Europe at a time of great power competition
09:35 – 10:30 CEST – 6 May 2021
Brigid Laffan, Director, Robert Schuman Centre and the Global Governance Programme, EUI
The long cycles of history have been characterised by tension and competition between established and rising powers. The rise of China has been a structural feature of the global system for decades and there is considerable discussion concerning what kind of power China represents. Under President Trump, the US moved from President Obama’s soft containment policy to unilateral conflict and confrontation with China. The relationship between the US and China is now one of great power competition. While Europe was reluctant to follow the example of the Trump administration and engage in confrontation with China, under a Biden presidency this question will emerge in starker form and Europe may be torn between privileging the transatlantic partnership and maintaining a close relationship with China. In any case, Europe’s search for strategic autonomy may alter its approach to China.
Is the soft power of the EU in the neighboring regions still effective?
14:50 – 15:50 CEST – 6 May 2021
Marco Del Panta, Secretary-General, EUI
Marta Dassù, Senior Director of European Affairs, The Aspen Institute
Over many years, the EU has used its enlargement process and its neighbourhood policy to promote democracy, respect for human rights and economic development at its borders. In recent years, however, the EU’s attraction capacity seems to have declined. Among accession countries, Turkey appears to be abandoning its objective of EU membership. In the “neighbourhood area”, the democratisation process seems to be struggling. The EFTA countries continue to be interested only in the Single Market, with disregard for full EU membership. What has happened to the EU’s capacity to attract neighbourhood interest and membership? How is the EU perceived in neighbouring countries? How can the effectiveness of its action in the neighbouring regions be improved?
Equal and effective partners? The future of EU-Africa and EU-Turkey cooperation on migration and refugee protection
16:00 – 16:50 CEST – 6 May 2021
Martin Ruhs, Professor and Deputy Director of the Migration Policy Centre, EUI
Francisco André, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Portugal
Abdelhak Bassou, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South
Cathryn Costello, Professor of Fundamental Rights and Co-Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights, Hertie School
Kemal Kirişci, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project, Brookings
Following the large and unexpected increase in the numbers of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe in 2015-16, the European Union struck a ‘migration deal’ with Turkey (2016). At the same time, the EU intensified its efforts to reach similar cooperation agreements with African states that are either source and/or transit countries for irregular migrants in the EU. The European Commission’s recently published ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’ (2020) proposes a range of measures aimed at expanding and increasing the effectiveness of cooperation with non-EU countries in the governance of migration and refugee protection. What has been the experience of past efforts of cooperation between the EU and countries in the EU neighbourhood? What concerns does such cooperation raise and how might they be addressed? What are the policy preferences and constraints in the EU, Turkey, and African countries of migrants’ origin and transit?
How can democracies join forces to combat disinformation and other foreign interferences?
14:05 – 14:55 CEST – 7 May 2021
Pietro Ducci, Director-General, Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union, European Parliament
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing trends of attacks against democratic systems both around the world and within the EU. Disinformation campaigns, interference into electoral processes and covert financing of political parties are just some of the hybrid methods used by authoritarian regimes to weaken democracies – which in turn have begun to develop innovative and comprehensive policy responses to tackle such threats. Speakers in this panel will assess the common challenges for democracies in the fight against disinformation and other forms of foreign interference, and will discuss the necessary steps to be taken to protect and reinforce democracy worldwide. In particular, what kind of cooperation and joint actions could be developed at global level to build stronger and more efficient responses?