Quo Vadis European foreign policy? A decade of the European External Action Service

10:35 – 11:35 CEST – 6 May 2021


Alexander Stubb, Director, School of Transnational Governance, EUI


Stefano Sannino, Secretary General, European External Action Service

Daniela Schwarzer, Executive Director for Europe and Eurasia, Open Society Foundations

Michael Peel, EU Diplomatic Correspondent, Financial Times

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the European Union External Action Service (EEAS), which was established by the Treaty of Lisbon and started operating in January 2011. Since then, the European Union’s diplomatic service has been helping the EU’s foreign affairs chief carry out the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and played a unique role as the interface between Europe and the wider world. But the record of this first decade of operation is mixed: Significant institutional and diplomatic achievements have been undermined by limitations to the EU’s capability to act, which in turns hampers the Union’s standing on the global stage. This session will highlight structural problems and lessons learnt. It will also look at future developments, analysing the much-debated concept of “strategic” autonomy, and trying to determine the contribution that the EEAS could give to affirming the EU’s role as global actor.

What is the future of global value chains?

11:10 – 11:55 CEST – 7 May 2021


George Papaconstantinou, Professor of International Political Economy and Director of Executive Education, School of Transnational Governance, EUI


Peggy Hollinger, International Business Editor, Financial Times 


Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics, The Graduate Institute Geneva

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, European Commission

The development of complex and dense global value chains has represented the main characteristic of 21st industry globalisation, linking global firms, production, trade, investment with consumers in what has increasingly seemed like a borderless world. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, disrupted and put into question this global value chains paradigm. Will “just in time” be replaced by “just in case”? Should the EU be repatriating production of critical activities and services? What does this imply for international trade and global governance?


13:10 – 13:40 CEST – 7 May 2021

Conversation with

Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President, European Commission

Sarah Nouwen, Chair and Professor of Public International Law, EUI