Does Europe need a grand strategy? Exploring competing visions for the EU's role in the world

May 20, 2019 – May 22, 2019 all-day Europe/Rome Timezone
Villa Schifanoia
Via Giovanni Boccaccio
50133 Florence

Executive Training Seminar

Global Governance Programme (in collaboration with the School of Transnational Governance)


Scientific Coordinators:
Marina Henke | Northwestern University
Ulrich Krotz | European University Institute
Richard Maher | European University Institute
Robin Markwica | European University Institute 20 – 22 MAY 2019


In June 2016, the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini presented a Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy. The document suggested a plan to pursue what it identified as some core European priorities. In the meantime, the global landscape has changed significantly: President Donald Trump has raised questions about the US commitment to European security. The Russian government has strengthened its efforts to influence the outcomes of elections in Western countries and contested established borders in Europe’s Eastern periphery. And the EU itself has seen a wave of nationalist and populist movements that question further European integration.
In light of these challenges, this Executive Training Seminar examined in what ways the EU’s Global Strategy can be adapted and improved to meet these new challenges. It investigated what a “good” grand strategy is, what issue areas it involves, and what objectives it addresses. Bringing together academic specialists, policymakers, and think tank experts, the three-day seminar offered an in-depth overview of potential grand strategic options for the EU in light of its presumed security interests. It not only identified the costs, benefits, and risks associated with different strategies, but also discussed their various underlying assumptions and visions for Europe’s role in the world. Topics of the seminar included grand strategy in theory and practice, potential grand strategic postures toward the US, Russia, and China as well as the role of Europe’s nuclear and conventional defense capabilities. Through presentations, case studies, and simulations, participants enhanced their understanding of grand strategy and Europe’s core security and economic interests in the world.



Final Programme



Prof. Michel Foucher | Chair of Applied Geopolitics, College of World Studies, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris; formerly Ambassador at Large for European Affairs (2007), French Ambassador to Latvia (2002-2006), special advisor to the French Foreign Minister (1997-2002), head of the Policy Planning Staff, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1999-2002), and special envoy to the Balkans and the Caucasus (1999), France
Dr. Andrea Gilli | Senior Researcher in military affairs, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy; and affiliate, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, United States
Dr. Mauro Gilli | Senior Researcher in military technology and international security, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Prof. Marina Henke | Assistant Professor in Political Science, Northwestern University, United States
Prof. Ulrich Krotz | Professor, European University Institute, Italy
Dr. Eva Pejsova | Senior Analyst on East Asia, European Union Institute of Security Studies, France
Dr. Nina Silove | Senior researcher in International Security, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; and Research associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, United States
Dr. Paul van Hooft | Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States