Europe in the Interregnum: our geopolitical awakening after Ukraine (EEAS, 24.03.2022)

Making Europe also a hard power

A new world of threats

The Strategic Compass – a leap forward on European security and defence

A stronger EU also means a stronger Transatlantic partnership

If not now, then when?

The language of power revisited

Halfway through the mandate:
what can we do differently and better?

1. Think and act in terms of power

2. Take the initiative and be ready to experiment




3. Build diverse coalitions and take decisions faster

4. Shape the narrative



Crises tend to crystallise developments and this one has made it even clearer that we live in a world shaped by raw power politics, where everything is weaponised and where we face a fierce battle of narratives. All these trends were already happening before the Ukraine war; now they are accelerating. 

This means that our response must accelerate too – and it has. We have taken rapid action across the whole policy spectrum and broken several taboos along the way: unprecedented sanctions, massive support to Ukraine including, for the first time ever, financing the delivery of military equipment to a country under attack. We have also built a wide international coalition to support Ukraine, isolate Russia and restore international legality. By any standard, the EU’s response has been impressive – even if it is still not enough with the war still going on.

Geopolitics is back. Russia’s war against Ukraine has shaken us awake. The rise of strongmen around the world, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the political chasm between the United States and China have brutally shown how strategically vulnerable Europe is.

For Europe to act as a power among powers, a Rubicon needs to be crossed. A novel orientation towards geography and history must be developed, a new political language to make sense of our place in a world that has changed. Only this will allow us Europeans to uphold our interests and values.

Such a catalyst, hub and pivot is precisely what the Brussels Institute for Geopolitics plans to be a catalyst, hub and pivot. The initiative was endorsed at the highest level by three EU member state governments on 7 October 2022 in Prague.



The EU’s geopolitical awakening and the Legal Implications | A Strategic Compass for the EU | Global Gateway | EU Global Strategy | EU's global role in a changing world | Common Security and Defence Policy | Foreign and Security Policy | Geopolitics and Economics in a Dynamic World (Francois Heisbourg 2011) | Europe as a Global Actor | The Quest for European Leadership | The need to strengthen the EU as an effective actor in the international arena | The European Way of Life


The EU’s geopolitical awakening and the Legal Implications  
The war against Ukraine has forced a radical rethinking of the EU’s role as a geopolitical actor. As High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell put it, we are witnessing the “belated birth of a geopolitical EU”. This brings to the fore already existing security concerns with a renewed sense of urgency. These are not merely framed in military terms and are not limited to Ukraine. Hybrid warfare including cyberattacks and disinformation, energy dependency, the instrumentalisation of migrants, the retreat of democratic freedoms, foreign intervention campaigns, and geo-economic competition are but a few examples of the various threats facing the EU and its Member States in the current global landscape. As a result, legal and policy debates on the EU’s role as a global actor focus on the need to achieve ‘strategic autonomy’ - a term connoting the ability of the Union to act independently on the international stage to safeguard its fundamental values, interests, independence and security – while also remaining committed to a rules-based global order.

Moreover, the purported “geopolitical turn” has already resulted in a host of new legal instruments at EU level, such as the Anti-coercion instrument, the European Chips Act, and regulations on joint military procurement.

The awakening of a geopolitical EU thus raises a host of new politico-legal questions that remain underexplored despite their increasing significance. These developments create a demand for innovative legal scholarship regarding, for instance, decision-making procedures, institutional balance, effectiveness, transparency, access to justice, and compatibility with international law.

Some of the questions these developments raise and whichwere addressed during the discussion, are:

  • How is the quest for multilateral solutions to be squared with calls for more autonomy? Does the Union show solidarity, and to whom?
  • What factors will determine how the EU forges new partnerships? What implications could this turn to geopolitics have on the EU’s existing supply/value-chains in strategic goods, raw materials and energy?
  • What implications could have on the European Green Deal? What future for the Common Foreign and Security Policy?
  • Can the EU remain true to its founding values in its new ambition to become a geopolitical actor? 

This roundtable discussion is a part of T.M.C. Asser Institute, CLEER, and University of Leiden’s PhD workshop on the legal implications of the EU’s geopolitical awakening, organised by  Narin Idriz and Eva Kassoti (T.M.C. Asser Institute) and Joris Larik (Leiden University). You can download the full programme here


In an era of strategic competition and complex security threatsconflicts and sources of instability are multiplying in our neighbourhood and beyond. We are facing growing hybrid threats, cyber-attacks and foreign manipulation of informationClimate change is a growing threat-multiplier leading to further instability and crises. The high seas, outer space and the digital sphere are increasingly central to our prosperity and wellbeing, yet the rules that govern their access are increasingly contested.

