Past events at IAI – Summer 2016


26 September, Rome

“Economic Governance in the Euro Area – The Role of the ECB”. Seminar with Benoît Coeuré, Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank within the framework of the project The future of the European economy, in cooperation with Centro Studi sul Federalismo (working language: Italian).


21 September, Turin

“A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy”. Last June 28 the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini presented to the European Council the new guiding document of the EU external action: the European Global Strategy (EGS). The EGS is looking to be very important for the future of EU foreign policy, not only because it aims to improve the response to the many international crises that surround the Union and it Member States, but also because it offers new opportunities to relaunch the integration process in one of it most challenging moments. The conference is organised with the International Affairs Programme of the Compagnia di San Paolo and in collaboration with the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (CSF) of Turin (working language: Italian).

15-16 September, Rome

German-Italian Strategic Forum on Europe”. This closed-door initiative – in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation – aims to create a regular annual forum to generate and sustain a substantive expert debate that can then feed back into a policy coordination process between Italian and German policymakers.

21 July, Rome

“The Foreign Policy of the Renzi’s Government and the post-Brexit options”. Presentation of the IAI’s report on the Italian foreign policy (working language: Italian).


18 July, Rome

“The British Europe Question and the Future of the United Kingdom”. Seminar with Etain Tannam, Assistant Professor International Peace Studies and Programme Coordinator, Trinity College, Dublin 2.


18 July, Ammam

“Re-Ordering the Middle East?”. Conference within the framework of the New-Med research network

14 July, Rome

Europe’s Strategic Options in the Mediterranean”. The Expert Seminar organised by  IAI in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – Italia, discussed the main security challenges in and around the Southern Mediterranean region and Europe’s strategic options in addressing them. It gathered experts and institutional representatives from different European member states.

Past events at Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) – Winter 2014/15

First German-Italian Dialogue on the Future of Europe: “Germany and Italy – Partners in Constructing Europe”
22-23 January 2015

On 22 and 23 January 2015, the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) and the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) conducted the German-Italian Dialogue at the Residenza di Ripetta in Rome. Under the title “Germany and Italy – Partners in Constructing Europe”, 200 participants from Italy and Germany discussed the role of the European Union, specifically Germany and Italy, in overcoming the current challenges in the areas of economy, energy policy and foreign policy, as well as the planning and organization of Europe’s future. Panelists representing government, science and industry agreed in broad terms that Germany and Italy, as core members of the EU, have the power and the opportunity to guide the EU through necessary reforms, and suggested possible strategies to accomplish these goals. The whole report is published in English online.

Brainstorming Workshop “Central Asia – Exploring EU interests and Options”
19 January 2015

On 19 January 2015, the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) organized a brainstorming workshop on the topic “Central Asia – Exploring EU interests and options” in cooperation with the European Union Institute for Security Studies. The workshop took place in the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. A wide range of experts discussed current and future options and opportunities for the EU relations with Central Asia. The panelists have put their major attention to the continuation and refinery of the EU’s activities in the area, in the course of its current geopolitical ascension and regarding the rising interests of Russia, China, the US and even India. Despite previous successes, such as the EU being the region’s most important trading partner, topic and format should be reviewed and “lessons learned” should be considered. The whole report is published in English online.

IEP Lunch Debate with Thomas Westphal: “The Stabilization of the Eurozone: Current Successes, Unfinished Business”
10 December 2014

On 10 December 2014, the IEP lunch debate on the topic of “The Stabilization of the Eurozone: Current Successes, Unfinished Business” with Thomas Westphal, Director of European Policy in the Federal Ministry of Finance, took place at the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin. Michael Vollprecht, Economic and Financial Counsellor from the Political Division of the European Commission in Berlin, gave the opening remarks. Prof. Dr. Mathias Jopp, director of the Institut für Europäische Politik, moderated the event. Thomas Westphal discussed the economy and monetary situation in the Eurozone countries and various strategies for strengthening the Euro.
The whole report is published in English online.

IEP Lunch Debate with Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering: “Fortunately United: Retrospective and perspective of the European integration”
4 December 2014

On 4 December 2014, the IEP lunch debate on the topic of „Fortunately United: Retrospective and perspective of the European integration“ with Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, took place at the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin on the occasion of the publication of his book “Wir sind zum Glück vereint. Mein europäischer Weg”. Prof. Dr. Hartmut Marhold, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of the Institut für Europäische Politik and Director of Research and Development of the Centre international de formation européenne (cife), moderated the event. Richard Kühnel, Representative of the European Commission in Germany, and Frank Piplat, Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Germany gave a short biograph of the dedicated European politician and highlighted his skills as an arbiter while Head of the European’s People Party and as 23rd President of the European Parliament. The whole report on the debate is published in English online.

