The role of differentiation in EU foreign, security and defence policy co-operation with neighbouring countries

Opinion piece (EUIDEA)
Ian Bond , Luigi Scazzieri , Senem Aydın-Düzgit
25 March 2021

The EU extensively practices differentiation in its foreign, security and defence policy, both internally and externally towards its neighbours. Neighbouring countries are plugged into the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and its Common Security and Defence Policy to different degrees, and also co-operate with groups of member states informally outside of the EU framework. The paper focuses on external differentiation in foreign and security policy, undertaking an in-depth assessment of the ways in which Albania, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK cooperate with the EU in foreign and security policy. The paper focuses on the effectiveness, sustainability and legitimacy of the EU’s external differentiation with its partners. Finally, it makes recommendations for how the EU and its partners might deepen foreign and security policy co-operation.