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.

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?

The European Reaction to the Russo-Ukrainian War with Nathalie Tocci

In this episode, Director of Rome's Institute for International Affairs and 22/23 Europe's Futures Fellow of IWM and ERSTE Foundation Nathalie Tocci joins Ivan Vejvoda to offer her assessment of the European response to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. From the often surprising unity and speed with which the EU has adapted to economic, energy and geopolitical challenges to the more fraught issues of security and defense where a clear European purpose has been less in evidence, Nathalie and Ivan discuss the strengths and shortcomings that have been revealed by the war. Looking to the future, they also address the shifting power centres within the EU, the interaction of continent-wide forces with local concerns and the consequences of the war for the psychology of enlargement policy and other EU wide concerns.

Assessing the Post-soviet Space a Year on From the Full-Scale Russian Invasion of Ukraine with Thomas de Waal

In a wide ranging conversation that aims to provide a strategic overview of the former Soviet Union as its constituent countries reconfigure their relationships with each other, with the Russian government and with the rest of the world - Ivan Vejvoda and  Thomas de Waal reckon with the complex dynamics of power and shifting influences a year on from the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. From the EU facing societies of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to the central Asian countries with strong links to China to the ebb and flow of the trade routes and border policies that shape the geopolitics of the world, de Waal and Vejvoda discuss the events, tensions and historical forces that are defining the twenty first century.

The European Green Deal and its Implications with Olivia Lazard

In this conversation, Ivan Vejvoda talks to our Europe's Futures Fellow, Carnegie Europe visiting scholar and COP26 attendee Olivia Lazard about the European Green Deal - the series of policy initiatives described by Ursula Von Der Leyen as Europe's 'man-on-the-moon moment'.

While decarbonization is unquestionably desirable and necessary should we think of 'the environment' as including the geopolitical, and social environments actually experienced by people in their daily lives? How do we reach the goal of net-zero without stifling the developing world? As Europe pursues strategic autonomy, is there a way for the EU to pioneer a new global model for sustainability?

This Podcast was recorded prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Deliberative Democracy, its Dangers and the Future of Europe with Wojciech Przybylski

The Conference on the Future of Europe - a multi-year consultation that aims to set an agenda for the reform of EU policies and institutions in the medium to long term by inviting participation from EU citizens and civil society - is ongoing following the launch of its digital platform in April 2021. Does the conference represent a new frontier in deliberative democracy or does it give undue prominence to the preoccupations and divisive rhetoric of outlier political movements that do not represent majority EU opinion?

In this episode, Wojciech Przybylski - Editor-In-Chief of Visegrad Insight and a Europe's Futures Fellow at the IWM - discusses these concerns with Ivan Vejvoda and expands upon his own research on the future of the continent: will Europe remain the peace project it was conceived as, or will strategic autonomy confer upon it the status of superpower?

This Podcast was recorded prior to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In addition to his work at Visegrad, Wojciech Przybylski is chairman of the Res Publica Foundation in Warsaw. Read more of his work at Visegrad Insight here.