THESEUS Final Conference, 17-18 March 2016, Cologne: “The European Union between integration and disintegration – Reflections on the last decade and beyond”


For more than 50 years, European integration has been called a success story built up around the narrative of an ‘ever closer Union’. Since the financial and economic crisis, however, a serious concern of disintegration has been striking the European Union. Possible scenarios range from a collapse of the EU system to fragmentation, differentiation, and partial disintegration. Exit schemes like Grexit and Brexit are openly discussed, tendencies of renationalisation arise. External pressures reinforce this trend. In view of these manifold challenges, how might Europe’s future look like?

The THESEUS conference dealt with a reflection on the past and current crises taking place in and around Eurotheseus ape, and discussed if and how those have been working as catalysts for further institutional, economic or political integration or caused steps of disintegration. It discussed a set of theoretical understandings, concepts, and definitions of the disintegration phenomenon itself as well as possible causalities and interplays between integrative and disintegrative processes.

More than 100 international academics, politicians, young researchers, and the interested public discussed past and possible future developments of European integration and disintegration processes at the Fritz Thyssen Foundation in Cologne. They found that challenges at hand ask for new political and scientific approaches – leaving some speakers more optimistic than others regarding the EU’s future.

theseus wessels“In EU politics, we have been involved in a lot of subjects, but probably reflected too little on possible crises and adequate reactions to them”, stated Chairholder Wolfgang Wessels, University of Cologne, in his opening remarks. He described the conference as a floor to reflect crises like a possible ‘Brexit’ or ‘Grexit’, tendencies of renationalization and the success of anti-EU parties or the refugee movement towards Europe to better understand such challenges and contribute to an envisaged peaceful future European cooperation.

Defining the term ‘crisis’

Defining the often randomly used term ‘crisis’ was a first step to do so. Hartmut Kaelble, Humboldt-University Berlin, distinguished between five types of crises and positioned the EU in the second most challengeable: a crisis in which both governments and the public are involved. “We are thus not in the worst position contrasting to times after the Second World War in which we faced a system crisis”, concluded the Historian.

Johannes Pollak, Institute for Advanced Studies, stated that the EU has always been about crisis management and that it is even crucial for readjustments to its set-up. The tricky element though was that external developments such as conflicts in Syria or Ukraine affected the EU making it more difficult for the Union to react than to internal conflicts only.

theseus umbachGaby Umbach, European University Institute, illustrated a two-fold picture: On the one hand the EU facing manifold fields of conflicts around EU politics and on the other hand the – despite growing radicalisation among a minority group – relatively positive perception of EU citizens towards the EU environment. She called for the often raised necessity of improved citizen-involvement to solve the conflictual situation at hand ending with a quite optimistic picture.

Reflecting characteristics of the institutional architecture of the Union

theseus neuholdTalking about institutional characteristics of EU crisis management, the panellists stressed a rising importance of intergovernmental decision-making among heads of state or government. This in turn circumvented political debate probably resulting in “more efficiency vis-à-vis less legitimacy” as Christine Neuhold, Maastricht University, questioned when showing the rising number of Trilogues, in which a limited group of representatives of European Commission, Council, and European Parliament arrive at political solutions.

theseus monarJörg Monar, College of Europe, spoke of shrinking impact of European Parliament and Council – despite more competences following the Lisbon Treaty (2007) – due to ‘last-minute decision-making’. Olivier Rozenberg, Sciences Po Paris, presented a recent study depicting shrinking numbers of legislation and Philippe de Schoutheete, Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, illustrated the trend towards informal meetings by the example of talks on the maintenance of the Eurozone.

Discussing conflicts in the EU’s neighbourhood

How crucial a higher attention for developments beyond EU borders and a more active engagement of the EU in solving conflicts in Syria, Libya or between Russia and Ukraine was, stressed for instance Atila Eralp, Middle East Technical University, or Christopher Hill, University of Cambridge. Eralp stated the high potential of the EU in creating partnerships. He called for a more consistent position in EU-Turkey relations. Hill reminded the audience of the ‘mistake’ to address domestic and foreign policy separately.

