The Construction of the EU as a Strategic Entrepreneur: The Internal-External-Internal Nexus

Sevasti Chatzopoulou*, Christopher Ansell

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The paper investigates how the EU operates as a strategic entrepreneur in different contexts and what enables the EU to do so. We develop a synthetic and dynamic approach linking the EU’s internal characteristics with its internal and external strategies and actions, which we envision as an internal-external-internal cycle that advances European integration. First, we discuss the EU’s distinctive internal governance characteristics. Second, we demonstrate how these characteristics condition and support the EU as a strategic entrepreneur in external affairs. Third, we investigate how external perceptions and legitimacy can feedback to reinforce the EU’s (re) construction of its own internal strategies. External legitimacy pushes the EU to ascertain appropriate and accepted behaviour and strengthen institutional and policy integration, expanding the EU’s competences over more policy areas.
TidsskriftJournal of European Integration
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)275-292
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2023


  • entrepreneur
  • strategic
  • sustainability

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