Navigating the Storm: The Challenges of Small States in Europe (NAS) is an Erasmus+ co-funded Jean Monnet Network.
The EU, the international system at large, has entered a new era of unpredictability. States face challenges that tend to outstrip effective collective responses. There is a new volatility in the public policy arena where larger powers increasingly choose to act outside the institutional frameworks which the smaller powers rely on as a guarantor of their stability and prosperity. The EU is uniquely illustrative of how an organised political and administrative framework can empower small states, as opposed to foras of inter-governmental bargaining where the bigger powers can more easily impose their will. Small member states are having to deal with this increasingly unstable international scene and at the same time, public sentiment in many EU countries has become increasingly negative towards European integration and cooperation. The public administrations of small member states are beset with unprecedented tasks and responsibilities. These have placed their already limited capacities under huge strain, while also adding more credibility to populist rhetoric and dissent towards ‘Europe’. In addition, the myriad uncertainties of Brexit and the radical policy shifts emerging from the new US administration, stand every chance of altering the institutional structure that has served as the cornerstone of Western stability as well as the security of small states throughout the international system for decades.
The central objectives of this project are:
The University of Iceland is the lead partner, with eight other universities participating in the project:
The University of Copenhagen, Vilnius University, Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Malta, University of Ljubljana, Lund University, University of Zagreb, and the University of the Aegean in Rhodes.
Baldur Thorhallsson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland leads the project on behalf of the University of Iceland in cooperation with Pia Hansson, Director of the Institute of International Affairs and Tómas Joensen, Project Manager at the Centre for Small State Studies. Over the course of the project the ten higher education institutions will develop close cooperation in the field of small state studies. The NAS network will host workshops, roundtables for young researchers, publish academic papers, policy recommendations, and at the end of the project an academic book.
Todays political turmoil is a pan-European challenge that the EU states face collectively and thus needs to be examined on an international level. There is a need to analyze the small member states that are especially vulnerable and rely on the EU’s legal framework to navigate their way through these uncertain times. This network´s research builds on four interlinked research clusters that are all focused on the contemporary challenges of small states in Europe.
Editors: Tómas Joensen, University of Iceland and Ian Taylor, St. Andrews University
Forthcoming publication from the NAS project. Publication date 29 March 2021
Primoz Pevcin - University of Ljubljana
Külli Sarapuu og Tiina Randma-Liiv - Tækniháskólinn í Tallinn, Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance
Đana Luša - Háskólinn í Zagreb
Tiina Randma-Liiv og Külli Sarapuu - Tækniháskólinn í Tallinn, Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance
Danila Rijavec og Primož Pevcin - Hákólinn í Ljubljana
Anders Wivel - Háskólinn í Kapmannahöfn
Baldur Thorhallsson, Sverrir Steinsson og Þorsteinn Kristinsson - Háskóli Íslands
Baldur Þórhallsson – Háskóli Íslands
Vytautas Kuokštis, Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, Algirdas Bieliūnas - Vilnius University