This article explores the formal importance of climate change action in EU foreign relations with two important partners and the expectable deliverables in that sphere. For this purpose, the EU-relations with Africa will be compared to those with the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Being aware of a likely implementation gap, that is the difference between declared actions and actual progress, this article has a two-way structure: By analysing current policy-documents, multilateral agreements, trade deals and development projects, the formal priority of climate change and its interlinkage with other policy-fields will be discovered. In the second part, past results in delivering the announced results with regard to these two regions will be assessed as well as the future prospects examined. The latter will be done by incorporating climate change actions into a comprehensive analytical framework comprising the interest structure of local actors, political economy preconditions for climate change actions, the respective other big foreign policy player in each region, as well as the potential leverage that the EU can exercise vis-a-vis the East and South. By doing so, this article provides a thorough assessment on the expected impact of the EU’s key policy priority in two crucial regions, making it therefore equally compelling for academia as well as policy makers.
Keywords: EU foreign relations, climate change action, Africa, EaP, development policy
Michael Richter | ITN (MSCA Grant) at University of Bremen, Germany
Michael Richter is a research fellow and PhD candidate within the Innovative Training Network (ITN) MARKETS programme (EU-MSCA grant) at the Research Centre for East European Studies in Bremen and the University of Bremen. His PhD focuses on informal adaptation mechanisms of comapanies in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia to asymmetric economic shocks. He holds master degrees from the College of Europe, the University College London (UCL) and the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow in international economics, politics, and international relations, as well as degrees in international management from the ESB Business School and the Jagiellonian University. In the past, he collected professional experience as an intern in the Moscow office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Polish embassy in Moscow, PwC in Germany, and Ecolab in Poland.
Niklas Mayer | University of Maastricht, Germany
Niklas Mayer is a PhD researcher and research assistant to Dr. Giselle Bosse’s Jean Monnet Chair ‘Chance’ at the University of Maastricht. Niklas’ PhD research revolves around the impact of resilience-building projects on migration decisions in drought-affected areas. Prior to that, he obtained a Master’s degree in European Studies from the College of Europe and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Autonomous University of Madrid. He gained working experience in internships at the European Commission, the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the German Chamber of Commerce in Brazil, and the European Parliament.