Department of Political Science

EU Enlargement and Foreign Policy Coordination: More Powerful, but Less Cohesive?

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Eastern enlargement posed a challenge to the cohesiveness of EU foreign policy because new member states had a different regional focus and divergent policy interests. Yet Eastern enlargement also reinforced the EU’s potential influence at the world stage. Specifically, it implied higher strength in numbers within the decision bodies of international organizations, for example in the UN General Assembly (UNGA). To what extent has EU foreign policy coordination been able to handle the lower level of internal cohesion and to act cohesively in the UNGA?
To answer this question, the article presents the first large scale analysis of co-authorship activities in the UNGA in the period from 1993 to 2016. First we study the cohesiveness of co-authorship before we control for characteristics of member states and draft in a regression model. We find that the EU has been able to uphold a high level of cohesiveness despite the lower cohesion of foreign policy interests after Eastern enlargement. Today, the observed divergence in co-authorship does not follow an East-West divide but runs across all countries and issues. Overall, Eastern enlargement reduced the EU’s cohesiveness in the UNGA only temporarily and to a lower extent than expected.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of International Organizations
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

    Research areas

  • United Nations, European union, enlargement

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