Academic programJuly 16th - July 23rd 2022
Lectures and workshops 2022
The challenges to EU trade policy in a changing world order
The objective of this lecture is to provide participants with a brief overview of the EU´s Trade Policy, its instruments, and their gradual adaptation in the context of current challenges. We will discuss the main trends on the global trade scene, such as the increasingly aggressive practices of China and its global rivalry with the United States, as well as the implications of the current military aggression of Russia on global trade and supply chains. The lecture will provide students with a better understanding of how this context transforms EU trade policy, its objectives, and its instruments. Students will learn about the division of competence in the EU´s trade policy area, the role of member states as well as European institutions in the decision-making process. We will focus on main EU trade policy instruments, such as Free-trade Agreements (FTAs), and on the current discussion about extending the EU´s Tool Box to include more defensive instruments. Should the students wish, we may discuss also the main trade policy priorities of the upcoming Czech presidency.
Disrupted cities: urban vulnerability and resilience in times of conflict, pandemics and climate change
As the world is growing increasingly urban, 75% of the EU population already lives in cities. Urban areas serve as hubs of population, infrastructure and economy. They also concentrate different levels of governance and social dynamics, against the backdrop of local environmental realities. As a result, cities are sites of vulnerability – from political and social conflict to natural and environmental disruptions connected to pandemics or climate change. The lecture interrogates the binary concepts of vulnerability and resilience of cities. What are the key risks and threats for cities and their populations today? How are cities affected by globalization, digitalization, migration, political conflict and climate change? What are the key elements and functions that keep cities running in circumstances of disruption and adversity? Why are some cities more resilient than others? And in what ways is security in cities conditioned by the quality of their governance?
A Europe fit for the digital age
The pandemic in particular has increased the amount of time we spend on the Internet. However, as usual, the new era has brought not only benefits but also new threats to face. And the legislation setting rules in this area has not undergone fundamental change for more than two decades. It is therefore the new European Internet rules called Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services act that should help us meet today’s challenges.
New Internet rules need to be human-centered in the first place. The online space should be returned back into the hands of people, as opposed to technology giants who are currently deciding what content we can see, what may or may not be published, and who use our personal data to their advantage.
It is mainly the planned interoperability obligation for gatekeepers, which should ensure better conditions for users. If dominant platforms are required to provide other platforms with the ability to interconnect and ensure a seamless user experience, this will allow people to stay in touch with their friends without having to have 7 different applications from 7 different companies installed. It seems normal to us today to be able to send emails through different providers. Why should not we send messages from one chat platform to another?
Did Europe manage to secure human-centered rules with the ambitious Digital Services package? Is the legislation future-proof? Will it truly make our digital space safer and more open? And where did industry and government interests prevail over citizens’ digital rights?
The EU in high politics without the EU High Representative
The European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen announced at the beginning of her mandate in 2019 that the EU executive body would become a “geopolitical Commission”. Less than three years later, von der Leyen herself is spearheading the EU’s response to the war in Ukraine and filling the vacuum in EU leadership. As a top EU bureaucrat, von der Leyen surprisingly became the driving force of joint EU actions, seeking consensus among the EU’s member states. Meanwhile, the position of the EU’s High Representative is literally sinking and becoming invisible. Who is actually representing the EU abroad? What does the current situation tell us about the EU’s ambitions to become a global actor? Can we consider the war in Ukraine as a game-changer for the EU’s foreign policy? Should the EU reform its foreign policy in the light of the recently gained experience?
War in Ukraine can serve as a window through which we can observe Europe as a global actor. The lecture will focus on the EU’s current position in the international arena and will assess its successes and failures. The lecture will also focus on the impact of the war in Ukraine on European diplomacy and performance at the international level. The lecture will outline several scenarios of where European foreign policy could go in the coming years.
EU approach towards hybrid warfare in times of Russian aggression in Ukraine
The brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine has radically changed the ways how Europeans think about their own security. Although the war has primarily led to concerns about military security and insufficient defense budgets, hybrid threats have not been forgotten. Gaining traction following the Russian occupation of Crimea and the start of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, the notion of hybrid threats has been used in the past years to describe covert hostile actions happening under the threshold of war. The European Union has developed a range of tools that are supposed to counter such hostile actions ranging from disinformation and other attempts to influence European public opinion to covert attacks on strategic infrastructure.
This lecture will discuss how the EU thinks about hybrid threats. It will outline the development of European policies aimed at countering these threats and key moments that influenced the formation of the EU approach. Furthermore, it will discuss some of the past controversies related to the notion of hybrid threats and point out how they can help us to understand what the EU is and is not able to do when responding to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Stronger than ever? Examining transatlantic ties during times of war
Over the last decade, the transatlantic relationship has faced many trials and tribulations, often questioning the strength and resilience of the alliance. From internal and external threats seeking to undermine the democratic values that bind the allies, the alliance has found resolve and purpose in light of the invasion in Ukraine. The conflict has galvanized the democratic community to ban together to counter Russia’s authoritarian onslaught. However, will this newfound purpose be enough especially with emerging security threats from Russia and China? This lecture will explore the recent and future developments in the transatlantic relationship, the future role of security alliance NATO, and how leadership on both sides of the Atlantic comes into play.