In a world that is becoming more challenging to European interests and values, we need to unite and develop a common European answer. The Strategic Compass:

  • provides a shared assessment of our strategic environment, the threats and challenges we face and their implications for the EU.
  • brings greater coherence and a common sense of purpose to actions in the area of security and defence that are already underway.
  • sets out new ways and means to improve our collective ability to defend the security of our citizens and our Union.
  • sets clear targets and milestones to measure our progress.
We need a strong European Union like never before. It is what our citizens deserve and what the wider world expects. The European project which has brought unprecedented peace, prosperity and democracy is being questioned. To the East, the European security order has been violated, while terrorism and violence plague North Africa and the Middle East, as well as Europe itself. Yet these are also times of extraordinary opportunity. Global Growth, mobility, and technological progress – alongside our deepening partnerships- enable us to thrive, and allow ever more people to escape poverty and live longer and freer lives.

The EU Global Strategy sets out the EU's core interests and principles for engaging in the wider world and gives the Union a collective sense of direction. Its ambition is to make Europe stronger: an even more united and influential actor on the world stage that keeps citizens safe, preserves our interests, and upholds our values. To confront new challenges and keep us safe we need a response that combines internal and external policies. The EU Global Strategy helps makes our Union more effective in confronting energy security, migration, climate change, violent extremism, and hybrid warfare. Because none of our countries can tackle these challenges alone, we are taking steps to solve them together.

We will navigate this difficult, more connected contested and complex world guided by our shared interests and principles. We will stand united in building a stronger Europe.

The Global Gateway stands for sustainable and trusted connections that work for people and the planet. It will help to tackle the most pressing global challenges, from fighting climate change, to improving health systems, and boosting competitiveness and security of global supply chains.

The European Commission and the EU High Representative have set out the Global Gateway to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.

The EU is stepping up its offer to its partners with major investments in infrastructure development around the world. Between 2021 and 2027, Team Europe (the EU institutions and EU Member States jointly), will mobilise up to €300 billion of investments in:

digital | climate and energy | transport | health | education and research

The Global Gateway will deliver sustainable and high-quality projects, taking into account the needs of partner countries and ensuring lasting benefits for local communities. This will allow EU’s partners to develop their societies and economies, but also create opportunities for the EU Member States’ private sector to invest and remain competitive, whilst ensuring the highest environmental and labour standards, as well as sound financial management.

The Global Gateway is the EU’s contribution to narrowing the global investment gap worldwide. It is in line with the commitment of the G7 leaders from June 2021 to launch a values-driven, high-standard and transparent infrastructure partnership to meet global infrastructure development needs. The Global Gateway is also fully aligned with the UN’s Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement.



