Anita Sęk

Witaj! Welcome!

I joined the EXACT network in December 2012, and I will be based in the Trans European Policy Studies Association TEPSA, a Brussels-located European think tank, till the end of 2013.

I am a person driven by passion. In whatever I do, being it my professional life, studies, civil society, travelling, reading O. Pamuk's books, photographing, playing football, learning new languages, I do it with my whole heart.

Feel invited to contact me at: anita.sek(at)

Anita Sęk


Anita Sęk holds Master degrees in EU International Relations and Diplomacy from the College of Europe in Bruges (2012) and in International Relations from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She also studied in Warsaw and Vienna (LLP Erasmus). She gained experience as trainee in several organisations: the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy in Moscow, the international NGO Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin, as well as the Institute of Public Affairs, a leading think tank in Poland. She is a founding-member and former President of the Centre for International Initiatives and an honourable member of the International Relations Students' Association of the Jagiellonian University. Until the end of 2013 she will be based at TEPSA in Brussels. Her research interests are: diplomacy, external action of the EU, European Neighbourhood Policy (particularly Eastern Partnership), Polish foreign policy. Anita likes learning new languages, she communicates in English, German, French and Russian, next to her mother tongue Polish, as well as - though less successfully - in Serbo-Croat and Greek. Recently, she joined a Brussels football league. She loves reading books from Orkhan Pamuk, dancing, travelling and photography.

PhD research project

The proposed PhD dissertation:

“(Feedbacking the E[U]lephant.)Perspectives of the EU’s ‘Strategic Partners’

on the International Actorness of the European Union”

aims to answer two questions:

1. to what extent do the ‘strategic partners’ of the EU perceive it as an international actor?

2. what are the ‘strategic partners’’ expectations from the EU as a potential international actor?  

To tackle this, perceptions and perspectives of two out of a group of EU’s ‘strategic partners’ on Union’s handlings in its ‘wider neighbourhood’ will be compared:

(i)                     Russia as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a representative of rising powers (BRICS+), a regional Eurasian power, a major trading partner of the EU (especially in energy), and a close and politically particular neighbour, with which the EU shares the neighbourhood,


(ii)                   the United States, as a permanent member of the UN SC, a global superpower, the main trading partner of the EU and the politically and ideologically closest ally; like the EU it is interested in stabilizing and developing the Union’s immediate neigbbourhood.

The choice of these ‘strategic partners’ arises from the wish to focus on the most powerful international players, assuming that if the Union is perceived by them as an international player, then smaller countries will follow suit and with a similar opinion. 

The term ‘wider neighbourhood’ refers to the countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA). This particular region was chosen for research due to its geostrategic location (see “The Grand Chessboard” by Z. Brzezinski). The territory has been the recipient of various, often contradictive integration processes run or inspired by international players, including the three ‘strategic partners’ in question: Russia (CIS, CSTO), USA (GUAM, Community of Democratic Choice), and the EU (EaP, Black Sea Synergy, Central Asia initiative). Being the place where great powers struggle for influence, it signifies an ideal territory to present EU’s international actorness and its American and Russian partners’ assessment of and attitude towards it.  

The methodology used in this study will center on the concept of international actorness, which will be elaborated and applied to the case studies. On the operational level, in-depth interviews with the political elites of the case-study countries will be conducted. Acknowledging and understanding the external relations with the ‘Others’ will help the EU shape its role on both the global and regional stages. 

Publications & Conference Contributions

* Publications

Reports for the European Parliament:

“Report from the workshop on the Implementation of Common Security and Defence Policy” (European Parliament, 2013)

“Report from the workshop on the Development of European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB)” (European Parliament, 2013)

“Workshop’s proceedings on the Role of the European External Action Service in Consular Protection and Services for EU Citizens” (European Parliament, 2013)


Blog Centre for International Initiatives:

Report “Review of the organisation and the functioning of the EEAS”, briefing with MEP Elmar Brok (June 2013)

Does the Belgrade-Pristina deal bring an end to the ‘Balkan cauldron’ metaphor? (April 2013)

The Summit in Brussels: explaining why this budget is bad for Europe and why it is actually all happening (February 2013)

*OPINION: What can Israel be hated for now (December 2013)


* Teaching

18 January 2013 - Guest Lec­tu­re Current Challenges to the Future Enlargement of the European Union, within the academic cour­se "The Eu­ropean Union as a glo­bal actor", co-led by Leon­hard den Her­tog, An­dre­as Raspot­nik and Peter Valant, Jean-Mon­net Chair Prof. Wolf­gang Wess­les, University of Cologne.

13 April 2013 - Guest Lec­tu­re EU and its institutions, within the academic cour­se "The Eastern Dimension sof the EU Foreign Policy", co-led by Bogdana Depo and Vanessa Boas, Jean-Mon­net Chair Prof. Wolf­gang Wess­les, University of Cologne.


* Conferences

THESEUS Conference “France and Germany in the EU – 50 years after Elysée. The couple viewed by their European partners”, TEPSA, Brussels, 6-7 December 2012.

Workshop “The European Neighbourhood Policy after the Lisbon Treaty”, Lisboan Network, Instituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), presentation: EEAS Audit in the Eastern Neighbourhood – to what extent have the new Treaty provisions delivered?, Rome, 22 March 2013.

EXACT PhD Intervision Workshop, University of Edinburgh, 18-19 April 2013.

"New Challenges in the European Area. 1st International Scientific Forum, Academy of Science of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Baku, Azerbaijan, 23-25 May 2013.

International Summer School “The Future of EU Economic Governance”, THESEUS, Brussels, 17-21 June 2013.

Lithuanian EU Pre-Presidency Conference, Vilnius University, 4-5 July 2013.

EXACT Final Conference on EU External Action, TEPSA, Brussels, 10-12 July 2013.


* Upcoming Events

18-21 September - 8th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Warsaw

4-5 October - Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Chisinau, Moldova

10-11 October - TEPSA Pre-Presidency Conference in Athens

11-13 December - the 9th Annual Conference, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

©  EXACT - Marie Curie ITN on EU External Action
Technische(r) Ansprechpartner(in):
Aline Bartenstein
Wulf Reiners
geändert:  8. August 2013
erstellt: 11. December 2012