Europe’s External Action and the Dual Challenges of Limited Statehood and Contested Orders (EU-Listco) project is being funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and will run from March 2018 through February 2021. It investigates the challenges posed to European foreign policy by identifying risks connected to areas of limited statehood and contested orders. Through the analysis of the EU Global Strategy and Europe’s foreign policy instruments, the project assesses how the preparedness of the EU and its member states can be strengthened to better anticipate, prevent and respond to threats of governance breakdown and to foster resilience in Europe’s neighborhoods.

Continuous knowledge between researchers and foreign policy practitioners is at the cornerstone of EU-LISTCO. It aims to develop policy recommendations for the EU’s external action toolbox, in close coordination with European decision-makers.

The project encompasses a consortium of 14 universities and think tanks located in the EU, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is being coordinated by Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel and Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse at the Freie Universität in Berlin.


EU-LISTCO’s Objectives

Research objectives

  • Assess and advance research in the field of limited statehood and contested orders by identifying under what conditions they deteriorate into governance breakdown and violent conflict, turning risks into security threats for Europe;
  • Examine the impact of global and diffuse threats on areas of limited statehood and contested orders, with a focus on their impact on the EU’s Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods;
  • Investigate how the preparedness of the EU and its member states can be strengthened to anticipate, prevent, and respond to security threats with a focus on the strategies, capacities, and policy instruments implemented by the EU institutions and the union’s member states;
  • Advance cooperation between scholars, think tankers, and experts from different countries working on EU foreign policy, European neighbourhood policy, and the challenges for the EU’s external action and the foreign policy of EU member states;

Policy objectives

  • Support the research-based implementation of the EU Global Strategy with a focus on specific policy instruments aimed at improving provision of public goods and services, conflict prevention and resolution, and post-conflict management;
  • Support the development of cutting-edge instruments for risk-scanning and policy design at the EU level and that of its member states;
  • Make policy-relevant recommendations and develop new concepts and instruments to strengthen foreign and security policy cooperation between the EU and its member states and between Brussels and its geostrategic partners.

Please visit the project’s website for more information and details: