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EU External Action: Priorities and Policies

21/01/2013 - 22/01/2013, Roma

In the framework of the project led by four think tanks - IAI, Polish Institute for International Affairs, Real Instituto Elcano, Swedish Institute for International Affairs - aimed at providing contributions to a European Global Strategy (EGS), IAI organized a seminar in Rome on “EU external action: priorities and policies” on 21-22 January 2013.

The main goal of the seminar was to propose and discuss priorities and policies for current and future EU external action, with regard to issues and regions that are crucially related to European interests. This kind of rethinking requires a pro-active approach, taking the current political, economic and security environment into account, but also looking at the medium term (the next 5-10 years) in order to put forward a meaningful agenda.

One of the main topics in this regard dealt with the EU neighbourhood. The EU neighbourhood is considered both a politico-strategic concept, as the presence of European interests in certain regions links them functionally to the EU, and a geographic one, as certain areas’ proximity to the EU results in a significant and direct impact on European societies.

The specific instruments needed to pursue an EGS are also part of the broader reflection on EU action on the global stage, and have been taken into consideration in relation to the priorities and policies discussed.

Each session of the seminar has been introduced by the presentation of a policy-oriented paper, aimed both at addressing the subject of the session and at outlining a desirable EU approach to it. This has been followed by respondents’ remarks and by an open debate among all participants in the seminar.

The seminar has been opened by a key note speech by the Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies Antonio Missiroli, focused on strategic foresight in the EU. The first session has discussed economic priorities for a European strategy, with a paper presented by the Davide Tentori and Myrian Zandonini (Chatham House, London). Then the focus moved to external-internal security issues, introduced by paper by Isabelle Ioannides (Bureau of European Policy Advisors of the European Commission, Brussels)). The third session addressed the European policies in the neighbourhood in light of recent change, and the discussion kicked-off from the analysis put forward by Jean Francois Daguzan (Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris). Finally, Ronja Kempin (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin) discussed the interlinked issues of EU membership, partnership and global governance analysed by the paper she co-authored with Barbara Lipphert.