  EU Global Strategy
More than a decade after the 2003 European Security Strategy, the world has changed dramatically. And we have changed as well. For this reason EEAS has launched a period of strategic reflection on the EU’s way ahead in the world. It will lead to an EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy. This process gives us the opportunity to forge a stronger and more effective EU foreign policy and engage the public on debates about foreign policy. In an era of strategic competition and complex security threats, conflicts and sources of instability are multiplying in our neighbourhood and beyond. We are facing growing hybrid threats, cyber-attacks and foreign manipulation of information. Climate change is a growing threat-multiplier leading to further instability and crises. The high seas, outer space and the digital sphere are increasingly central to our prosperity and wellbeing, yet the rules that govern their access are increasingly contested.In a world that is becoming more challenging to European interests and values, we need to unite and develop a common European answer. The Strategic Compass:
  • provides a shared assessment of our strategic environment, the threats and challenges we face and their implications for the EU.
  • brings greater coherence and a common sense of purpose to actions in the area of security and defence that are
    already underway.
  • sets out new ways and means to improve our collective ability to defend the security of our citizens and our Union
  • sets clear targets and milestones to measure our progress.
In today's world foreign policy is not just a question for experts – it affects all of us: from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to our daily security and the future prosperity of our children. This is why I believe it is important to involve all of you in our strategic reflection – to hear many voices and get different perspectives.
To implement the EU Global Strategy, decisive steps are being taken on Security and Defence. In November 2016, EU Foreign and Defence ministers decided on a new level of ambition and key steps to upgrade cooperation to ensure the Security of our Union in line with the Global Strategy (Council conclusions). These Conclusions were based on former HRVP Federica Mogherini's Implementation Plan on Security and Defence. This aims to improve the protection of the EU and its citizens, help governments jointly build military capacity, and develop better response to crises. Further actions to step up EU Security include the European Defence Action Plan, which proposes financial help for Member States for more efficient joint procurement and capability development, and steps to put into effect the EU-NATO Joint Declaration.
In recent years, preoccupied by the debt crisis, the fragility of its financial institutions, the fight it wages for growth and against unemployment, and the rise of populism, the European Union (EU) failed to strengthen, let alone increase its influence and presence on the international stage. What can reasonably be done by the next Parliament to make significant progress with the Union’s foreign policy? On this, Eneko Landaburu from Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, published March 2014 the policy brief "The Role of the European Union in the World".
The European External Action Service as the indispensable support for a geopolitical EU
The rivalry of today’s world should induce the EU to act as a cohesive force. Yet, EU countries are still struggling to focus on the common interest. The 10th anniversary of the European External Action Service thus constitutes an opportune moment to reconsider its contribution to EU foreign policy. The rivalry and contestation of today’s world should be reason enough for the European Union to act as a cohesive force, if only to avoid being outmanoeuvred by major powers. Yet EU countries and institutions are still struggling to set aside their differences and focus on the common interest.

Despite its significant achievements, the Service still suffers from a lack of buy-in from member states and other parts of the EU administration. In this report, a task force has thus reappraised the EEAS’ actual and potential mission in the coming years, considering the dynamic ecosystem within which it functions. Distilling key lessons from the first decade of the Service’s operation, the report sets out 30 recommendations to address the identified shortcomings. It aims to assist the EEAS’ purpose of forging a distinctly European brand of diplomacy, by upgrading its operation to allow it more flexibility to think, propose and act, more agility to factor in a rapidly changing international landscape, and more determination to play a leading role. The Service could indeed make much more of its core assets. In doing so it would better serve the common interests of the European Union and truly fulfil its objectives in external action.


implications for Europe
On behalf of Netherlands Institute of Foreign Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor Francois Heisbourg lectured 18 March 2011. Professor Heisbourg is chairman of International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and also active with the Geneva Center for Security Policy. He's author of 'L'éppaisseur du monde'.

During the gathering Professor Heisbourg gave his vision on geopolitical consequences of the economic crisis, especially for Europe, and on transformations in balance of powers in the world. His visit took place just after UN Security Council had adopted the no-fly resolution concerning Libya. Heisbourg told he had great worries about this, because on international level there was no plan for the future of Libya, starting from the characteristic features of that country. Libya is a hotchpotch of pieces of the Ottoman empire; the east of the country ever belonged to Egypt, the west to Tunesia. If unity of the country cannot be secured, dramatic consequences can occur in the rest of the Arabic world, that for an important part neither exist of unities with nationalistic feelings. Asked for the motives of Russia and China to speak out no veto in the UNSC, Heisbourg meant that these superpowers would not hamper that 'the West' would bring a next hornets' nest about one's ears: 'never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake' (at the same time involved in 3 military conflicts in the world of Islam).

Heisbourg referred also to the east of the Arabic world. There is remarkable less international attention for the reactionary violence of Saudi-Arabia in the regio of the Gulf. Riyaad is handling the 'Breznjewdoctrine of limited sovereignty in his environment: no change without permission. The US seems not to be happy with that and in Iran too have to imagine the future along his borders in another way. This can have serious consequences between Saudi-Arabia and Iran.

Heisbourg compared the present unrest in the Arabic world with turmoil in Europe in 1848. In the beginning of 1848 in many countries there was an uprise with much youthful élan, but in December these movements of revolution became for the greater part a failure concerning their political objectives.


EU's global role in a changing world
4th Brussels Think Tank Dialogue on EU Global Role in a Changing World
April 2013 the 4th Brussels Think Tank Dialogue was held. The panel that addressed the EU's global role in a changing world, brought forward the – still unfolding – repercussions of the crisis on EU foreign policy and its role in world by providing a sober impact assessment that goes beyond the alarmist ‘narratives’ of foreign policy ‘renationalization’, global resource competition and decreasing global relevance and challenged questions as 'What is Europe’s role beyond the crisis? What are the continuities rather than the fractures in EU foreign policy? What are the long-term structural assets that can serve as the starting point for a new narrative underpinning the Union’s global engagement?'

