Simon Schunz (DE) is Professor in the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies (IRD) Department of the College of Europe.

Prior to joining the College in 2015, he was a Scientific Officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (2011-2015), and a senior and junior researcher at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies and the Leuven Institute for International and European Studies, University of Leuven (KU Leuven) (2006-2011). He was also a Visiting Scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs (The George Washington University, 2009) and at the Brussels Office of the German Institute for International and Security Studies (SWP, 2010), as well as a Carlo Schmid Fellow in the European Parliament (2005).

From 2016 to 2021, he was the Academic Coordinator of the joint College of Europe-The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 'Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs' (MATA) programme.

Since 2011, he has been a Visiting Professor at KU Leuven. Since 2016, he has also been an Associate Research Fellow at the United Nations University – Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Bruges. 

Simon Schunz holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from KU Leuven as well as an M.A. in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe. Before completing his degree at the College, he studied Political Science, American Studies and Public Law at Philipps University Marburg, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) de Rennes and the Free University (FU) Berlin, of which he is also a graduate. He also holds a university certificate in environmental sciences from the University of Hagen (Germany).

His research interests focus on the European Union's external action and environmental sustainability.  Among his special interests feature: EU internal and external climate and environmental policies; the European Union's relations with major powers (esp. the United States); the EU and multilateral governance; global (environmental) governance; foreign policy analysis: implementation and impact; external dimensions of EU internal policies, notably in the areas of culture, energy and science.

His research has been published in the following peer-reviewed journals: Carbon and Climate Law Review, CFSP Forum, Confluences Méditerranée (in French)Contemporary Politics, Environmental Politics, Environmental Practice, European Foreign Affairs Review, European Integration Online Papers, Foreign Policy Analysis, GRASPE, Integration (in German), Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Contemporary European Research, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Journal of European Integration, Journal of European Public Policy, Internationale Spectator (in Dutch), International Politics, Political Research Exchange, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy and WeltTrends (in German). He is the co-guest editor of three special issues and the author, (co-)editor of, or contributor to, books published with Bloomsbury/Red Globe Press, Edward Elgar, Palgrave, Peter Lang, Nomos, Routledge and Springer.

Selected publications:

  • “The European Union’s Roles in Global Atmospheric Governance: Evolving towards a ‘Spacifier’?”, Journal of European Integration, vol. 45, no. 8, 2023, 1161-1180. DOI:
  • “Governing Global Spaces: the Roles of the European Union and Other Major Powers”, Journal of European Integration, vol. 45, no. 8, 2023, 1235-1254 (with Sieglinde Gstöhl). DOI: 
  • “A European Union ‘Water Diplomacy’? Frames of Water in EU External Action”, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, vol. 19, no. 3, 2023, 1-36 (online first). DOI:  (with Ediz Topcuoglu).

  • “Insights for Foreign Policy Analysis from European Union External Action Studies”, Foreign Policy Analysis, vol. 19, no. 1, 2023, orac033, DOI: (with Sieglinde Gstöhl).

  • "The ‘European Green Deal’ – a Paradigm Shift? Transformations in the European Union’s Sustainability Meta-Discourse”, Political Research Exchange, vol. 4, no. 1, 2022, 2085121, DOI: 10.1080/2474736X.2022.2085121.

  • "Transatlantic Relations and the Challenges of Climate Change and the Environment", in Abelson, Donald E. and Stephen Brooks (eds) Transatlantic Relations - Challenge and Resilience, Abingdon: Routledge, 2022, 79-100.

  • “Opportunity, Presence and Entrepreneurship: Why the EU Acts Externally on Higher Education”, Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 60, no. 5, 2022, 1237-1254 (with Carsten Gerards and Chad Damro).

  • The External Action of the European Union: Concepts, Approaches, Theories, London, Red Globe Press, 2021 (with Sieglinde Gstöhl).

  • "The European Union’s Arctic Policy Discourse: Green by Omission”, Environmental Politics, vol. 30, no. 4, 2021, 579-599 (with Bram De Botselier and Sofía López Piqueres).

  • “The European Union’s Diplomacy: Protecting Non-Human Nature?”, in Castro Pereira, Joana and André Saramago (eds) Non-Human Nature in World Politics. Theory and Practice, Cham: Springer, 2020, 235-259 (with Bram De Botselier and Sofía López Piqueres).The Evolving Relationship between China, the EU and the USA: A New Global Order?, Abingdon, Routledge, 2020 (with Jing Men and Duncan Freeman).

