Allies, partners and rivals – And European strategic autonomy


1 June 2017


Egmont Palace

For the celebration of Egmont Institute’s 70th Anniversary, the Europe in the World Programme is holding a workshop :

Allies, Partners and Rivals – And European Strategic Autonomy

70 years after the Marshall Plan was launched, the US seems to assess its interests in Europe rather differently. Not only has US President Trump declared NATO to be obsolete, he has also welcomed the Brexit and expressed the hope that more EU Member States would follow the British example. Unfortunately, plenty of actors see themselves as rivals of the EU as they are seeking to control markets, territories, and resources. But perhaps new partnerships can be imagined as well. When the strategies of the great powers as well as the balance of power between them are shifting, creative strategic thinking on Europe’s part is called for. Based on the old truth, expressed by Lord Palmerston, that “we have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow”. That surely requires concerted strategy and action through the EU. With great foresight, High Representative Federica Mogherini wrote a call for strategic autonomy into the EU Global Strategy. But do all Europeans have the same understanding of what EU strategic autonomy means? This workshop aims to assess which ends the EU can realistically aspire to, whether it can achieve strategic autonomy in doing so, and who can be its partners.


Chair: Sven Biscop, Egmont Institute – Director of the Europe in the World Programme

Speakers:  Ian Bond Centre for European Reform Director of Foreign Policy

                  Thomas Gomart, Institut Français des Relations InternationalesDirector

                  Pedro Serrano, EEAS – Deputy Secretary General

                  Professor Barry Posen, MIT – Professor

(Photo credit: Barbara Boranga, Flickr )