Transforming and defending multilateralism: EU support for more robust, effective and democratic global governance – ENSURED

The European Union (EU) and its members have long been key supporters of global governance. Yet the rules-based international order and multilateralism are widely believed to be in crisis. The emerging powers and populist forces have contested and put demands on global governance often resulting in a gridlock of international cooperation. The Russian war in Ukraine will likely further undermine the ability to address global problems. ENSURED, a project with 14 partners from the EU, US and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) studies how the EU and its members, in a contested world in transition, can transform and defend global governance to make it more robust, effective and democratic. Integrating different literatures on international institutions and EU foreign policy, ENSURED develops a conceptual framework on global governance transformation. It outlines a triangular dilemma in which the EU and its members must make choices between the robustness, effectiveness and democracy of global governance. It also considers, in this respect, different scenarios for multilateralism in a contested world in transition. Through case studies of five policy areas, a quantitative analysis and expert survey, ENSURED empirically assesses and compares the unexploited potential for global governance transformation. It thus highlights areas where global governance transformation is most likely. Based on this empirical analysis, ENSURED provides support for the EU and its members to lead the transformation and defence of multilateralism. It outlines strategic choices and develops decision support and communication products that the EU and its members can use, such as an online toolkit, policy recommendations and strategic narratives. ENSURED thus advances our knowledge about global governance transformation and provides the EU and its members with the tools to navigate a world in transition.

This project is funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe programme, Grant Agreement no. 101092077


Coordinators or Principal Investigators: Stephanie Hofmann