Alapiha Sonja, Tohtorikoulutettava/Doctoral student

Valtio-oppi/Political science
Opinkivi 217.4

Education: M.Soc.Sc. (Political science), University of Jyväskylä (2014)

Research interests: European Union, diplomacy, European External Action Service, EU institutions, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Current research:

My ongoing doctoral dissertation focuses on the European External Action Service (EEAS), which is a diplomatic body established by decision of the Council of Ministers in 2010. The establishment of the EEAS was an attempt to make the EU external action more coherent and integrated and to build a bridge between intergovernmental and supranational elements of EU foreign policy. It comprises officials from the General Secretariat of the Council and of the European Commission, as well as staff seconded from the diplomatic services of the Member States. The key function of the EEAS is to assist the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission. The central administration of the EEAS is divided into geographical and thematic directorates. It’s also responsible for the running of EU Delegations and Offices around the world. The EEAS is still a diplomatic system in the making. It has not yet established its own coherent institutional culture. In addition, the borderline between national and EU responsibilities has remained essentially contested, because of the absence of clear agreement on the competences of the EEAS and those of Member States. By focusing on the establishment process of the EEAS and the internal practices of the organization as well as on the relationship between the EEAS and national diplomacies, I attempt to shed light on the formation of a supranational diplomacy. The data consists of interviews with EEAS officials from both the Brussels headquarters and EU Delegations. By conducting in-depth interviews, I try to acquire deeper understanding of the meanings given to the EEAS by its officials.