On December 1st, the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) held a discussion featuring Thomas Gomart, the director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), moderated by Justinas Mickus, an Associate Expert at the EESC. The event centred on key topics such as European strategic autonomy, the future of European security and defence, and the implications of an unstable global environment.
The discussion delved into various aspects of European strategic challenges and opportunities. The guest highlighted the transformation of the global landscape, mainly due to the war in Ukraine, leading to a loss of Europe’s competitive advantages like peace and stability. He discussed the EU’s economic and political competitiveness, the role of emerging economies, and the importance of NATO. The conversation addressed the geopolitical relationships involving Russia, China, and BRICS countries, emphasizing the EU’s need to re-evaluate its strategic autonomy and capabilities in defence, economy, and energy.
Energy security was a significant focus, particularly the EU’s dependence on Russian energy and the need for decoupling. The discussion encompassed the challenges of EU enlargement, the impact of U.S. elections on European security, and the need for the EU to be realistically ambitious in its strategic goals.
The discussion concluded with an emphasis on Europe’s need for a comprehensive, long-term strategic vision. This vision would entail balancing immediate challenges with long-term goals, such as the EU’s 2050 plan, and adapting to global trends. The event emphasized that European strategic autonomy involves many factors, including historical context, energy policies, military alliances, and geopolitical shifts.