Franziska Petri, an FWO doctoral fellow and PhD researcher at the Leuven International and European Studies (LINES) institute at KU Leuven (Belgium), received a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) grant to conduct a research stay in July/August 2022 at the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) hosted by Professor Nedžma Džananović Miraščija.
The research stay was part of her ongoing PhD project on the role of EU Delegations in implementing EU climate and energy diplomacy across the world (PhD project website). The goals of the stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) were twofold: The first goal was to conduct interviews with EU and BiH (governmental and non-governmental) stakeholders to explore (a) external perceptions of the EU’s climate, energy and Green Deal activities in the country, and (b) views on the role of the local EU Delegation and EU-actor coordination in Sarajevo. While the remainder of the PhD project builds on online interviews with EU diplomats across continents, the time in Sarajevo offered a highly useful opportunity to delve into the specific case of EU diplomacy in BiH and to collect new insights from also talking to actors outside the EU system. The addition of these external perceptions of the EU’s diplomatic efforts in BiH offers a valuable contribution to the PhD research project.
The second goal of the research stay was to reflect further (conceptually) on how varying local contexts impact the EU’s diplomacy in partner countries. To this end, the stay could build on a previous research collaboration with Nedžma Džananović Miraščija (University of Sarajevo), Jasmin Hasić (Sarajevo School of Science and Technology), and Lejla Ramić Mesihović (Burch University) in the framework of a Special Issue on ‘Contestation of EU foreign policy’ (developed as part of the COST Action ENTER Working Group Contestation). In their contribution, Hasić, Džananović & Ramić Mesihović argued how the ‘domestication’ of EU norms in BiH and North-Macedonia remained ‘nationally contextualized’, thus stressing the need to understand the role of local elites and perceptions.