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Guest Lecture by Professor Laure Delcour, University Sorbonne Nouvelle, for Students of MA Programme 'Comparative Politics of Eurasia'

On November 25, 2020, Professor Laure Delcour (University Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France and College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium) delivered an online guest lecture for students of the MA Programme 'Comparative Politics of Eurasia' on the topic 'Perceptions of the European Union in the South Caucasus'.

Research interests of Laure Delcour focus on the diffusion and reception of EU norms and policies as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), as well as region-building processes in Eurasia. She has been involved in EU-funded projects on the ENP/Eastern Partnership, both as a researcher under the H2020 project EU-STRAT and as a scientific coordinator of the FP7 project “Exploring the Security-Democracy Nexus in the Caucasus” (CASCADE). As part of a French-British research project (EUIMPACTEAST, ANR-ESRC, 2011-2014), she investigated the EU’s influence on domestic change in four post-Soviet countries (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). Professor Delcour has extensively lectured on EU institutions and decision-making, the European Neighbourhood Policy, EU-Russia relations and Russia’s foreign policy at Sciences-Po Paris, Sciences-Po Strasbourg, INALCO Paris and MGIMO (Moscow). She was previously Deputy Director of the French-Russian Research Centre in Social Sciences.

Professor Delcour presented to the students some results of a large-scale network research project of which she was the scientific coordinator (CASCADE). The lecture focused on how the EU’s Neighbourhood policy is viewed in the three South Caucasus countries. Based upon extensive qualitative research, it compared the perceptions of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia with the EU’s conception of its own role as a driver of democratization and modernization, as well as their assessment of the degree to which the EU fulfils the role. Research findings indicate that the EU’s role conception is recognized by a majority of actors in South Caucasus countries. However, in their perceptions the EU’s role as a promoter of democratization and modernization is not mirrored by its role performance, as EU policies do not adequately address the domestic and regional contexts.

The online meeting ended with a lively discussion of students with Professor Delcour on a variety of aspects of her expertise beyond the lecture’s focus. The new meeting with Professor Delcour will take place in the format of a public online lecture on the topic "Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus: a common, contested or fragmented neighborhood?", which will be organised on December 16, 2020. To attend it, please register until December 15.