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What are the challenges faced by European foreign policy?

Comillas CIHS organizará en junio un curso de verano sobre la política exterior y seguridad de la Unión Europea


El curso de verano se compone de 13 conferencias y tiempo para networking, e intentará dar respuesta a cuestiones como si la guerra en Ucrania provocará la aparición de una estrategia coherente de defensa en Europa

9 May 2022

What are the challenges faced by European foreign policy?

In June, Comillas CIHS will organise a summer school on foreign policy and security in the European Union

Europe is now in a position that we did not imagine even in our worst nightmares. The war launched by Russia against Ukraine has shaken the economic, social, political and energy foundations of the Old Continent, which faces an uncertain future marked by the need to undertake greater investments in security and social protection. This is compounded by the rise of China, which could leave Europe in the backseat, as well as calling into question the current rules-based international system.

All of these topics will be tackled at the Summer School on European Affairs, organised by the Department of International Relations of the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences (Comillas CIHS). Under the title “The Challenges from the East: the EU at a Crossroads of its Foreign and Security Policy”, the first edition will focus on the challenges presented from the East that reinforce the need to progress in the integration of foreign policy in member states, who, after 80 years of the European project, continue speaking with many different voices.

For the organisers, this course, open to university students and young national and international professionals, is important to analyse the fact that China and Russia, in addition to being trade and technological competitors for the EU, are systemic rivals to the West. However, "the Russian invasion of Ukraine seems to have strengthened the ties of European liberal democracies as never before around a policy of containment and defence of the principles of international law", says José Manuel Sáenz Rotko, Professor of International Relations (Comillas CIHS).

The summer school, which consists of 13 conferences and time dedicated for networking, will attempt to respond to questions such as if the war in Ukraine will provoke the creation of a coherent defence strategy in Europe, or whether this situation of war will lead to the transformation of the current intergovernmental model of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) into a truly communitarian policy, in which individual member states can no longer veto decisions by a qualified majority of the EU's 27 members, a body that allows Europe to speak with one voice in defence matters.

The Summer School will bring together a panel of speakers composed of policy makers, who will provide an insider's view from the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS); legislators from the European Parliament, and ministerial representatives from Member States, as well as analysts from think tanks and academia. They include Belén Martínez Carbonell, managing director for Global Agenda and Multilateral Relations at the EEAS; Ana Palacio, former Spanish Foreign Minister; María Ángeles Benítez Salas, director of the European Commission in Spain; Pawel Herczynski, director for CFSP at the EEAS; and David Robinson of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

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