Recent Publications

Begoña Sánchez

Europe and the world face a moment of transformation. The global financial crisis wiped out years of economic and social progress, exposed structural weaknesses in world economies and emphasised the importance of the real economies and strong industries. Modernisation and digitalisation of the industrial base together with the promotion of a competitive framework for industry through research, technology and innovation are drivers for recovery. Innovation, and particularly open innovation, is a key factor of global competitiveness. 

The European Commission (EC) addresses international cooperation policy in a wider framework and adapts to the evolving needs of partner countries at different stages of development (EC, 2018a). Latin America and the Caribbean countries’ (LAC) and the European Union’s (EU) cooperation on science, technology and innovation has a long history based on cultural roots and common concerns.They share a strategic bi-regional partnership, which was launched in 1999 and stepped up significantly in recent years. The two regions co-operate closely at international level across a broad range of issues and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels. EU-LAC relationships are moving from a traditional cooperation model towards a learning model, where sharing experiences and learning from innovations appear to be decisive (OECD, 2014). 

This paper focuses on the challenges that innovation nowadays poses to international relations and diplomacy. It is based on the evidence gained by the research team from participation in several EU-LAC projects, especially the ELAN Network project coordinated by TECNALIA, the INNOVACT project as well as other projects and activities.

Laura Westerveen
Ilke Adam

‘Mainstreaming’ has recently been considered as a possible new strategy for advancing immigrant integration in Europe. However, policy documents and current academic literature have hardly conceptualized what we label as ‘ethnic equality mainstreaming’. In this article, we lean on the widely available research on gender mainstreaming, to provide such a conceptualization of ethnic equality mainstreaming. Once conceptualized, we verify whether there is indeed a trend towards mainstreaming in Western Europe's old immigration countries. Our results show that there is no straightforward trend towards ethnic equality mainstreaming in these countries. However, the indicators that served to detect the existence of ethnic equality mainstreaming allowed us to uncover a new double and paradoxical trend in immigrant integration policies. This ‘new style’ immigrant integration policy can be depicted as follows: increasing ‘colourblindization’, in combination with ‘ethnic monitoring’. In other words, states increasingly monitor the impact of ‘doing nothing’.

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Sebastian Oberthür
Gauri Khandekar
Tomas Wyns

Much mitigation-related governance activity is evident in a range of sectoral systems, and regarding particular governance functions. However, there is a tendency for this activity to relate to the easiest functions to address, such as ‘learning and knowledge building’, or to take place in somewhat limited ‘niches’. Across all sectoral systems examined, the gap between identified governance needs and what is currently supplied is most serious in terms of the critical function of setting rules to facilitate collective action. A lack of ‘guidance and signal’ is also evident, particularly in the finance, extractive industries, energy-intensive industries, and buildings sectoral systems.

Of the sectoral systems examined, the power sector appears the most advanced in covering the main international governance functions required of it. Nevertheless, it still falls short in achieving critical governance functions necessary for sufficient decarbonisation. Significantly, while the signal is strong and clear for the phase-in of renewable energy, it is either vague or absent when it comes to the phase-out of fossil fuel-generated electricity. The same lack of signal that certain high-carbon activities need actively to be phased out is also evident in financial, fossil-fuel extractive industry and transport-related sectors.

More effective mitigation action will need greater co-ordination or orchestration effort, sometimes led by the UNFCCC, but also from the bodies such as the G20, as well as existing (or potentially new) sector-level institutions. The EU needs to re-consider what it means to provide climate leadership in an increasingly ‘polycentric’ governance landscape.

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Leo Van Hove

Using primary, individual-level survey data for Ghana, Apiors and Suzuki find, among other things, that mobile money use is not dependent on financial status and that mobile money users save more. This note argues that both conclusions have validity issues.

