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European Security: Old Trends and New Realities

22 October 2018 – 24 October 2018 all-day Europe/Rome Timezone
Villa Schifanoia
Via Giovanni Boccaccio
121, 50133 Firenze FI
Matthias Kindel

Scientific Coordinators:

Prof. Ulrich Krotz | European University Institute

Dr. Richard Maher | European University Institute

Dr. Robin Markwica | European University Institute


This Executive Training Seminar examined the broad range of security risks and challenges currently facing the European Union (EU) and its member states. Europe’s security environment is increasingly complex and uncertain. Some of the challenges that the EU encounters today are ones that it has faced for many decades, such as concern over Russia’s power and intentions and the credibility of the U.S. security commitment to European defense. Others are of more recent vintage, such as Arctic security, spillover effects from the “arc of instability” that runs along the EU’s southern and southeastern borders, and how best to deter potential Russian encroachment in Eastern Europe and the Baltics. Bringing together academic specialists, policymakers, and think tank experts, this three-day seminar offered an in-depth overview of the scale and scope of the security challenges facing Europe. It outlined possible measures that the EU and its member states could take to address these challenges. Topics included EU initiatives to build independent security and defense capabilities, and appraisals of the various security risks and threats facing the EU’s northern, southern, and eastern flanks, respectively. Through presentations, case studies, and simulations, attendees gained a greater appreciation and understanding of how security risks in Europe could evolve, combine, and interact, and the policy responses that will be needed to manage the forces at play.


Final Programme

(Applications closed)



Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer | German Marshall Fund, France
Prof. Raffaella Del Sarto | SAIS Europe and European University Institute, Italy
Prof. Ulrich Krotz | European University Institute, Italy
Dr. Jon Kyst | European External Action Service, Belgium
Tomáš Valášek | Carnegie Europe, Belgium
Prof. Page Wilson | University of Iceland, Iceland


Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer is a senior transatlantic fellow and the director of the German Marshall Fund’s (GMF) Paris office where she leads GMF’s Transatlantic Security Program. Dr. de Hoop Scheffer has held several positions in government and academia, and is an accomplished expert on U.S. foreign policy, French politics, French foreign policy, French-U.S. relations, French-German relations, transatlantic relations, and international security. She served as an advisor for U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations at the policy planning department of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009-11). From 2010 to 2013, she was an advisor to USEUCOM Commander and SACEUR, Admiral James Stavridis, as part of the Next Generation Advisory Panel. From 2006 to 2009, she served as a consultant and contributed to several high-level working groups for the French Ministry of Defense on U.S. defense policy, transatlantic security cooperation, and post-conflict reconstruction. She is as an associate professor at Sciences Po Paris, teaching international and transatlantic relations and an associate fellow at the Center for International Studies and Research (CERI)-Sciences Po and the Observatory on the United States of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in Strategic and Diplomatic Studies at the University of Québec, Montreal (UQAM). Dr. de Hoop Scheffer holds a PhD in political science (Sciences Po Paris), two master’s degrees in conflict and security studies and political science (Sciences Po Paris), and a bachelor’s degree in War Studies (King’s College London). She is the author of the book Hamlet en Irak (CNRS éditions, 2007) and her articles and essays have appeared in a number of publications and major French and international newspapers, including Le MondeLe FigaroLa CroixLes EchosL’Opinion, and The New York Times


Prof. Raffaella Del Sarto is Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Europe in Bologna. She is also Part-time Professor at the Robert Schuman Centre of the EUI, where she participates in the MENARA research project on the regional order in the Middle East, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. Between 2011 and 2017 she acted as Director of the ERC-funded BORDERLANDS research project which was hosted at the EUI. Previously, she was a Pears Fellow in Israel and Mediterranean Studies at the Middle East Centre of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford (2007-11), and Marie Curie Fellow (2005-07) and Jean Monnet Fellow (2004-05) at the EUI. Prof. Del Sarto obtained a PhD in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her most recent publications include Israel under Siege: The Politics of Insecurity and the Rise of the Israeli Neo-Revisionist Right (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2017); “Contentious Borders in the Middle East and North Africa: Context and Concepts,” in International Affairs 93:4, special issue edited by Raffaella Del Sarto, Louise Fawcett and Asli S. Okyay (2017); and “Normative Empire Europe: The European Union, its Borderlands, and the ‘Arab Spring’, Journal of Common Market Studies (2016). 


Dr. Jon Kyst is a diplomat and Russia expert at the East Strategic Communications (East Stratcom) Task Force in the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic service led by High Representative Federica Mogherini. Previously he was an associate professor of Russian at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen and has appeared regularly in Scandinavian media as a Russia pundit. He has also held positions at the University of Copenhagen and has served as Russian interpreter for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Danish Royal Family. Dr. Kyst holds a Ph.D. degree in Russian literature, having studied at the University of Copenhagen, St. Petersburg State University and Columbia University in New York.


Dr. Richard Maher is a Research Fellow at the Europe in the World Programme of the EUI’s Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Brown University, an M.Sc. in Political Theory from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Previously he taught at Wheaton College and the University of Rhode Island and was a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the EUI. His main research areas include international security, the history and theory of European integration, and Europe’s external relations.


Tomáš Valášek is the director of Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on security and defense, transatlantic relations, and Europe’s Eastern neighborhood. Previously, Mr. Valášek served as the permanent representative of the Slovak Republic to NATO for nearly four years. Before that, he was president of the Central European Policy Institute in Bratislava (2012-13), director of foreign policy and defense at the Centre for European Reform in London (2007-12), and founder and director of the Brussels office of the World Security Institute (2002-06). In 2006-07, he served as acting political director and head of the security and defense policy division at the Slovak Ministry of Defense. Mr. Valášek is the author of numerous articles in newspapers and journals including the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. He advised the Slovak defense and foreign ministers, the UK House of Lords, and the Group of Experts on the new NATO Strategic Concept.


Prof. Page Wilson is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Iceland. Between 2014 and 2016, she was an associate professor at the University of Greenland – the first native English-speaker to be appointed to a full-time academic post. Prior to this, she was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK (2008-2013). She was admitted as a solicitor in Victoria, Australia, in 2002. In addition to her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics, she holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, and a Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include Arctic security and governance, the interplay between international politics and international law, and the politics of the law of armed conflict. Her works have appeared in publications including International Affairs, Cooperation and Conflict, Polar Record and The Diplomat