Militarization for peace? How the West deals with the crisis in wartime Europe

Discussion at Urania Vienna · 10 October 2022

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The International Institute for Peace, in cooperation with the FES Regional Office for International Cooperation, Society for Eurasian Studies & Karl-Renner-Institut, cordially invited to the following event:

Militarization for peace?
How the West deals with the crisis in wartime Europe

Monday, 10 October 2022, 18:00-19:30h
Urania Dachsaal
, Uraniastraße 1, 1010 Vienna


  • Maria Maltschnig, Director of the Karl-Renner-Insitut, Vienna


  • Luiza Bialasiewicz, Political Geographer, Professor of European Governance, University of Amsterdam
  • Johann Frank, Director Cabinet of the Chairman of the EU Military Committee
  • Hannes Swoboda, President of the International Institute for Peace (IIP); former MEP


  • Christos Katsioulis, Head of FES Regional Office for International Cooperation, Vienna


The unprovoked Russian war against sovereign Ukraine is a turning point for Europe, especially with regards to defence and armament. The EU and many of its member states are supplying heavy weaponry to Ukraine to enable the country’s self-defence against the aggressor. In addition, many European states, incl. Germany and Austria, invest massively in defence with the aim to strengthen their national security. Issues like disarmament and arms control have receded even further into the background.

Furthermore, the EU is moving closer together in the field of defence. The Strategic Compass, adopted in March 2022, provides for the establishment of an EU rapid reaction force by 2025. At the same time, NATO is as attractive as never before. With Finland’s and Sweden’s future NATO accession, only Austria, Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland somehow manoeuvre between EU and NATO.

All these developments go hand in hand with an ever-deeper crisis of the European Security Architecture. The conviction that large-scale wars between states in Europe belong to the past has vanished. The downward spiral is also reflected in the crisis of the OSCE, whose decision-making mechanisms are far too often paralysed. Is there anything left from the vision of a common Security Architecture from Lisbon to Vladivostok?

In the public part of this year's Vienna Peace and Security Talks we will take a critical look at these developments: Can the trend towards militarisation really increase security and maintain or restore peace? Are there any alternatives to defence investments in view of Russia's behaviour? What contribution can a neutral country like Austria make to peace in Europe?

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