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Zane Šime

More than 25 years of multilateral dialogue and cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region has been supported and overseen by the Council of the Baltic Sea States. These developments offer a multitude of insights in the implicit science diplomacy activities, which are presented in greater detail in order to offer new ideas in the on-going work of honing the overall science diplomacy understanding in the EU setting. Likewise, various EU facilitated science, research and innovation cooperation strands are highlighted as potential avenues for exploring implicit science diplomacy practices adopted by EU or its funded authorities. Examples captured in this concise mapping exercise are presented to support comprehensive reflections on the existing set of practices characterising EU science diplomacy. Last but not least, some of the earlier lessons learnt, assessments and recommendations are brought into the spotlight in view of further reflections on the EU Science Diplomacy Strategy.

Matilda Axelson (Lead Author)
Isobel Robson
Gauri Khandekar
Tomas Wyns (Project Coordinator)

The ‘Breaking Through’ report assesses the latest state of play of 70 low-CO2 process technologies currently under development in Europe for the Iron and Steel, Chemicals, Cement and Concrete, Pulp and Paper, and Ceramics industries. The report provides snapshot of the current situation by assessing current industrial process innovations based on their CO2-emission reduction potential, energy demand, costs and technological readiness. It also sheds light on the magnitude of the decarbonisation challenge ahead for these industrial sectors. The analysis demonstrates that there is not a lack of solutions or technologies available to enable decarbonisation of the EU industrial sectors, but stronger efforts are needed to drive further development of these technologies from ideas to commercialisation.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is in the middle of a trip to India and Singapore. This visits fits within Seoul’s ‘New Southern Policy’, an effort by the Moon government to strengthen economic and diplomatic links with ASEAN and India. On the economic front, President Moon seeks to increase trade and investment between South Korea and its southern neighbours. Previous South Korean governments signed free trade agreements with both ASEAN and India, but increasing protectionism in the US and trade sanctions from China in 2017 convinced Seoul that it should further diversify its economic links. As for diplomacy, South Korea sees ASEAN, especially, and India as key partners to bring North Korea in from the cold. They can provide diplomatic support for President Moon’s engagement efforts, and Vietnam can serve as a model if and as North Korea continues to implement economic reform.

Ilke Adam

This article considers the features of intergovernmental relations (IGR) on immigrant integration in Belgium and critically examines the dynamics that shape them. The characteristics of IGR on immigrant integration in Belgium are shown to vary over time and differ across regions and sub-policy areas (immigrant reception policies and anti-discrimination). The comparative case study indicates that the primary traditional theses of the international comparative IGR literature, namely classical institutionalism and party politics, do not provide insights into the nature and mechanisms of IGR on immigrant integration in Belgium. Less established variables like European integration and sub-state claims for distinctiveness constitute key explanatory variables. While European integration explains the increase of IGR over time, notwithstanding the appearance of party incongruence, sub-state claims for distinctiveness enlighten the more conflictual nature of IGR with Flanders, even in cases of more party congruence than for Francophone authorities.

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Jung H. Pak

Last fall and winter, the world was tense with the real possibilities of a military conflict breaking out on the Korean Peninsula as a result of Kim Jong-un’s testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, the North’s sixth and largest nuclear test, and the rhetorical war with U.S. President Donald Trump. While the threat of another Korean war seems to be in the rear-view mirror, for now, we have to remember that Kim has been expanding, sharpening, and demonstrating other tools of coercive diplomacy, including selective engagement, cyberattacks, and chemical weapons. He has been deploying these tools to suppress criticism of the regime, sow division within South Korea and among U.S. allies and regional stakeholders, and shape an external environment favorable for reinforcing Kim’s legitimacy and North Korea’s claimed status as a nuclear weapons power.

Virginia Proud

In the last 10 years, efforts to understand and harness science diplomacy have gained momentum in both the academic and policy-making world. Much of the conversation around science diplomacy looks in the rear view mirror, where the positive impact of scientific collaboration is easier to see. But if there is an intention, or desire, as expressed in policy circles, that the Commission benefit from science as a forward directed tool of diplomacy, then engagement with the scientific community and understanding their perceptions and attitudes is key. This study, based on in-depth interviews with Horizon 2020 scientific and project coordinators, reveals common attitudes and themes that shed light on how, and how much, to engage scientists in the science diplomacy conversation, with specific recommendations for bridging the gap between the aspirations of policy and science.