Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action is IWM’s partnership initiative with the ERSTE Foundation aiming to understand and address challenges posed to Europe and the European Union by the eroding of democracy, rule of law deficiencies, migratory pressures or climate change. During this academic 2021/22 the fourth cohort of Europe’s Futures Fellows takes stage with eight prominent experts who will outline their work in four “colloquia” through September 2021. At the second event in the series, we further investigated some of the major issues in countries within and just outside the European Union.
Much attention has been paid to the alarming statistics on population decline in Central Europe and the fears these numbers have provoked. As a result of alarming statistics on population decline, governments in Hungary and Poland have introduced pro-natalist policies which are detrimental to both women’s rights and democratic standards. Amanda Coakley contributed to the discussion on these aspects with her work as Europe's Futures Fellow 2021/22 .
While we await and ponder the emergence of a properly strategic EU, it is important to scope different perceptions of what strategic action by the European Union should or should not encompass as these expectations will vary between member states based on their individual national preferences and geographical location. On the sample of France, Austria, Poland and Germany, Zoran Nechev mapped different national understandings of EU’s actions in North Macedonia, Serbia and Albania in order to find out how these aspiring members can best position themselves vis-à-vis the EU.
Amanda Coakley is a reporter and producer for The Irish Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, POLITICO Europe, The Financial Times, Al Jazeera, Euronews, The National, Deutsche Welle, BBC Radio 4, RTÉ, CNN International and Channel 4 News. Amanda was one of the first foreign journalists in the world to interview Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, and she also covered the war in Nagorno-Karabakh 2020 for The Irish Times, RTÉ and Euronews. Prior to career in journalism she was a publisher at Penguin Random House. https://www.amandacoakley.com/work
Zoran Nechev is a leading regional expert on relations between the European Union and candidate-countries from the Western Balkans, specialising in external dimensions of Justice and Home Affairs. Zoran heads the Center for EU integration of the Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” from Skopje, North Macedonia. Zoran is also an academic guest at the Center for International and Comparative Studies at ETH Zürich, and has worked at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris.
Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Acting Rector, Permanent Fellow and head of Europe’s Futures programme, hosted and moderated the event.