The Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS is delighted to announce Dr Steven Blockmans as our new part-time Senior Fellow and Merili Arjakas as a Junior Research Fellow.
Dr Steven Blockmans brings with him deep experience on various aspects of European Union foreign, security and defence policy. He also continues as Director of Research at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, a leading think tank on EU affairs where he has worked since 2012.
Steven is a frequent commentator on EU affairs at major media outlets and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the EU and its member states. For more than 20 years he has combined his academic work with contract research carried out for EU and national donors, consultancy activities and training for professionals.
He is the author of Tough Love: the EU’s relations with the Western Balkans (Asser Press 2007) and The Obsolescence of the European Neighbourhood Policy (Rowman & Littlefield 2017) and has (co-)edited 20 volumes, including The EU’s Role in Global Governance (Oxford University Press 2013), The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (Edward Elgar 2018) and a trilogy on Democracy in the EU (Rowman & Littlefield 2020).
Steven has a PhD in International Law and MA in Public International Law from Leiden University, and a Diploma in Political and Social Sciences from Institut d’Études Politiques, Paris.
Merili Arjakas’ research focuses on EU affairs. She is most interested in the interplay between domestic and international politics and how various global dynamics affect societies in Europe and the Middle East.
Merili has previously worked as a journalist and a podcast producer for Postimees, the largest-circulation Estonian daily. She has also conducted internships at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC and at the Permanent Mission of Estonia to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Merili has a BA degree in contemporary history and an MA degree in international relations and EU affairs from the University of Tartu. She has also studied the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and US foreign policy at George Mason University.