European Green Deal in the light of the war in Ukraine
Since 2019, green transformation has been one of the most important topics on the European policy agenda. The EU has adopted its Climate Law, agreed to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Even despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU held its course and linked its post-pandemic recovery funding closely with the green objectives. Last year, the European Commission presented its largest climate and energy legislative package yet. The so-called “Fit for 55” package is meant to translate the European Green Deal from words to action and introduce the necessary legislative framework that can help decarbonise EU’s economy.
However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has dramatically changed the situation and presented the EU with a new set of challenges. There is an increased focus on energy security and energy independence. Can the European Green Deal survive this new challenge and actually become a tool for the EU to become more energy self-sufficient and help reduce the bloc’s dependency on fossil fuel import from undemocratic regimes? What are the short, medium and long term solutions to the energy crisis? Where do different Member States stand and can the EU manage to come out of this crisis stronger and more united, while still being on track with its decarbonisation targets?
All (gas) roads lead to Rome? – EU energy policies then and now
Amongst the essential Russia’s export income sources are raw materials, oil, and gas. According to Bruegel’s calculation, between January and February of 2022, the EU paid Russia approximately €230m a day for the imported natural gas (NG). Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have witnessed a sharp increase in the price of imported NG, amounting to approximately €690m a day (according to data from March 2nd). This excludes oil and other raw materials and only accounts for the prices of NG, which are three times higher than the pre-war daily average. A study from the Czech NGO Facts on Climate Change articulates that the increase in electricity prices (last autumn) may be attributed to the rising NG prices.
In 2019, last pre-covid year, the EU’s energy mix was based on 40% of petroleum products and 20% of NG. Despite the EU’s experience of a similar short-term shock on the energy market as in 2009, the policies promoting energy diversification proved to be insufficient. Particularly, Germany and CEE states remained largely dependent on the Russian NG imports. This dependency has been perpetrated by the cost-benefit business nature, or the existing infrastructures and bilateral contracts. The question that continues to arise is how to decrease the EU and its member states’ dependency on Russian NG imports? Can the new joint European action of REPowerEU secure affordable energy and fuels from other origins?
EU Common Defense: Illusion or Reality?
Radim Samek & Adéla Jiřičková
Over the past decades, the security landscape of the European Union and the wider European region has experienced intense turmoil. Both the war in Ukraine and general instability in the European neighbourhood caused by conflicts and crises directly impacted the security of individual Member States and the European Union as such. Europe has now come to realise that it needs to take a greater responsibility for strengthening its defence posture and be able to respond faster, be more active on the global security scene and clarify its autonomous security cooperation projects compared to its contribution to the NATO alliance.
The Strategic Compass is the latest addition to the defence cooperation of the European Union. Based on identified current threats and challenges faced by the EU, policy makers have set a clear track for the security cooperation to follow in the years ahead. A high priority task of the Czech Presidency will be to bring the Strategic Compass into practice, which involves the implementation of a variety of means and tools to face current and future security threats and deepen cooperation between the EU and NATO.
It is therefore important to understand how various defence cooperation mechanisms overlap and how they aid one another. Moreover, it is also important to pinpoint the strategic stances of the main voices behind an autonomous defence cooperation of the EU, mainly France and Germany, as well as to see the potential differences in the positions of other members of the NATO alliance and the European Union. Only with these strategic facts will one be able to fully understand the complex security architecture of the European region and see if these security projects have an effective way to secure and safeguard peace in the region, they all call home.
Debating your way to a victorious consensus – workshop on argumentation and diplomatic simulation
Kristína Chlebáková - Project Manager, EUROPEUM Insitute for European Policy; Sudhanshu Kadre - President, European Horizons at Charles University
Diplomacy and negotiations require many skills to achieve a successful outcome, with the ability to structure one’s arguments properly and succinctly being among the key ones. Though one may associate argumentation with an argument, or liken it to a verbal fight, the capability to structure one’s position and use reasoning to support their idea or position is a crucial capability for negotiations.
During this workshop the participants will receive an overview of and training in the art of argumentation – from the way that various turn of phrases can support their claims, the best tricks and tips to structure an argument, to the best use of fallacies in discussions. Students will then use this training to simulate an emergency summit meeting of global powers to deal with a newly occurred crisis. This simulation will build on all the previous lectures and workshops of the European Summer School 2022 and will be chaired by the leaders of the workshop. The participants will find out what countries they’ll represent during the first days of the Summer School, to be able to prepare beforehand.
This workshop is organized in cooperation with the European Horizons chapter at the Charles University and the European Horizons Alumni Network.