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Restoring the Leadership Capacity of the EU's Rotating Presidency - the Delegated Leadership of the Polish Presidency

Magdalena Nasieniak

The aim of this paper is to examine the functioning of the EU's rotating presidency in the post-Lisbon foreign policy making by analysing the leadership capacity of the Polish Presidency.By applying the historical institutionalist perspective this paper argues that due to its pre-Lisbon role, the rotating presidency emerges as the most appropriate deputy of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs which subsequently enables the country in the chair to negotiate its leadership capacity with the High Representative. In the framework of the 'delegated leadership' Poland promoted the agenda setting leadership with reference to two case studies - the Eastern Partnership and the European Endowment Fund for Democracy. Consequently, the study identifies conditions necessary for successful projection of national priorities by differentiating between the leadership capacity of a Member State (position within the EU, available resources, agenda setting strategies, management of potentially unfavourable factors, such as Arab Spring) and of the institution of the post-Lisbon rotating presidency (privileged access to the High Representative and other European actors and resources available to them), as well as identifying remaining factors (the situation within the EU, other issues on the European agenda, the overall assessment of the presidency holding). Nevertheless, the key condition is to ensure the delegation of leadership by the High Representative prior to presidency holding.In methodological terms the study presents findings of the PhD project based on the interviews undertaken in 2011 and 2012 with national officials of the Hungarian and Polish Presidencies and European officials involved in EU's foreign policy making.

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