European Security at Stake?
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence François Bausch will provide concluding remarks, after which the audience will be given the opportunity to ask questions, moderated by Luxembourg Times Editor-in-Chief Douwe Miedema.
Seventy years ago, Jean Monnet – one of the European Union’s founding fathers – predicted that the EU would be built by crises. Today, more than ever, we experience what this means.
According to Dutch security expert and Professor in International Relations and Security Rob de Wijk, crisis and the Union have become synonyms. The image of an EU in crisis has particularly arisen since the financial one of 2008 and has been ongoing ever since – with the subsequent migration, climate change, Brexit, global pandemic, war in Ukraine, and energy crises following. Yet while media and politics may paint a dreary picture that suggests the European project could be doomed to fail, the current crisis the Union faces goes hand in hand with unprecedented cooperation at the European level.
Europe is currently experiencing huge challenges in the field of security. The past years have seen developments in the international geopolitical arena where the EU’s resilience has seemingly been tested by other players in the field, in particular China, Russia and the United States. The European Union must prove to be strong enough to tackle the plethora of issues it is confronted with as this will determine whether it will remain a key player in international geopolitics or will become the playground of others. For European citizens, the stakes are high, because the latter scenario will entail less prosperity and more insecurity.
How to make sense of all this? International relations and security scholars have been grappling with this question. Professor De Wijk is one such expert in the field and his research explores precisely these issues. He provides in-depth analyses of what exactly Europe is dealing with in recent years. He does so, among others, by analysing how Putin’s Russia, Xi’s China, and the US, especially under the presidency of Trump, have positioned themselves vis-à-vis Europe and therewith is issueing a wakeup call to face reality and reassess the choices Europe has to make. According to De Wijk, Europe is in the process of reinventing itself. The outcome of these reinventions, however, remains to be seen.
Rob de Wijk is the founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Professor of International Relations and Security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University. He studied Contemporary History and International Relations at Groningen University, and wrote his PhD dissertation on NATO’s ‘Flexibility in Response’ strategy at the Political Science Department of Leiden University. Prof. De Wijk started his career in 1977 as a freelance journalist and later became head of the Defence Concepts Department of the Dutch Ministry and later became head of the Defense Concepts Department of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, head of the Security Studies at the Clingendael Institute, and Professor of International Relations at the Royal Netherlands Military Academy. He is the author of De Slag om Europa (the Battle for Europe) and De Nieuwe Wereldorde (The New World Order) which will appear in English translation soon.
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