Podcasts / Vienna Coffee House Conversations with Ivan Vejvoda

Vienna Coffee House Conversations with Ivan Vejvoda

“Europe is made up of coffee houses or cafes… Draw the coffee-house map and you have one of the essential markers of the ‘idea of Europe’.”

George Steiner

Vienna Coffee House Conversations podcast series are brought about by Ivan Vejvoda, IWM’s Permanent Fellow and director of Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action project.

As Europe finds itself confronted with challenges of a magnitude it has not experienced since the crises of the 1930s, it is of the essence to create a space to understand the current dynamics and to bring people from the different corners of Europe to speak and listen to each other on many challenges: rule of law, democratic deterioration, depopulation and migration, unity and solidarity, the wake of Brexit, the enlargement prospects in the Western Balkans.

Expanding that space, Europe’s Futures Fellows and other prominent European experts join Ivan Vejvoda in 30-min episodes with succinct discussion on issues with lines sometimes blurred but importance always clear for the success of the European project.

New Approaches to EU Enlargement with Kristof Bender

In this week's episode, Ivan Vejvoda sits down with European Stability Initiative deputy chairman and Europe's Futures Fellow Kristof Bender to discuss a policy that many point to as among the most successful peace projects in the history of the world: EU enlargement. As the Union decides whether and how quickly to extend EU membership to Ukraine and Molodova and formalize their move towards Europe in response to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kristof and Ivan lead us through the history of the policy and its transformative effect on those countries who have joined the bloc, then ask why the policy seems to have stalled in recent years. Does it make sense to extend membership to new countries for geopolitical reasons? Or should the process be purely meritocratic? Is there a new approach that would offer a clear incentive to candidate countries to make necessary improvements that could sidestep internal EU politics?

Ukraine, Moldova and Europe After the Russo-Ukrainian War with Balázs Jarábik

In this week's episode, Ivan Vejvoda is joined by Balázs Jarábik to consider the future of Ukraine and its neighbors in a Europe forever changed by the full-scale Russian invasion of 24 February 2022. How will extending the embrace of the EU and NATO as signaled by Western European leaders impact the global situation? What will be the on-the-ground effects of the war for Moldova, the territory of Transnistria, for the neighborhood and for Ukraine itself? What kind of Ukraine will emerge when the war finally ends and life returns to something approaching 'normal'?

Untranslatable Ukrainian Humour and Life in Ukraine Today with Oksana Forostyna

Writer, editor and prominent intellectual Oksana Forostyna joins Ivan Vejvoda from Lviv to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine, her recent essay on Ukrainian jokes and humour and their importance as a shield against trauma and aggression, the political life of the country during wartime; and daily family life during these difficult years.

A Resilient, Independent and Green Europe with Heather Grabbe

As Europeans reckon once again with the challenges of war on their continent, has the pressing issue of climate change fallen by the wayside as governments have scrambled to contend with even more immediate concerns? How can the EU work toward greater independence and security while still reacting appropriately to the environmental threat of global warming? In this conversation senior advisor at Open Society Foundations and Europe's Futures Fellow Heather Grabbe and Ivan Vejvoda explore the various angles on and approaches to this question from the generational shifts in attitudes toward climate policy and the march of technology to the green common ground that Europe can find with China.

The Past, Present and Future of EU Enlargement with Veronica Anghel

This week Ivan Vejvoda is joined by Johns Hopkins University - School of Advanced International Studies adjunct professor and former foreign policy advisor to the Romanian presidential administration Veronica Anghel to discuss the state of EU enlargement policy in 2023. As the continent redefines itself, its security and its long-term objectives in the shadow of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, what is the state of play for candidate countries seeking to join the European Union? Will this prove to be a moment when the expansion of the EU's border to encompass Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balkans - a project that many considered stalled -can be revived? How have the requirements for entry and justification for enlargement changed since the fall of communism in the early 90s? Are unresolved border questions and the rise of right wing populism affecting the way that the EU27 approaches these questions?

Europe's Future Voters with Ivana Dragičević

This week, Europe's Futures Fellow and editor at N1 Television, CNN affiliate for the Adria-Balkans region, Ivana Dragičević talks to Ivan Vejvoda about Europe's youth and the shifting cultural and geopolitical forces that are shaping how young people see the world they are set to inherit. What to make of a trend that sees voter turnout waning while other forms of political engagement surge? Are the young susceptible to algorithms and bad actors found on social media apps that older generations don't use? How can Europe's institutions remain relevant when, to many, they simply do not look like the Europe that young people know?