (EFA) and the Chair of Middle East Politics and Society at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), and with the support of the Standing Group on EU Politics of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR-SGEU), and the Trans-European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA).


The aim of the ENP PhD Summer School is to provide PhD students with a unique programme combining lectures by world-leading scholars, experts and practitioners, with the opportunity to present their PhD projects and benefit from expert advice and tailor-made feedback. It is destined to familiarize and deepen PhD students’ cross-disciplinary knowledge of European Foreign Policy analysis towards the EU’s southern and eastern neighbours, make them aware of specific regional and domestic dynamics in the EU’s neighbourhood, and equip them with relevant methodological and conceptual tools. In addition, the Summer School helps PhD students and young academics to expand their personal and professional networks and benefit from the many high-level events that take place during the EFA 2019. 


This year’s ENP PhD Summer School revolves around the theme "The EU and its Southern and Eastern Neighbourhood. Reconciling Liberty and Security". Touching upon the consolidation of authoritarian structures and democratic backsliding in many of the EU’s southern and eastern neighbours, the Summer School’s thematic focus is embedded in the EU’s quest for resilience abroad and its newly found foreign policy Leitmotif "principled pragmatism".

The 2019 edition of the ENP PhD Summer School will bring together both junior academics to present their on-going doctoral projects related to the ENP and/or EU neighbourhood dynamics and world leading senior scholars who will offer feedback and lectures. 

The ENP PhD Summer School will concentrate on analyzing conceptually and empirically the dynamics between the European Union and its eastern and southern neighbourhoods, with a special focus on the nexus between the EU Global Strategy and the 2015 ENP on one hand, and the EU’s quest for state and societal resilience beyond the EU’s borders on the other. While the promotion of liberty, democracy and security have been at the core of the EU’s transformative engagement in its neighbourhoods for many years, the adoption of the revised ENP in late 2015 added the promotion of state and societal resilience to the EU’s foreign policy objectives in its "near abroad". Understanding the interaction between the focus on resilience and "principled pragmatism" and the transposition of EU norms and values is central to the analysis of EU neighbourhood policies and their impact on social and political transformations.

Eligibility and Costs

We are looking for PhD students working on European Foreign Policy (with a particular focus on the European Neighbourhood Policy) and/or PhD students working on political, security and socio-economic issues in North Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe or the South Caucasus. We encourage in particular students with a background in International Relations, European Studies, Area Studies (i.e. Middle East Politics or East European Politics), Comparative Politics, and EU External Relations Law.

All students who complete the Summer School will receive an attendance certificate. Participants seeking credit at their home institution may request a "detailed certificate" including the detailed Summer School programme accomplished.

Successful applicants will benefit from a full participation scholarship for the entire period of the Forum (14-30 August 2019) and benefit from free accommodation (incl. breakfast) and a small daily allowance. Successful candidates may also apply for a limited number of travel grants.

Participation in the ENP PhD Summer School automatically allows successful candidates to participate in and benefit from all EFA 2019 events. Overall, successful candidates are expected to participate in all sessions of the ENP PhD Summer School (15-21 August 2019) and for at least six days in EFA events (22-30 August 2019). Summer School sessions will commence on 15 August and run until 21 August (incl.).

Potential insurance expenses or visa-related payments need to be covered by participants.

Speakers and themes

The Summer School brings together a faculty of renowned scholars. Further information on previous editions of the PhD Summer School and respective speakers can be found at

Topics to be addressed include, among others:

  • Research design in the study of European integration, EU foreign policy and the ENP;
  • The new ENP and the EU Global Strategy;
  • Democratisation and the Arab Spring;
  • The EU, the ENP and the limits of Normative Power Europe;
  • The politics of neighbourhood association: The case of Ukraine;
  • Migration and displacement in the EU neighbourhood;
  • The EU and the South Caucasus;
  • The ENP and the Eastern Partnership;
  • Perceptions of the ENP and of EU norms and values promotion, and many more. 

How to apply

A maximum of 14 PhD students may participate. It is preferred that participants are at least one year into their doctoral studies. To apply, please complete the online application form available on the website until 30 April 2019. The application file to be submitted should contain, in one PDF file:

  • A cover letter describing your motivation to participate in the 7th ENP PhD Summer School and the EFA 2019;
  • A clear and well-structured outline of your PhD project (3 pages maximum);
  • Your CV (3 pages maximum).

All applicants will be informed about the results of the selection shortly after the expiration of the deadline.

About the organizers

The ENP Chair at the College of Europe in Natolin – the oldest post-graduate university institute world-wide with a focus on the study of the process of European integration – was created on 1 July 2012 and focuses on the analysis of the EU’s ENP and the EU’s 16 neighbourhood partner countries. This is reflected in the many books, research articles, book chapters and policy papers that it has published in prominent outlets as well as in the numerous academic activities it organises. More information on the ENP Chair and the College of Europe Natolin can be found here. Also, information on past ENP PhD Summer Schools can be found here: 

The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) is an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture. Established in 1945, the annual European Forum Alpbach and its events throughout the year address the relevant socio-political questions of our time. EFA connects international decision-makers from all sectors of society with an interested audience and committed young people. Its goal is to create a dialogue across the generational, ideological and other lines that divide people and societies. More information on the European Forum Alpbach can be found here:

The Chair of Middle East Politics and Society at FAU was established in 1984 with a grant from the Volkswagen Stiftung. Since then, the Chair specializes in research and teaching on the Middle East region. The Chair is one of the main research units of the Department of Political Science as well as a member of the newly established Centre for Euro-Oriental Studies (CEOS). Research and teaching activities concentrate on the Middle East and North Africa with a special focus on state, power and politics from a comparative perspective including international actors such as the European Union. This is reflected in numerous publications with prominent publishing houses, as well as in academic activities such as international conferences or a wide spectrum of PhD projects. More information on the Chair and its research profile can be found here.

How to contact us

European Neighbourhood Policy Chair
College of Europe, Natolin campus
Nowoursynowska 84
02-797 Warsaw, Poland
T: +48 22 54 59 489