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The resurgence of bilateral diplomacy in Europe. Egmont Paper 104, January 2019

Mattelaer , Alexander (2019) The resurgence of bilateral diplomacy in Europe. Egmont Paper 104, January 2019. [Policy Paper]

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    As the conduct of international relations is changing in tone, bilateral diplomacy is back in vogue. This trend does not leave the European continent unaffected: intergovernmental bargaining is on the rise. Many EU member state capitals make good use of their diplomatic network across the continent to better understand what other member states aspire to achieve, and to promote their own voice within the European system. This Egmont Paper seeks to shed conceptual clarity on the resurgence of bilateral diplomacy in Europe. Firstly, it argues that in the absence of multilateral successes, bilateral approaches constitute the fall-back position for structuring the international system. Secondly, it explains in what ways bilateral networks add political depth to intra-European relationships. Thirdly, it addresses the question whether the revival of bilateralism in Europe inevitably undermines supranational institutions. It concludes one must appreciates the conspicuous complementarity between the two approaches: bilateralism and multilateralism may well alternate in prominence, but can also reinforce one another. By way of postscript, it considers the implications this analysis entails for Belgium’s diplomatic posture.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Belgian diplomacy, EU strategy and foreign policy
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Egmont : Royal Institute for International Affairs > Egmont Papers
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 18:57
    Number of Pages: 20
    Last Modified: 17 May 2019 18:57

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