Playing the Brussels game: Strategic socialisation in the CFSP Council Working Groups

Ana E. Juncos, Karolina Pomorska


The aim of this article is to analyse the process of socialisation taking place at the level of the Council Working Groups (CWGs) dealing with the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Based on recent empirical evidence, this article explains the main codes of conduct adopted by the national diplomats in the CFSP CWGs, such as the reflex coordination or consensus-building practice. Compliance with these rules stems from strategic calculations based on legitimacy concerns and the long-term perspective of the negotiations. Hence, in this case, the internalisation of norms has not taken place yet. Even though this view may suggest a conceptualisation of national representatives in the CWGs as passive “national champions”, it is argued here that they might also play a role in influencing the position of their capitals, mainly through the process of formulating the instructions.


socialisation, CFSP, ESDP, international relations, Council of Ministers, governance, national interest, legitimacy, expert committees, political science

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