An agency of the EU
Interactive map of the worldMENAThe AmericasAsiaRussia and eastern neighboursWestern BalkansAfrica


The EUISS conducts its research both topically and regionally, focusing on key issues of strategic importance to EU foreign policy. Alongside the immediate priorities in the EU's neighbourhood, the EU also focuses on emerging regions such as the Far East, as well as on traditional allies such as the United States.


The EU’s relations with the ‘Middle East Region’ actually cover three different but overlapping areas, each of which has its own peculiarities and distinctive relationship with Europe. They are the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Gulf Region. 

Russia and eastern neighbours

Russia is the biggest neighbour of the European Union – and one of its most difficult partners. The EU’s Eastern neighbourhood is a region in transition. Diverging foreign policy orientations, frozen conflicts, and low levels of inter-state cooperation further fragment and polarise the region.


The diversity of the African continent and its states, the distinct privileged historical links that exist between some Member States and their former colonies, and the corresponding cultural and linguistic affinities, all represent an extraordinary potential for cooperation, and this extends to the as yet barely developed area of peace and security.


Reflecting the evolving priorities of EU foreign policy, the EUISS has begun developing research on Asia. The aspects the Institute focuses on are: the global implications of the rise of China and India, China’s role in Africa and the Middle East, security and international relations in East Asia, and non-proliferation.

Western Balkans

EU policy in the Western Balkans is based on stabilisation through integration. Following the 1999 crisis in Kosovo and NATO intervention, the EU member states recognised that a comprehensive policy for the whole region was needed, and in 2000 the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) was launched.

The Americas

The strength of EU-US relations rests on historical bonds, converging interests and commonality of values. Cooperating with the US represents an important aspect of almost all areas of EU foreign policy. Elsewhere across the Atlantic, rising powers such as Brazil and Mexico are also of increasing importance.

Alerts and Briefs

  • Russian foreign policy: domestic constraints

    Although President Putin enjoys a remarkably free hand abroad, he still operates within constraints. Over the last nine months, Russians have become increasingly hostile to ‘foreign adventures’ as economic problems have mounted. What effect, if any, will this have on Russian foreign policy?

  • BRICS bloc(k) rising?

    With the five BRICS countries continuing to expand and institutionalise their cooperation on key international issues in an attempt to further increase their global clout, this Brief takes a look at the EU’s response to their rise. Should the BRICS be treated individually or as a group by the Union?

  • Recalibrating EU-Central Asia relations

    This Brief explains how the shifting geo-strategic environment in Central Asia – marked by growing Chinese and Russian engagement, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and concerns over the rise of Islamic extremism – is also causing the EU and its member states to (re)assess both bilateral and regional relationships.


  • The EU-India partnership: time to go strategic?

    In collaboration with the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), the EUISS has produced a paper which features detailed proposals for advancing India-EU relations within the bilateral and multilateral dimensions of the Strategic Partnership.

  • Front cover: occasional paper 98

    Engaging African diasporas for peace: cornerstones for an emerging EU agenda

    Over the last decade, researchers and policy-makers have paid increasing attention to diasporas. This Occasional Paper explores the untapped potential of African diaspora communities in promoting peace in their homelands and assesses how the European Union can engage with these non-state actors in the field of peace and security.

  • Front cover: occasional paper 97

    The EU and Mindanao: innovative avenues for seeking peace

    This Occasional Paper examines one of the ‘forgotten conflicts’, between the ‘Moros’ and the Philippine State, highlighting the EU's gradual move from the humanitarian and development arena towards a more explicitly political role in the peace process, in close cooperation with its Member States and with European NGOs.