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EUSKOR Description


Europe, the United States and the Crisis on the KORean Peninsula:
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The "EUSKOR" is a two-year (2018-2020) Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 797977). The EUSKOR project is led by Dr Tereza Novotna and examines the EU’s foreign policy towards North Korea and the EU’s role in North East (NE) Asia. The EUSKOR is based at the Center for European Integration at Free University Berlin which is chaired by Prof. Tanja Börzel.

EUSKOR Project Abstract

Firstly, the “EUSKOR” project explores whether and how the EU could play a more significant role in the DPRK through its increased strategic engagement, particularly by using diplomacy, mediation and verification expertise. The “EUSKOR” project analyzes whether there are any “out-of-the-box” approaches, both at high and lower levels, that have not been employed yet and whether there are any policy options that the EU can bring to the negotiating table in order to help reach denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and peace settlement between the US and DPRK.

Secondly, the EUSKOR project explores why the EU has so far been incapable of becoming a credible political and security actor in North East (NE) Asia despite its declared intentions, trade power and experiences applicable to the region. The second part of the EUSKOR project examines new ways in which the EU (with its Member States) could “upload” its strategic priorities to NE Asia by “downloading” the EU’s policy preferences to the North Korean issue, using the Korean peninsula as the geopolitical gateway for “upgrading” its standing in NE Asia.

Thirdly, given the EU’s push for free trade, particularly at the time of a growing American protectionism, the EUSKOR project also investigates whether and how the EU could better link its political and security interests with its trade leverage.

Theory-building and Methodology

The EUSKOR project’s highly topical empirical findings, particularly with the view of an upcoming new leadership in Brussels, are complemented by theory-building through looking at who/what drives EU foreign policy and why and whether diffusion of European ideas and policies could ‘travel’ beyond Europe, hence making the link between EU internal governance and EU foreign policy.

Drawing on extensive series of semi-structured interviews conducted in Berlin, Brussels and during short visits to NE Asian capitals, including several trips to the DPRK, the EUSKOR project is cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary, informing at least three fields of social sciences (international relations, comparative politics and political economy).