CIDOB - Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, Spain
U4SEAS was conceived in 2007, as part of a wider intellectual effort to have a better understanding of the European Union's (EU) performance in relation to multilateralism. The choice of EU4SEAS was to focus on multilateralism at a small scale in Europe's geographical fringes. The context in which the project was designed has significantly evolved in the last four years and even though the main objective of the project has remained unaltered, the research questions and, in particular, some of the assumptions, had to be reviewed along the process. The project proposal stated that EU4SEAS attaches great importance to the twin objectives of building a theoretical framework and providing a solid empirical base for the analysis of the relation between the EU and sub-regional multilateralism in Europe's closed sea basins, which can be useful both for further academic research and for policy makers. To achieve these two objectives, the research consortium had to take into account the transformations of the EU and its Environmentalonment that impinged upon the substance of the project and adapt the research strategy accordingly.