A Secure Europe in a Better World?

The Centre for European Security of the Institute of International Relations organized a public discussion on the future of security in Europe. The discussion combined the perspectives of a high-profile public intellectual and a distinguished critical scholar aimed at both a general audience and policy communities. The format of this discussion exemplified the mission and purpose of the Centre, launched in December 2014, which seeks to combine cutting-edge scholarship with policy-relevant outputs and public engagement on issues pertaining to European security.


Date: 06.05.2015
Time: 14:00
Venue: IIR, Nerudova 3, Prague 1
In cooperation:
Organized by: Benjamin Tallis





14:00 – 16:00    Public lecture with a subsequent discussion

  • Chair: Petr Kratochvíl, Director, Institute of International Relations
  • J. Peter Burgess, Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia

The leaflet can be downloaded here

European security is in a state of flux. The conflict in Ukraine and Russia's hybrid warfare, as well as the spiral of violence and state failure in the Southern neighborhood, are challenging the taken-for-granted assumption of peace and stability on the continent.
European governments and EU institutions are urged to adjust their defense and security policies and address the expanding list of hard and soft threats. The EU is increasingly called upon to re-think its post-modern ‘herbivore’ security identity, and reinvent itself as a ‘normal’ geopolitical player. However, these calls come at a time when EU's confidence and credibility as an international actor is drained by interlocking economic, social and political crises and would, if answered, fundamentally alter the EU’s identity as a security actor and as a political entity.
The June European Council is expected to set in motion the revision of the 2003 European Security Strategy, taking into account regional dynamics, fallout from the Eurozone crisis, and wider shifts towards a more competitive and multipolar international order. Whereas the original 2003 paper, entitled "A Secure Europe in a Better World", set out a positive vision of EU's role as a provider of regional stability and global public goods, any new document would inevitably carry a more sobering purpose: one of strategic adjustment.
What should be Europe's strategic response to the changing security landscape in the neighborhood and beyond? Should the EU trade away elements of its distinctive normative agenda - embodied in the 2003 strategy - in favor of a more interest-based approach? Or can it overcome the norm-versus-interests dichotomy altogether? What are the dangers of over-reacting and thus over-securitizing EU internal and external policies?