Trojan Horses in EU Foreign Policy

16 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2017 Last revised: 19 May 2020

See all articles by Mitchell A. Orenstein

Mitchell A. Orenstein

University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts & Sciences

R. Daniel Kelemen


Date Written: January 2017


Why has the European Union been able to craft a unified sanctions policy against Russia but failed to rein in Russia's ‘Trojan horses’ within the EU that pursue pro‐Putin foreign policies? We argue that the EU suffers from a specific type of disaggregation in its foreign and security policy. While the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy has increased its capacities over time, the EU still lacks the power to prevent Member States from pursuing their own independent policies. In the face of the Ukraine crisis, for instance, the EU marshaled a surprisingly strong sanctions regime, but could not prevent Member States from pursuing divergent pro‐Russia policies, such as signing new energy deals or granting port access for Russian naval forces. As EU foreign and security powers grow, foreign powers face increasing incentives to cultivate Trojan horses among the EU Member States.

Keywords: Common Foreign and Security Policy, Russia, Ukraine crisis, Trojan horses

Suggested Citation

Orenstein, Mitchell A. and Kelemen, R. Daniel, Trojan Horses in EU Foreign Policy (January 2017). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 55, Issue 1, pp. 87-102, 2017, Available at SSRN: or

Mitchell A. Orenstein (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - School of Arts & Sciences ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States


R. Daniel Kelemen


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