The Dialogue presented a conference paper 'After the crisis: Some thoughts on a global EU – or how to turn a crisis into regeneration'.

Good ideas sometimes spring out of crises. The European Union itself was ‘invented’ from a crisis, conceived in the rubble of the Second World War. It is less frequently recalled that the European integration project took shape at a time of great change and of redefinition of Europe’s global role. Between 1946 and the 1960s Europe lost one source of global power and influence – its empires –, independence movements and decolonisation processes put serious strains on European states, the global rise of the United States from 1917 onwards challenged Europe’s predominance and the American influence over Europe was made concrete through the Marshall Plan.

According to A. Moravcsik, the EU is best understood as one level in a complex multi-level decision making system with no correspondence between procedural equity, equal influence, fair policy outputs, responsiveness to the median voter, and normatively justified governance and by presence of narrow substansive range, modest budgetary resources, lack of coercive force, miniscule bureaucracy, constraining decision rules within a multi-level system, and far more powerful competitors, the EU is an exceptionally weak federation. Inter alia, this leads to policies aimed at national interests and the idea of not wanting to cede sovereignty. That does not make it easy to be a global actor that:

- might be able to prevent that Russia, China and the USA would drive Europe apart;
- can ensure that
trade and investments grow;
- should include a renewed security strategy;
- should provide pooling and sharing of diplomatic capacity.

Although it does not mean that Europe together can do nothing without being a global actor, global acting creates and increases the possibility of single representation within international organisations as IMF, NATO and UN. However, it is not just about present compositions, but also about the future when new member-states will join, which process is not easy. Countries will have to measure up to all acquis communautaire, 'the EU as it is' – in other words, the rights and obligations that EU countries share. The 'acquis' includes all the EU's treaties and laws, declarations and resolutions, international agreements on EU affairs and the judgments given by the Court of Justice. It also includes action that EU governments take together in the area of 'justice and home affairs' and on the Common Foreign and Security Policy. 'Accepting the acquis' therefore means taking the EU as you find it.

  Europe as a Global Actor
The debate
20 January 2010 CEPS evening debate on 'Europe as a Global Actor: Views from the Spanish Presidency. Speaker: Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyabé, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coopration of Spain, Chair H. Onno Ruding.


The event by the Spanish presidency was one of the first presentations in Brussels. After the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty this is a new situation to create new balances and to indicate important items for the priorities. The treaty took effect in December, ushering in a host of changes to help the EU take decisions efficiently and play a prominent role in international affairs. Spain will seek to srengthen the EU's role as a global player, working closely with the new EU president to project European unity and help the bloc speak with one voice.

There is stronger policy and cooperation (on climate change, economy, enlargement, people security, .....). The main priorities of the Spanish presidency will focus on the future of Europe (including implementing of the Lisbon Treaty), economy (unity), Middle East and Latin America.

The implementation of the Treaty is working well till now. Every day and week it is going better and better. The EU's new institutional framework gave it the institutions, personalities and mechanisms to speak with a united voice in which both national and European interests will be presented.

After WW-II Schuman and Monnet started the inspiring thought to integrate Europe for the benefit of the citizens. Integration became a kind of obsession. Main direction became to act common on global issues and policies were more and more focussed on economic cooperation.

Due to the past, colonial ties are present, for instance Latin America and Africa. But foreign policy was not that important for a long time. However, it changed and the EU had to change. To speak with one voice, due to ensure energy, economic level, people security, migration (by economic disaster in Africa) and so on affects also foreign policy. The new CFSP is therefore important and became by ratifying of the Lisbon Treaty a new institution, personality with European diplomats. Spain also will be involved in setting up the EU foreign ministery and diplomatic corps (or éxternal action servive') headed by the high representative.

Answers are still there, but now it is in front how to answer with common voice policy. Many missions (20) in European interest are on the agenda. A common foreign policy is neccesary to anticipate better on the changing world of today.

It appeared that Europe is becoming stronger and better in the EU area, not fast, but consistent. Furthermore, not only relations with USA and EU are concrete on the agenda, but also China, Russia, Turkey and further neigbourhood. Anyway, Europe is one big single market. How to help the poor countries.

