IEP Lunch Debate with Professor Nathalie Tocci, Advisor to Federica Mogherini: “Europe’s Global Strategy”

Nathalie Tocci and Katrin Böttger
Nathalie Tocci and Katrin Böttger

The IEP public lunch debate on Europe’s Global Strategy took place on 23 September 2016 at the Representation of the European Commission in Berlin. Patrick Lobis, member of the political department of the European Commission in Germany opened the debate by giving a short welcoming speech. In the following, Professor Nathalie Tocci, advisor to Federica Mogherini and Deputy Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali gave a brief talk on the making, the objectives and implementation of the EU’s new Global Strategy in comparison to the European Security Strategy of 2003, thereby focusing on four points: the different context, process, content and action. The event was moderated by Dr. Katrin Böttger, Deputy Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP).

During her introductory speech Tocci emphasized the different settings in which the two strategies were developed. She stressed that whereas in 2003 the world was considered unipolar and the European project was viewed with great optimism, due to the realization of such projects as the Euro and the Eastern Enlargement, today’s world is characterized by multipolarity, contested interdependence and an increasing notion of populism and Euroscepticism. According to Tocci, this different context in which the 2016 strategy was developed made a different process for the strategy’s development necessary. Finding a common narrative amongst the increased number of member states would no longer have solved the different issues and problems at stake, Tocci argued. Therefore, the strategy’s development process was far more complex this time, taking into consideration the political differences between the member states as well as the interests of a large number of interest groups and the civil society.

The strategy’s content also differs, including a shift from a transformational to a transactional approach. Tocci explained that it deliberately avoids the concrete determination of partners but follows a policy of “partnering”, with individual partners depending on the specific issue area of consideration.

Another major difference between the two strategies is the concrete need for an organized and common implementation. Tocci explained that as a basis, common definitions of such terms as resilience, a common approach to crisis management and a better cooperation between the internal and external dimensions of specific policy areas need to be defined by all member states.

During the lively discussion that followed, the audience was especially interested in the changed role of the U.S. which, according to Tocci, can no longer be regarded as a security provider for the EU unless the issue at stake is of interest for the U.S. themselves. Therefore, the EU would need to be able to ensure her own security and, if necessary, to defend herself. The discussion illustrated the argument that the EU is facing multiple, interrelated challenges that cannot be addressed using one single strategy.

By: Friederike Bodenstein-Dresler


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