Europe's Futures Colloquium

with Olivia Lazard and Janka Oertel
Seminars and Colloquia

Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action is IWM’s strategic 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.  Our fourth group of Europe’s Futures Fellows comprises this year eight prominent experts who will outline their work in  four “colloquia” throughout the month of September.

The European Union stands at a critical juncture in terms of the Green agenda. In a complex geopolitical environment it aims among other to externalise its Green Deal - the most advanced political and technical proposal to chart a path torward a regional climate transition. Key in this overall  geopolitical environment is the question: how far is China ready to go forward on its recently stated commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060 (President Xi Jinping’s statement at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020). How can the EU's Green Agenda Go Global? How to best manage and mitigate the impact of China’s new role as a competitor also on the green transition? What does the European Union need to do to project its vision and values on these issues?

Some answers to these important questions from the 2021/22 project were presented by our speakers Olivia Lazard and Janka Oertel.

Olivia Lazard is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, focusing on the geopolitics of climate, the transition ushered by climate change, and the risks of conflict and fragility associated to climate change and environmental collapse. Olivia is an environmental peacemaking and mediation practitioner as well as a researcher. With an original specialization in the political economy of conflicts, she has worked for various NGOs, the UN, the EU, and donor states in the Middle East, Latin America, Sub-Saharan and North Africa, and parts of Asia. In her fieldwork, her focus was to understand how globalization and the international political economy shaped patterns of violence and vulnerability patterns as well as formed new types of conflict systems that our international governance architecture has difficulty tackling with agility. It is also through fieldwork that she came to observe the ways in which the plundering of ecosystems feeds conflict systems across the world and contributes to climate disruptions. Prior to joining Carnegie Europe, Olivia set up her own consultancy firm, Peace in Design Consulting, which remains exclusively active in conflict and fragile zones. 

Dr Janka Oertel is the Director of the Asia Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. She previously worked as a Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Berlin office, where she focused on transatlantic China policy including on emerging technologies, Chinese foreign policy and security in East Asia. Prior to joining GMF, she served as a program director at Körber Foundation’s Berlin office. She holds a PhD from the University of Jena. Her dissertation focused on Chinese policies within the United Nations. She was a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP Berlin) and worked at United Nations Headquarters, New York, as a Carlo-Schmid-Fellow. She has published widely on topics related to EU-China relations, US-China relations, security in the Asia-Pacific region, Chinese foreign policy, 5G and emerging technologies as well as climate cooperation.

Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Acting Rector, Permanent Fellow and head of Europe’s Futures programme, hosted and moderated the event.