Europe in the World

EUROPE'S TROUBLEMAKERS - The populist challenge to foreign policy

8 March 2016
Rosa Balfour (Senior Adviser to EPC on Europe in the World), Janis A. Emmanouilidis (Director of Studies), Catherine Fieschi (Director, Counterpoint), Heather Grabbe (Director, Open Society European Policy Institute), Christopher Hill (Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations, University of Cambridge), Timo Lochocki (Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States), Marie Mendras (Professor, Sciences Po, Paris), Cas Mudde (Associate Professor, University of Georgia), Mari K. Niemi (Senior Researcher, University of Turku), Juliane Schmidt (Former Junior Policy Analyst at the EPC) and Corina Stratulat (Head of European Politics and Institutions programme and Senior Policy Analyst)



The growing intertwining of domestic and international politics is changing our understanding of both foreign relations and democratically legitimate government. At the same time, populist parties are thriving, challenging the status quo and the ruling elite, becoming the new ‘troublemakers’. As the transformative impact of populism on foreign relations has been little explored, this Report explores whether and how the populists are shaping the debate, and what the consequences might be for foreign policy-making in the EU. One thing seems certain: populism is here to stay, even if it ebbs and flows. Both left and right-wing populists are exploiting a crisis of democracy and legitimacy. Traditional politics thus needs to address the more deep-rooted malaise which is fueling discontent, rather than to stigmatise, mock or ignore its symptoms, or worse still, join the chorus of complainers.

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Programme Team


Head of Europe in the World programme and Senior Fellow

Giovanni Grevi
g.grevi@epc.eu

Researcher in EU energy and climate policy, Institute of European Studies, Free University of Brussels

Marco Giuli
marco.giuli@vub.be

Senior Policy Analysts

Paul Ivan
p.ivan@epc.eu
Amanda Paul
a.paul@epc.eu

Junior Policy Analyst

Ivano di Carlo
i.dicarlo@epc.eu