How about the parties in the Middle East (progress is quite close, also thanks to American efforts). Russian cooperation has to be settled (energy, but also in other directions). Africa is a neighbour and did not appear on the agenda for a long time. But how to go there? With empty hands? European marshall hulp? Latin America has about a same history and principles. Till now there were no relations with the EU.

The process of European integration is going further, in spite of defending national interests. Looking to Oekraine, there is for example a great opportunity to bring Russia as an important international actor and the EU more together. On longer term, there could grow closer cooperation in the European area. (´A Europe from Georgia to Spain to give answers towards China and India, ......). Now it is a new momentum.


Also the situation on the Western Balkans was discussed. 3 Objectives are important. What has happened, migration, building policies and institutions. The treaty requires the EU-presidency to work closely with the next two countries to hold the office - in Spain's case, Belgium and Hungary. The practical outcome of this 'trio of presidencies' is a joint 18-month programme. 'SBH' trojka agenda has been approved by the Council. Spain is helping to push up Belgium and Hungary.


There should not be a contradiction between national and EU interests. Can Europe be a global actor? There are instruments. It is about the political will (to negotiate) and the importance of parlementary diplomacy. Why are we not able yet? We have the framework and institutions. We are a smart and soft power, but ´needs Europe a regime now´? Our compacity is sometimes soft and sometimes tough. What is foreign policy? What are we defending on the right moment and the right time? More pressure and sanctions are mostly not the solution on challenges.


Despite the hopes raised by the most recent Treaties, the Lisbon Treaty in particular, the European Union has been unable to strengthen, let alone develop its role on the international stage. A couple of weeks away from the European Parliament elections, we need to ask ourselves what can reasonably be done by the upcoming Parliament 2009 to ensure that significant progress is made with respect to the EU’s foreign policy. Some of this progress could result from the implementation of the European Security Strategy or originate from the role and initiatives of the High Representative/Vice-president of the Commission. In addition, rethinking specific approaches could allow for significant improvements in key areas such as the EU’s dealings with neighbouring countries, its commercial relationship with the US, its energy security or its common security and defence policy.
  The Quest for European Leadership
CEPS Annual Conference 5 March 2009

Reforming EU Treaties

During CEPS Annual Conference 2009 'The Quest for European Leadership'. On 5 March, discussions were held on:

High level talks and actions concerning developments in present set backs. Below some brief notes in relation to the theme of the conference.

There is still a
democratic deficit. Citizens keep rejecting what is proposed. Much more engagement of citizens should be present. Leadership is needed. We need an strong Europe of integration. Wrestles what and who Brussels really is and means for daily life. Also national parliaments plays important roles within the process of integration: the importance of subsidiarity.

Leadership is about winning (not artificially) and participating. However, methods to manage the question seems inadequate and an obstacle of producing progress in ratifying. There was attitude for a European referendum and not a referendum by national states. It would be a better democratic and institutional solution for the citizens.

Good expectations: Ireland will ratify the Lisbon Treaty. On legal level, fully ratify is feasible. Constitutional level is proved to be out of reach. Other circumstances, which see to leadership are the next EU-US relations, deep financial and economic crisis and political deficit of Europe. The deficit is a cause of the problem: more political Europe is a solution. The EC is totally immobilized and does everything to avoid conflicts with memberstates. The Lisbon Treaty aimed to strengthen Europe concerning citizens, economical, political, on social and formal scopes and on environment.

Minister Dick Roche said everything we do in relation to the European Union is, and needs to be underpinned by the support of our citizens. The support of Europe’s citizens is expressed through their governments and the representatives they elect to the European Parliament.

'The EU is Unique Because it is Founded on Democracy'

That is what gives the EU its unique democratic legitimacy. No other international entity can compare with the EU in the depth of its democratic underpinning. No International Treaty has ever been produced in a more democratic way than the Constitutional Treaty and its successor the Lisbon Treaty.

Concerning the left role of the market it was said that last few months national approaches does not work and set backs in improvements of financial markets raised. Nobody (bankers, politicians and others) asked oneself the question: 'why took the bubble so long?' and nobody did said 'it cannot go on longer, stop!' In front now is short term thinking to handle the present by lending more and be precocious and long term thinking on better regulations. The measures that have been put in place can be seen as a case of 'very little Europe and very many national reactions'.

