Jakob Hallgren and Ana Palacio discuss how Europe might get from where it is to where its citizens need it to be. Arguably, Europe in general (and the EU in particular) is a mess. Is there leadership at the national level or at the European level that instead of merely muddling through could find new pathways to a prosperous, secure European future? What are the new ideas to cope with new problems?
Europe is under considerable stress from the Ukraine war, a deep energy crisis, inflation, roiled financial markets, looming recessions, social unrest, and political turmoil—on top of longstanding tensions between northern and southern countries over economics and western and eastern countries over cultural and social issues.
Arguably, Europe in general (and the EU in particular) is a mess.
The question is whether these forces will combine in ways that could produce less Europe or more Europe in the coming years. Is there leadership at the national levels or at the European level that instead of merely muddling through could find new pathways to a prosperous, secure European future? What are the new ideas to cope with new problems?
In this special edition of the New Thinking for a New World podcast, Anna Palacio, former Spanish Foreign Minister, and Jakob Hallgren, an experienced Swedish diplomat who now heads the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, join host Alan Stoga to discuss how Europe might get from where it is to where its citizens need it to be. Their conversation was recorded during a Tällberg Foundation webinar on October 27.
ABOUT OUR GUESTS
Jakob Hallgren is the Director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet, UI) since February 2022.
He was Sweden’s Ambassador for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation from 2021 until early 2022. He served as Sweden’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 2018 to 2021. Before that he was Deputy Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) from 2012 to 2018, during which time he was also a member of the Swedish Government’s Delegation on Disarmament and International Law.
In earlier positions Jakob Hallgren has worked as the Head of the Swedish MFA’s Division for Humanitarian and Conflict Issues. He has also undertaken assignments at the Swedish Permanent Mission in Geneva and the Swedish Embassy in Sarajevo as well as for the Swedish Armed Forces and for the Folke Bernadotte Academy. He has worked closely with the UN and the EU, and a variety of other organisations in the fields of security policy, mediation, peace building, security systems reform, disarmament, humanitarian affairs and disaster risk reduction.
Ana Palacio is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain and international lawyer specializing in international and European Union law. From 1994 to 2002, she was a member of the European Parliament, where she chaired the Legal Affairs and Internal Market as well as the Citizens Rights, Justice and Home Affairs Committees. Ana Palacio served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain (2002-2004) and was a member of the Spanish Parliament (2004-2006) where she chaired the Joint Committee of the two Houses for European Union Affairs. She has been Senior Vice-President and General Counsel of the World Bank Group and Secretary General of ICSID (2006-2008). Palacio has been a member of the Executive Committee and Senior Vice-President for International Affairs of AREVA (2008-2009) and served on the Council of State of Spain (2012-2018).