THE FUTURE OF EUROPEThe Challenges of Growing Anti-Europeanism and Authoritarianism in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Views from the region
Keynote speaker: H.E. Oana-Cristina POPA, Ambassador of the European Union in Montenegro;
- Milena Lazarevic, Programme Director, European Policy Center, Republic of Serbia;
- Ludmila Nofit, ESEE Fanel Network member, Deputy Director, Foreign Policy Association, Republic of Moldova. Her profile is available here.
Moderator: Prof. Liliana POPESCU, Vice-Rector for International Relations, SNSPA, Romania
Statement of principle: “The future of Europe is young, female, green, and digital!” (Oana-Cristina Popa, Ambassador of the European Union in Montenegro)
Tentative description of the event
The webinar aims at discussing different perspectives on the future of the European Union, taking into consideration the illiberal tendencies, the growing authoritarianism and anti-EU feelings within some Member States and European neighbors, while exploring the impact of these phenomena on EU’s external credibility and influence in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.
In 2020, the European Commission launched the first Strategic Foresight Report, which placed at the forefront EU’s resilience on multiple dimensions: social and economic, geopolitical, green and digital. The document highlights the vulnerabilities stemming from the internal divisions among the Member States, based on different values and perceptions and translated into different positions on EU’s global role. The 2021 Strategic Foresight Report lists “pressure on democratic models of governance and values” as one of the global trends impacting the future of the European Union, exposing a decline in democratic governance, increased geopolitical contestation and inter-state tensions, as well as the spread of hybrid threats and disinformation. The 2021 GLOBSEC Vulnerability Index mapped the vulnerability to foreign influence of 8 countries from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, based on 5 dimensions (public attitudes, political landscape, public administration, information landscape, and civic and academic space). Various researches on this topic highlight the need for a coherent approach on the part of the EU towards Member States and the neighboring regions to counter the illiberal trends.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is a timely initiative aimed at engaging the citizens into a wide-ranging debate regarding their perspectives and proposed solutions for the consolidation of the European Union. As Astrid Lorenz and Lisa H. Anders summarize the findings of a recent research on Illiberal Trends and Anti-EU Politics in East Central Europe (Palgrave, 2021), “it would be interesting and relevant for the Union’s future to capture the citizens’ preferences towards the particular constitutional structure of the EU: from unitarian republic up to a decentral Union of nation-states”.
Questions to be addressed during the webinar
- How does the European Union and its neighbors address the illiberal trends and the rising anti-EU sentiments in Europe?
- How can the research and academic community contribute to building the resilience of the European Union in the face of the challenges to its normative power?
- What messages should EU’s Eastern and South-Easter Neighbors, as well as EU’s Eastern Member States, convey to Brussels so that the EU would be more receptive to their legitimate concerns?
Participants in the fanel: EU officials, women representatives of public authorities, members of the research and academic community, journalists, human rights activists.