People Political Sciences

Bocconi Wins Grant to Help Strengthen EU Global Role

, by Andrea Costa
Alexander Kentikelenis represents the university in the consortium tasked with developing a new tool

Bocconi University belongs to a group of 13 universities and think-tanks that has been granted €3m funding by the European Union through the Horizon program to develop a tool intended to help policymakers design the EU's future role. The project, called The EU Navigating Multilateral Cooperation or in short Navigator, will last 4 years and sees Alexander Kentikelenis of the Department of Social and Political Sciences as Bocconi's representative in the consortium.

A frequent criticism leveled at the EU is that it is politically weak, compared with its economic might. This is in part because its member states often pursue policies without coordination, thus undermining the role of the EU as a multilateral organization on the world political landscape. To develop its future strategy, the EU will need extensive knowledge about the longer trends in global governance, and the extent to which they are accelerated or hindered by current geopolitical developments, like the war in Ukraine.

Against this background, the Navigator project will create an analytical tool that will allow the European Commission and other key EU actors to compare strengths and weaknesses of existing multilateral organizations, determine which can be reformed and which are too costly to reform, identify and assess alternatives, and-on this basis-devise action strategies to strengthen multilateralism with specific reference to six areas: climate change, digitalization, finance and tax, health, migration and security. Bocconi's role in particular is to lead the study of the EU's potential in global economic and health governance.

The Navigator project will start from collecting a wealth of data on EU spending and policy initiatives, along with an assessment of best practices and missed opportunities. The following steps will involve collecting results from quantitative analyses and structured interviews on its six focus areas so that it will be possible to define what pathways of action are likely to advance the global standing of the EU the most.

As Alexander Kentikelenis describes it, "this is cutting-edge academic research to underpin policy design, so that the EU can become more effective but also more transparent in its priority-setting."