About the project

H2020 research project EU-STRAT on the EU and its Eastern neighbourhood. Centre of Governance and Culture (GCE-HSG) is part of a consortium of 10 research institutes. EU-STRAT is led by Freie Universität Berlin and Leiden University.

Two questions drive research in EU-STRAT:

  • Why has the EU fallen short of creating peace, prosperity and stability in its Eastern neighbourhood?
  • How can the EU strengthen its transformative power to support political and economic change in the Eastern neighbourhood?

EU-STRAT addresses these two questions with in-depth research on:

  • the propensity of domestic actors in the varying social orders in the Eastern neighbourhood to engage in political and economic change
  • the effectiveness of the Association Agreements as an instrument of change
  • the impact of bilateral, regional and global interdependencies to shape the preferences of stability or change of domestic actors
  • other external actors’ strategies of promoting political and economic stability or change in the region

GCE-HSG contributes with:

  • research on how interdependencies (to Russia, EU and Turkey) affect regime stability
  • a database that pools data on linkages in trade, migration, energy and security among Eastern neighbours and to key regional players
  • conceptualisation of Turkey as an actor in the Eastern neighbourhood
  • study on Turkey’s influence on the social orders in the Eastern neighbourhood through state, business and cultural actors
  • the creation and fostering of regional academic networks

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 693382 for the period April 2016-April 2019.

Research Team

Dirk Lehmkuhl


Prof. Dr. Dirk Lehmkuhl

Reflections on Foreign Policy Populism, Interdependencies in the EAP Region

Katharina Hoffmann


Dr. Katharina Hoffmann

Turkey in the Eastern Partnership Region, Interdependencies and Regime Stability in the EAP Region

Ole Frahm


Dr. Ole Frahm

Turkey in the Eastern Partnership Region, Reflections on Foreign Policy Populism


Workshop "The Present and Future of Secessionists Conflicts" in Bucharest, 7 July 2018

On 7 July, the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe at the University of St Gallen together with the Leibniz Institute for East and South East European Studies Regensburg organized a one-day workshop on the future of secessionist conflicts in the wider Black Sea region. The event was held in Bucharest at the New Europe College and brought together mostly young researchers from Germany, Switzerland, Georgia, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czechia, Russia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. In three sessions, participants sought to establish the state of the art in the field of research on secessionist conflicts and – inspired by the University of St Gallen’s research as part of EU-STRAT’s work package 3 – to deliberate on the interdependencies of different secessionist conflicts.

Workshop “Diverging Lines: Dialogue and Cooperation in Research on the Eastern Black Sea region” in Istambul, 8 June 2018

On 8 June 2018, a EU-STRAT workshop organised by the University of St. Gallen and a Turkish partner, the Bogazici University, took place in Istanbul. About 15 participants from Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey as well as Norway and Switzerland came together to share their view on diverging lines in research on the Eastern part of the Black Sea region, which includes Turkey alongside the above mentioned post-Soviet states. The endeavour was part of EU-STRAT´s engagement with the question of how scientific cooperation may bring European and local actors closer. This EU-STRAT workshop reflected on persisting diverging lines in research approaches, concepts and in the assessment of results. The workshop participants discussed critically how international funding schemes influence the research topics, privilege experienced partners, are sometimes vulnerable to political tensions between partners, but are nevertheless important resources to increase knowledge and mutual understanding of developments in the countries of interest.

Workshop in Tbilisi, 20-21 November 2017

As part of the Horizon2020 project EU-STRAT –The EU and Eastern Partnership Countries: An Inside Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment – Katharina Hoffmann and Ole Frahm from the University of St Gallen conducted a workshop in Tbilisi on 20-21 November 2017 with mostly young researchers and practitioners from five Eastern Partnership region countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). In addition to the main objective of jointly developing a common framework for event data collection on Eastern Partnership countries’ bilateral relations with Turkey, another key aim was to transfer knowledge on best practices of social science methods. In organizing and running the workshop which took place at Fabrika, a converted former sewing factory, the team from St Gallen cooperated closely with the Caucasus Research Resource Center in Tbilisi with whom the university had already collaborated as part of the FP7 project ISSICEU. The meeting in Georgia therefore also served to strengthen and enlarge an existing network of researchers from the region. Befitting the occasion, the conversation at the closing dinner was held in a mixture of German, English, Russian and Turkish. A follow-up event is planned for 2018 to ensure that all participants can make ample use of the data both during the project and beyond.