Sessions / Papers

Jul 9th, 2012 | Category: European Seminar Poros 2012, Papers

Session I: Tectonic shifts in the Global System and Europe’s Challenges

This year’s seminar was kicked off with a discussion of the tectonic shifts in the global system. The session was chaired by Prof. Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. Analysts and diplomats from Brazil, China, India and Russia along with European experts gave their views on the ways in which the world and Europe are changing. Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union, spoke on the EU-Russian partnership . Prof. Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman and founder of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in New Delhi, the prospects for deeper relations between the EU and India while Councellor Xiyuan Zheng, from the Department of Policy Planning, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing talked of China and Europe as a Community of interests advancing side by side. Dr. Bernt Berger, Senior Researcher on China and Global Security at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Stockholm, also spoke on EU-China relations against the background of China’s next great economic transition. Finally, Dr. Elena Lazarou, from the Center for International Relations, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro dealt with global change from Brazil’s perspective .

Session II: The economic crisis and its effects on the EU’ global role

The second session examined the effects of the economic crisis on the global role of the EU. The debate was moderated by John Peet, Europe Editor of The Economist, in London and concentrated on the following questions: How well has the EU mastered the crisis and where do we stand now? What is the EU’s role in a new system of global economic governance? And what is the collateral damage that this crisis has inflicted on the EU’s global role?

Prof. Michael Landesmann, Director of Research, of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) in Vienna kicked off the discussion on Europe’s economic crisis and explored the possible  kicked off the discussion on Europe’s economic crisis and explored the possible longer-term scenarios for Europe internally and for Europe’s position in the global economy. Prof. François Heisbourg, Special Advisor at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique in Paris, outlined four scenarios concerning the Security Challenges in the Shadow of the Eurozone/ EU Crisis while Dr. Daniela Schwarzer, Head of EU integration programme at SWP in Berlin, spoke on the challenges posed by deepening economic divergence within the eurozone and on the changing power relations within the Union and the role of Germany. Prof. George Pagoulatos from the Department of International & European Economic Studies of the Athens University of Economics and Business, discussed the achievements and the adjustments that had been accomplished by the bailout countries and critically assessed the eurozone’s ability to address its current challenges and Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels examined the collateral damage that the crisis could have on the EU’s global role.

Session III : Crises, revolutions and new opportunities: Our changing neighbourhood

ELIAMEP’s Director General Dr. Thanos Dokos chaired the Seminar’s third session that focused on the deep and dramatic changes that have occurred over the past year and a half and that have fundamentally changed Europe’s neighbourhood. The discussion concentrated on changes in North Africa and developments in the Middle East and responses to the Arab Spring, the missed or potential opportunities for the EU in the region as new actors rise and new security dilemmas are posed.

Dr. Salam Kawakibi, Acting Director of the Arab Reform Initiative in Paris spoke on the situation in Syria, the role of the Arab League and certain myths that have been traditionally associated with the region’s stability that need to be challenged. Dr. Richard Youngs, Director General of FRIDE in Madrid offered a critical assessment of  EU’s response to the Arab Spring while Dr. Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and Associate Editor of The International Spectator in Rome addressed the EU’s Non-Paradigmatic Response to Paradigm Change in the Middle East.

The first day of the Seminar closed with a pre-dinner discussion led by ELIAMEP’s President Prof. Loukas Tsoukalis and Prof. François Heisbourg on the French and Greek elections and their impact on developments in the eurozone, the process of EU integration and enlargement and the challenges for Europe’s democracy.

Session IV: Has the question of borders been effectively settled?

Is enlargement still on the table? What are the prospects for Southeast Europe? As Turkey’s regional influence grows, what are the implications for the EU and Turkey’s accession prospects? And, finally, ‘More Europe’ with Ukraineand the Caucuses, is it possible? These were the guiding questions of the Seminar’s fourth session that was chaired by Dr. Ruby Gropas, Research Fellow at ELIAMEP.

Prof. Atila Eralp, Professor at Middle East Technical University in Ankara argued that Turkey and the EU are diverging on converging orientations in their joint neighbourhood. Dr. Othon Anastasakis, Director of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX) and Research Fellow at St Antony’s College defined the enlargement process’ trajectory as oscillating between fatigue and insignificance against the background of the Eurozone crisis and the rise of intergovernmentalism.  Developments in the Balkans were examined against this background by Dr. Dimitar Bechev, Senior Policy Fellow and Head of the European Council on Foreign Relations Sofia Office, and spoke on Enlargement in Times of Eurocrisis.  Finally, Dr. Kristi Raik, Researcher, Finnish Institute of International Affairs Researcher (FIIA), Helsinki made the case that it is time for the EU and its Eastern neighbours to get serious about differentiation. 

Session V: EU Foreign Policy & the pressing need for a revised Global strategy

Dr. Elvire Fabry, Senior Research Fellow at Notre Europe in Paris chaired this session that critically assessed the European External Actions Service and the need for a new European Security Strategy.


Dr. Alexandros Yannis, Strategy Advisor with the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels gave an overview of the debate on a new European security strategy and on the changing nature of foreign policy making. Prof. Jolyon Howorth, Jean Monnet Professor of European Politics ad personam and Emeritus Professor of European Studies at the University of Bath examined CSDP in the post-Lisbon context and argued for the strategic imperative of ever closer integration with NATO. Dr. Sven Biscop, Director of the Europe in the World Programme at Egmont – the Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels underlined that optimism is necessary for the EU to step up its strategic engagement  while Dr. Rosa Balfour, Senior Policy Analyst at the Brussels based European Policy Center (EPC) assessed the effectiveness of the EEAS and the obstacles that still hinder the development of a common foreign policy.

Concluding round table:

Staying in Sync: How can the EU’s model remain relevant with International Developments?

The concluding round table discussion was moderated by Prof. Loukas Tsoukalis. Prof. Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration and Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University argued that what the EU needs for external relevance is internal strength: deeper integration, leadership and vision. She launched the concept of “self-dwarfization” that comes from a lack of common vision, strategic vision, or any vision at all on the part of the EU and contemplated the enlargement processes’ finalité and how it affects the Union’s normative power. Amb. Robert Cooper, Counsellor with the European External Action Service (EEAS) underlined the risks of disintegration and Pawe? ?wieboda, president of demosEUROPA – Centre for European Strategy, in Warsaw concluded with the effects of the eurozone crisis on diluting the EU’s global influence.