Outlining possible exits of single member states and EU fragmentation

With regards to possible exits of EU member states resulting from the many facets of challenges surrounding EU politics, Brigid Laffan, European University Institute, warned of domino effects, in which further countries might follow for instance the exit candidate United Kingdom (UK). She moreover addressed exit consequences regarding a new power balance in the EU, in case UK as “critical counter balance” left the Union.

theseus tekinFunda Tekin, Institut für Europäische Politik and Centre international de formation européenne, illustrated that exits on the other hand might also lead to more integration in terms of a ‘core Europe’ and Frank Schimmelfennig, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, presented differentiated integration as a tool for an ‘ever closer Union’.

theseus beggThe official part of the conference was closed with the concluding remarks of THESEUS Chairperson Wolfgang Wessels, University of Cologne, and Iain Begg, London School of Economics and Political Science. Both interpreted the topics on the conference agenda as a sign for the need to actively address problems at hand before action was too late, and to redefine theoretical models of European integration to better address processes of differentiation and disintegration. Wessels furthermore stressed the importance for a continuation of research and teaching to improve the understanding of EU politics and a potential engagement.

Keynote speech and award ceremony

theseus sussmuthAgainst the background of the current crisis situation keynote speaker Rita Süssmuth, former President of the German Bundestag, appealed repeatedly: “We must communicate much more”, looking back at many years of involvement in exchange with national and EU political actors. “Today’s politicians need to pay more attention the values and benefits of our community as has been done by heads of state or government in the Union’s earlier years”. She supported the course of Chancellor Angela Merkel in the refugee movement towards Europe – one of the EU’s most pressing ‘crises’. “No quick solution is at reach – therefore it’s best to say we work on it”.  Central elements of that work are engagements in shrinking the percentage of unemployment and social exclusion, argued Süssmuth.

After her speech, the THESEUS Awards were remitted. Joseph Weiler, President of the prestigious European University Institute in Florence, received the THESEUS Outstanding Award for his many years of outstanding engagement in European integration research. The THESEUS Promising Award went to the two junior scientists Leonhard den Hertog, Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, and Martin Mendelski, University of Trier.

More information about the THESEUS project


Past events at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) – Winter 2014/15


“Russia: Eurasian and Nationalist Visions for Future Russian Policy”
12 February 2015

The Seminar on “Russia: Eurasian and Nationalist Visions for Future Russian Policy” took place at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) on 12 February 2015. UI organised a discussion on Russian nationalist and Eurasianist visions for the future of the country and its policy. Eurasianism – an ideology that gives Russia a unique position of an Asian as much as a European country – has become an important part of Putin’s foreign policy during his third presidency. At the same time, on the domestic scene a new generation of Russian ethnic nationalists challenges the state system and current Russian policy. How does President Putin respond to the new challenges?

More information can be found here.

“EU as Global Actor”
11 February 2015

The Seminar, “EU as Global Actor” took place at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) on 11 February 2015. The workshop focused on the trends in the development of the European foreign policies, and an assessment of the performance of the EU as a global actor, as the European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2015 is presented.How did the EU as a whole respond to the global and regional challenges in 2014? Has the EU changed its policy course? What role did Sweden play in EU’s common foreign policy?

More information can be found here.

“The World 2015: Challenges to EU Foreign and Security Policy”
22 January 2015

The Seminar, “The World 2015: Challenges to EU Foreign and Security Policy” took place on 22 January 2015.
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) invited a wide audience to a discussion on EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the role of the European External Action Service (EEAS), their current developments and future challenges.

Discussions covered: What is the current state of institutional development in EU foreign and security policy? How will the EEAS manage to respond to the issues it is faced with? What are the most important challenges, and can these be dealt with in the prevailing setting?

More information can be found here.

The full seminar is available on YouTube.

Russia 2015: Key Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges
22 January 2015

The Seminar on Russia 2015: Key Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges was held at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) on 22 January 2015.

Lilia Shevtsova, associate fellow at Chatham House presented on the substance and key arguments of the new Kremlin Strategy for Russian consolidation and foreign policy. Other issues covered were; what are the mechanisms of the new patriotic mobilization; the survivability of the political regime and the roots of the tension between Russia and the West? What does the Russian society think?

More information can be found here.

The full seminar is available on UI-play.