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Briefing Notes (series)

Team Europe: Up to the challenge?


Alexei Jones and Chloe Teevan, ECDPM brief, January 2021

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This brief presents how the Team Europe approach has been applied to date, and explores the prospects, added value and challenges in terms of the EU and member states working better together, enhanced visibility and the possibility of a stronger voice in multilateral fora.

The Team Europe approach was born in the context of COVID-19 and was initially conceived as a way to brand European collective support to partner countries in response to the pandemic. Yet, it also responds to longer-term political trends and to a growing sense that the European Union (EU) and its member states are not visible enough – particularly in contrast to China and other external powers.

As part of the EU global response to the pandemic, Team Europe mobilised over €38.5 billion to support partner countries in responding to COVID-19. The European Commission is now working with member states to broaden the scope of Team Europe beyond the global COVID-19 response and to apply it to the programming exercise of EU external cooperation for the period 2021-2027. This notably includes the conception of ‘Team Europe Initiatives’, large-scale projects which are meant to position Europe as the partner of preference in selected areas of cooperation in each partner country and to build visibility. More broadly, the aim is to encourage the use of Team Europe as a brand for combined EU and member state cooperation in partner countries, and for a growing number of EU-led multilateral initiatives.

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Photo courtesy of  EC – Audiovisual Service.

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EU foreign and development policyBriefing Notes (series)