The EU, the Ukraine War and the Meaning of Resilience


Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action is the 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 fifth group of Europe’s Futures Fellows comprised eight prominent experts who outlined their work in three public discussions throughout the month of September.

The EU, the Ukraine War and the Meaning of Resilience 

Resilience can both mean the readiness to withstand pain and the ability to bounce back and transform. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine war, Vladimir Putin banks on the EU’s low threshold of pain endurance, be it in terms of bearing the energy and economic costs of the war, its defense implications or the long-term societal acceptance of refugees. The EU instead relies on its inherent DNA to transform crises into opportunities for the integration project. As the Ukraine war grinds on, which interpretation of resilience is more likely to win the day?

An answer to this important question from the 2022/23 project was presented by our speaker Nathalie Tocci.

Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Honorary Professor at the University of Tübingen and Pierre Keller Visiting Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has been Special Advisor to EU High Representative and Vice President of the Commission Josep Borrell. As Special Advisor to HRVP Federica Mogherini she wrote the European Global Strategy and worked on its implementation. She has been a member of Eni’s Board of Directors since May 2020. Previously she held research positions at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, the Transatlantic Academy, Washington and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence. Her research interests include European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Permanent Fellow and Head of Europe’s Futures program, moderated the event.

A recording of the event is available further below.


A cooperation event between ERSTE Foundation and the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM).