German-Portuguese Expert Meeting on the 4th and 5th of December in Lisbon

On the 4th and 5th of December 2017, the German-Portuguese Expert-Meeting took place in Lisbon on the topic of “The European Order”, organized in cooperation with our Portuguese partner, the Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais (IPRI).

This year’s German-Portuguese Expert Meeting primarily focused on reforms of the Eurozone, as well as on reform initiatives of the European defence policy, taking transatlantic cooperation and the EU-African relations into consideration.

In the centre of the debate on Reforms of the Euro and the Eurozone was the call for a consolidation of the Euro as a single currency of the European Union. The crisis of recent years has significantly shaped the EU and strengthened its ability to alter the European continent. However, in the current period of stability, the EU needs to prepare for the challenges of the future. Besides fiscal and economic reforms, social components of the EU agenda should be brought back to the centre of attention. PESCO constitutes one of the most significant components of the European defence policy in recent years. Particularly, as the EU allows for the recovery of state sovereignty on a collective level. The EU has to guarantee peace and prosperity to its member states in order to ensure the upheaval of international law and order, particularly as the security of the EU is directly linked to the security of its neighbourhood. Furthermore, the participants criticized the long-persisting Eurocentric approach to the EU-Africa relations, which has been influenced by the underlying post-colonial structures. In order to prevent irregular migration, the EU must highlight its strength as a value-based community. In addition, the enhancement of EU-Africa relations in the future may only be achieved if the EU initiates a shift from development cooperation to investment programmes in the future.

The Expert Meeting aimed to promote an enhanced cooperation and understanding, in addition to a coherent representation of the respective interests of the states regarding European reforms. This was particularly important to demonstrate the possibilities of unified European approaches and initiatives that are in line with European reforms.

The IEP sincerely thanks Martin Kotthaus and the Federal Foreign Office, our partner Instituto Relações Internacionais da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IPRI-NOVA) and all experts who took part in the German-Portuguese Expert-Meeting and enriched the debate through lively and interesting contributions. Special thanks go to the German Embassy in Lisbon and the German Ambassador to Portugal Dr. Christof Weil for his dinner reception.