  • “The European Union’s Evolving Role in Response to US Waning Hegemony”, in Massie, Justin and Jonathan Paquin (eds), America’s Allies and the Decline of US Hegemony, Abingdon: Routledge, 2020, 176-193 (with Brice Didier).

  • “Diversity without Unity: The European Union’s Cultural Diplomacy vis-à-vis the United States”, European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 24, no. 2/1, 2019, 43-62 (with Riccardo Trobbiani).

  • “Broadening Soft Power in EU-US Relations”, European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 24, no. 2/1, 2019, 3-19 (with Giles Scott-Smith and Luk Van Langenhove) (framing article of special issue, guest-edited with Giles Scott-Smith and Luk Van Langenhove).

  • "Expanding actorness to explain EU external engagement in originally internal policy areas", Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 27, no. 1, 2020, 122-140 (online first in 2019), DOI: (with Chad Damro).

  • “Climate Diplomacy and the Rise of ‘Multiple Bilateralism’ between China, India and the EU”, Carbon & Climate Law Review, vol. 12, no. 2, 2018, 85-97 (with David Belis, Tao Wang and Dhanasree Jayaram).

  • “Between cooperation and competition: major powers in shared neighbourhoods”, Contemporary Politics, vol. 24, no. 1, 2018, 1-13 (with Sieglinde Gstöhl and Luk Van Langenhove) (framing article of special issue “Major powers in shared neighbourhoods”, guest-edited with Sieglinde Gstöhl and Luk Van Langenhove).
  • The European Union's Evolving External Engagement - Towards New Sectoral Diplomacies?, Abingdon, Routledge, 2018 (with Chad Damro and Sieglinde Gstöhl).
  • "Understanding European Union Science Diplomacy", Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 56, no. 2, 2018, 247-266 (with Alea López de San Román).
  • "The European Union’s environmental foreign policy: from planning to a strategy?", International Politics, vol. 56, no. 3, 2019, 339–358 (online first in 2017), DOI:
  • Theorizing the European Neighbourhood Policy, Abingdon, Routledge, 2017 (with Sieglinde Gstöhl).
  • "The Prospects for Transatlantic Leadership in an Evolving Multipolar World", European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 21, no. 3, 2016, 431-448.
  • "The 2015 Paris Agreement: What It Means for the European Union’s Climate Policies", College of Europe Policy Brief, no. 2, 2016.
  • “Analysing foreign policy in a context of global governance”, in Hellmann, Günther & Knud Erik Jørgensen (eds), Theorizing Foreign Policy in a Globalized World, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2015 (with Stephan Keukeleire).
  • European Union Foreign Policy and the Global Climate Regime. College of Europe Studies series, vol. 18, Brussels, P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2014.
  • “The European Union’s Climate Change Diplomacy”, in Koops, Joachim & Gjovalin Macaj (eds), The European Union as a Diplomatic Actor: Policies, Processes and Performance, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2014, 178-201.
  • “China and the European Union: Emerging Partners in Global Climate Governance?”, Environmental Practice, vol. 15, no. 3, 2013, 190-200 (with David Belis).
  • “Coherence in European Union external policy before and after the Lisbon Treaty: the cases of energy security and climate change”, European Foreign Affairs Review, vol. 17, no. 2, 2012, 169-186 (with Sijbren de Jong).
  • “Explaining the evolution of European Union foreign climate policy: A case of bounded adaptiveness”, European Integration Online Papers (EIoP), vol. 16, article 6 2012.
  • “Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations: The Multi-Level Politics of Climate Change Policy in Belgium”, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, vol. 20, no. 3, 2012, 441-458 (with Sander Happaerts & Hans Bruyninckx).
  • “Explaining EU activism and impact in global climate politics: Is the Union a norm- or interest-driven actor?”, Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 50, no. 1, 2012, 1-18 (with Louise van Schaik).
  • The European Union and Multilateral Governance: Assessing EU Participation in United Nations Human Rights and Environmental Fora, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2012 (co-edited with Jan Wouters, Hans Bruyninckx & Sudeshna Basu).
  • “How to assess the European Union’s influence in international affairs: addressing a major conceptual challenge for EU foreign policy analysis”, Journal of Contemporary European Research, vol. 6, no. 1, 2010, 22-42.

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