• Gdansk

  • Maastricht

  • Cambridge

About me

s200_karolina.pomorska I am an Assistant Professor and Director of Studies of European Public Affairs MA program at the Department of Politics at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

I am also an Affiliated Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. From July 2012 until June 2014, I worked here as a Marie Curie Fellow, carrying out my research project, funded by the 7th Framework Program, on the European External Action Service (EEAS) of the European Union as a multinational bureaucracy. I was also a Research Associate at Sidney Sussex College.

Since 2013, I have been a co-convenor of the 'EU as a Global Actor' Interest Section of EUSA (European Union Studies Association).

In the academic year 2013/2014 I convened the Europe Research Seminar series at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge. You can see past and future talks here: http://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/45225

In the recent years, I have been a visiting fellow/scholar at the Centre for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C., Centre for International Relations in Warsaw, Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge.

I am also involved in professional training of officials and diplomats. I deliver regular training at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (at the Polski Instytut Dyplomacji). I trained officials and diplomats from Russia, Azerbaijan, Spain and from the European Commission.

You can also find me on academia.edu and google scholar.


Edited Books / Special Issues

Peer-reviewed academic articles

Book Chapters
Other contributions


In the last five years, I maintained a special interest in International Relations, European Foreign Policy and the foreign policies of Eastern European states, especially Poland. My research interests have always gravitated around the role of individuals in international institutions, the ways in which their preferences and beliefs are shaped, patterns of socialisation and learning their undergo and, finally, the importance of the above for the decision-making processes and democratic accountability. I have sought inspiration beyond my disciplinary background of politics and International Relations, in particular in political sociology and social psychology. Together with my co-author, Dr Ana Juncos, we studied processes of socialisation in three different institutions: the Council Working Groups, Council Secretariat General and the newly created European External Action Service. We are currently finalising our monograph, looking at the last ten years of the European Foreign Policy and the role of the ‘Eurodiplomats’.

While, so far, we lack evidence for internalization of norms, there was a recurrent application of certain behavioural norms and discourse (what we called strategic socialisation) by diplomats who were positioned in a hybrid institutional environment (between their national capitals and the Council). We have argued that socialisation has led to the emergence of an informal code of conduct and a more co-operative style of negotiations, increasing the ability to achieve compromises at this level. For example, in a highly sensitive foreign policy area (with veto rules) there was a consensus-oriented atmosphere, a strong pressure on getting everyone on-board. While loyalty shifts have not occurred, diplomats’ efforts to maintain their credibility and reputation within the group and to follow the ‘rules of the game’ might still lead to deviations from the original mandate. The room for manoeuvre for national diplomats to re-write their instructions varies from member state to member state, depending on organizational issues.

Sometimes socialisation resulted in the emergence of new, informal, more pro-active and entrepreneurial roles, e.g. in the Council Secretariat. The data also showed that the attachment of officials to the European Union was stronger than to their countries. Hence, the initial fears of the member states concerning the establishment of a permanent bureaucracy in Brussels were proven correct. Council Secretariat officials managed to have an impact on the agenda-setting and the policy substance which challenged an intergovernmental view of the CFSP. We have also identified the ‘normative tensions’ in the institution between those who pushed for such development and those who considered it a ‘bad thing’. In the case of the European External Action Service, we had shown the difficulties with the organizational esprit-de-corps.

We have shown in our studies that many of the studied officials from the Council Secretariat and the Working Groups have played important role in decision-making, but remained ‘in the shadow’, which has important implications for democratic deficit and accountability. As secrecy is often viewed as a challenge to accountability in European foreign policy, we argued that very restricted access and operating on an informal basis all pose a problem. The paradox between retaining an effective and consensual decision-making and achieving accountability continues to pose a challenge in this regard.

I have always strived to keep my research problem-oriented by pursuing a methodology of interviews and questionnaires among the officials and thus staying updated regarding the recent developments in the policy world.


Director of Studies, MA in European Public Affairs

Since 2006 I have been involved with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at the University of Maastricht.


I have been teaching at various other courses, conveyed by my colleagues, among others:
EU as an International Player (MA), Area Studies: Poland (BA), Policy Domains: Common Foreign and Security Policy (BA), Qualitative Research Skills II (BA), Research and Writing (BA), Research Design (BA), Introduction to Discourse Analysis (BA).

Talks & Conferences

22 November 2013: UACES Student Forum invited me to give a talk at their annual Conference in London on obtaining funding for research.

I was invited to chair two events organized at the Festival of Ideas at the University of Cambridge: 31 October 2013: Professor Christopher Hill ‘The EU’s foreign policy and soft power: too soft, and too little?’ and 2 November 2013: Mr Andrew Duff MEP ‘European Union: Frameworks for the Future’

Diplomatic Training

Since 2013, I am involved in the training of Polish Diplomats in the Polish Institute of Diplomacy, which belongs to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I deliver trainings on Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and on the European External Action Service. I have trained diplomats at various levels of their career: from junior diplomats to serving Ambassadors. For example, in October 2013, I delivered a two-day training to a group of Polish Ambassadors who may be taking part in the forthcoming competitions for the high posts in the European External Action Service.

I have trained groups of officials from various countries. I ran a negotiation skills training for a group of Russian officials and diplomats from Moscow (at Aston University, UK), I trained Spanish officials from Madrid on the Common Security and Defence Policy (at the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht, the Netherlands); officials from the European Commission on the EU external relations or officials from Azerbaijan on EU institutions and the EEAS (at the College of Europe).

Latest blog posts

Debating the Ukrainian Crisis at the City of London

Debating the Ukrainian Crisis at the City of London

3 June 2014: the Project for Democratic Union organised an event in the City of London, at the Baltic Exchange, about the impact of the Ukrainian Crisis on the...

10 years in the EU, Debate at Oxford University

10 years in the EU, Debate at Oxford University

On 16 May 2014, I was delighted to take part in a panel organised at Exeter College of Oxford University on „10 years in the EU – Poles in...