In this fortnight’s Vienna Coffee House Conversation, Ivan Vejvoda speaks to EU diplomat and academic Julia De Clerck-Sachsse about the power of narratives to shape policy and the future of the European project. Was Barack Obama right to say that “perhaps [Europe needs] an outsider, somebody who is not European, to remind [it] of the magnitude of what [it has] achieved”? As enlargement proceeds and threats to the democratic order arise, is Europe able to tell itself the stories that it needs to face up to new challenges?
A diplomat and an academic, Julia De Clerck-Sachsse served as the speechwriter and communications adviser to EU High Representatives for Foreign and Security Policy, Lady Catherine Ashton and Federica Mogherini. She is leading a research project at Oxford University on the EU’s geopolitical narrative and works on transatlantic relations, EU foreign and security policy; also a foreign-policy Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She is a 2020/21 “Europe’s Futures”fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences and ERSTE Foundation.
Ivan Vejvoda is Head of the Europe’s Futures program at IWM where, in cooperation with leading European organisations and think tanks IWM and ERSTE Foundation have joined forces to tackle some of the most crucial topics: nexus of borders and migration, deterioration in rule of law and democracy and European Union’s enlargement prospects.