Views about the old way of life, transition to
a new way, leadership, the importance of negotations and relations and a suggestion
to settle one spot where the course of money-flows in most important currencies can be centralized and monitored


The need to strengthen the EU as an effective actor in the international arena  
At CEPS ANNUAL CONFERENCE 28 February 2008, about 250 participants commemorated CEPS 25th anniversary: 'Thinking Ahead to the Next 25 Years'.

What will be the grand ideas and projects of the next 25 years? The EU will be needed as an actor on the global scene, helping to forge the new world order that is emerging with the emerging rise of players such as China and India. The need to strengthen the EU as an effective actor in the international arena, to enhance European identity, or to render EU decision-making more democratic – it is difficult to say now what will be the issues that drive the EU forward for the next two decades or so. The CEPS 2008 Annual Conference devoted debating precisely to these questions.

I. Europe's Role in the World
Should the European
neighbourhood policy become a fully-fledged tool? How high should the EU sets its level of ambition in terms of defence capabilities? How to strike the right balance between hard and soft power, and is it desirable and (if so) possible to speak with a single voice?

II. Internal Challenges
How to sustain the
welfare state in the face of current demographic trends? How to enhance economic growth in order to maintain and improve both the level of employment and living standards? And given the likehood that large waves of immigrants will continue to make their way onto EU territory, how best to integrate their diverse cultures and religions into relatively homogeneous societies? Tackling the issue of energy supply and its trades-off with environmental sustainability, what policy options should the EU be exploring?

III. Researching Europe: Brainstorming CEPS Priorities

Speakers: Onno Ruding
, Olli Rehn,
Robert Cooper, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Jean Marie Guéhenno, Bronislaw Geremek († 13 July 2008), Wolfgang Wessels, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst and Nick Butler.

The world is organising. Persuasiveness, great leadership and aspiration are of enormous relevance in the changing global order with upcoming markets. Other main points are demography, migration and energy. Another aspect is the presence deficit of technicians, that can become a problem in the future.
To anticipate upon this, creating an alliance on European level between academics, public, institutions and others could contribute to solutions. Further raised valid understandings were continuity, integration and especially the next generation, for "people with grey hair alone don't make Europe".

'We should not fall into the trap of selfdestruction or self fulfilling prophecy. Volatility, dynamics, flexibility and including everything should be course of things. A very triggering, inspiring and useful brainstorming session.

CEPS AC 2008

CEPS AC 2008


The European Way of Life  
As part of the Presidency in 2006, more than 300 participants from politics, science, acadamics, art, media, diplomacy and clergy got together with the European Commission to talk about the role and future of Europe, her objects in view and chances and to give new ideas, opinions, suggestions and proposals as part of a new sound during the international conference "THE SOUND OF EUROPE". Participants were also enabled to discuss about the future of Europe during working lunch sessions. One of the working lunches was called 'The European Way of Life'. Here are the notes:

Is it a model for the world of the future?: Following the introduction of the topic by Paolo Bulgari and his definition of the European Way of Life as the ability of European citizens to count on the welfare state, to rely on democracy, to live in a healthy and safe environment and to practice solidarity, a heated debate amongst the 24 participants of the working group about the existence of this European Way of Life and its possible continuance occurred. The threat to the European Way of Life was perceived as coming from both inside and outside the European Union.   From an economic perspective, the outward movement of capital and the loss of working places due to the inflexibility of the labour market to countries like India and China was mentioned; from a cultural perspective, the loss of solidarity amongst Europeans generally and the European nations in particular and the integration of immigrants was mentioned. In terms of remedies, the number of suggestions reflected the number of participants. Agreement was only reached on the essence of educational reform, the change of the labour market and the reform of the welfare state to facilitate the European Way of Life.

Borders, Security and Identity Despite Blurred Frontiers: The complex issues of identity, borders and security were the main topics of discussion at table number five.  The creation of a multifaceted identity is problematic, but a common occurrence in the 21 st century.  Its impact has created a new concept of security, and this has affected our idea of borders.  This creation of identity and questioning of borders and security has created a crisis amongst individuals which has resulted in a unified fear of "the other."  All three topics were put in the context of Turkey and its negotiations to join the EU.  The problems that both the EU and Turkey face are history, internal structures of the EU and the lack of communication between the elites and the public.   In order for European ideas to have an impact on the global stage, Europeans need to come to terms with the creation of a complex identity, its pressures and how this changes their view about security and borders.