Brexit coping strategies of the Baltic states

Kārlis Bukovskis, Andres Kasekamp (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Baltic states historically have overlapping geopolitical, economic and security interests. Relying on interviews with officials and document analysis, this article examines how Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania reasoned and behaved during the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (Brexit). Our research used a triple-core conceptual approach. First, based on Wivel and Thorhallsson’s conceptualization of small state strategies, we demonstrate that the three countries followed shelter seeking and hiding strategies as they sought to be neutral on issues not in their immediate interests for the sake of EU-27 unity, while simultaneously coordinating and aligning their positions with the other EU countries on the issues that were their primary concerns. Second, to explain Baltic choices, the article uses March and Olsen’s conceptualizations and concludes that they were bound by the logic of appropriateness–conformed with the EU approach, because of the commonality of problems with the other EU-27 member states and the European Commission’s style of leadership. Third, the research revealed that Brexit reinforced the Europeanization process, but there was little evidence of continued Europeanization in foreign policy after Brexit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-669
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Studies
Issue number3
Early online dateAug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Brexit
  • coping strategies
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • small states

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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