Call for Papers "Geopolitics & Values: what is the real power of the EU?"

Deadline for submission: 31 August 2020


Pdf download CALL FOR PAPERS

How to use the COVID crisis as an opportunity for a new European soft power

The Institute of European Democrats (IED) is launching an external research project titled 'Geopolitics & Values: what is the real power of the EU?'. The Institute of European Democrats intends to award in the course of 2020 several contracts for 'Research Fellowships' to Researchers and/or Students/PhD. The papers will aim at bringing new ideas and proposals to redefine Europe's role and mission on the global scene after the COVID-19 crisis. The gathered proposals will feed the political and legislative debate. Through this research, the IED wishes to provide democratic ideas & solutions to promote a new effective multilateralism.

Soft power can be defined as the use of a country's cultural and economic influence, as an effective substitute to military power. The European Union is commonly perceived as a 'soft power', promoting democracy and fundamental rights with its neighboring countries and globally. Based on both, cultural heritage and creative industries, the 'soft power' make at the same time very important parts of European GDP and jobs.

How can this approach be maintained while this position is being challenged in the last years by re-emerging hard power and 'sharp power' policies?

The recent COVID-19 crisis has profoundly shaken the international scene, showing the fragilities of single countries going it alone and the strategic necessity of global cooperation and solidarity in the field of health care and scientific and medical research in particular.

Can the COVID-19 crisis more generally be used as a catalyst for change in international relations? How can multilateralism be relaunched and what could be the role of the EU in this new setting? Which traditional or new tools of 'soft power' can be used in this context to promote Europe's values on the global scene such as democracy, rule of law, liberties, solidarity, sustainability?

In the frame of this fellowship, the selected candidates should:

  • Draft a specific research paper on the proposed subject.

  • Be prepared to possible presentation of the research paper during conferences or similar events in 2020-2021.

  • Be prepared to work on a possible publication.

We would be happy to have young researchers from all over Europe participating in this IED research project and providing their insights and proposals to rethink Europe's role and position as a global actor. The proposals will also feed the debate launched by the Conference on the Future of Europe, in which the IED intends to participate.


  • 1.000 € gross amount

  • the selected candidate is responsible for paying all the due taxes

Eligibility criteria

  • Bachelor degree;

  • Age limit of 35 years old by the 31 August 2020;

  • Proven excellence in writing skills in English;

  • Citizen of an EU Member State or of a state from the European Economic Area (EEA) or of a candidate or a potential candidate country or from a country member of the Eastern Partnership.

Candidacy to be sent by 31 August 2020 midnight to

Candidatures are only on an individual basis; no research teams or multiple candidatures are accepted.

The candidature dossier must contain

  • Europass Resume in English (maximum 3 pages)

  • Research Proposal which must contain the title of the research proposal, the name of the candidate and a short description of the research proposal (maximum 1 page) which presents the way in which it wants to tackle the topic, the basic structure, research methodology and selected references.

Format of the Research Paper

  • The papers should demonstrate on the basis of a sound argumentation, figures and infographics how they comply with the above-mentioned frame.

  • Come up with concrete policy recommendations addressed to the EU and/or its Member Sates.

  • Length: 5-10 pages.

  • Illustrations required (photos, graphs or infographics).

  • Annexes other than the research paper – 1-2 pages maximum.

  • The research material would be written in a proper English language, respecting all the grammar rules and the scientific terms. All the materials would be submitted in a Word format with the following rules: Times New Roman, 12, Line spacing: single, Spacing Before and After: 6 points; Page Setup: Top and Left: 2,5 cm and Bottom and Right: 2 cm; Citation System: Harvard (recommended).

  • Each candidate must also submit alongside the research paper a Copyright Agreement that guarantees that this research is his/her original work.

Timeline selection & publication

  • Publication of the selection announcement and period for candidature proposal:
    7th July - 31st August 2020 at midnight

  • Selection period: 1st September – 22nd September 2020

  • Results of the selections: 23rd September 2020

  • Confirmation of selected researchers and signature of research contracts:
    24th -30th September

  • Research period: 1st October – 8 November 2020

  • Deadline for submission: 9th November 2020

  • Internal evaluation period: 10th - 30th November 2020

  • Communication of results & things to improve (if any) - 1 December 2020

  • Improvement period (if necessary): 2nd - 6th December 2020

  • Final publications submitted: 7th December 2020

  • Preparation of publications for putting them online: 8th - 17th December 2020

  • Publication: 18th December 2020