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.