The Number and Geographical Scope of the EU Foreign Policy Initiatives of Small Member States: Does „smallness“ matter?

Abstract

Due to the complex voting and decision-making mechanisms of the EU, the size-factor has long been present within EU studies as a relevant and significant variable in explaining member states’ activism. Despite the aim of small states to achieve equal representation, there is a huge discrepancy between the power of big and small states within the EU. Therefore, the expected behavior of small states is different from that of the big ones. However, there are also significant differences in foreign policy activism within the group of small EU states and those are analysed in this article. In order to differentiate small states’ activism within EU foreign policy, the article explores the correlation between the scope and number of small states’ leadership initiatives in EU foreign policy and different quantitative criteria used to define these small states (population, total GDP, GDP per capita).