Date: Monday, 9 October 2023
Time: 6:00 PM
Venue: Urania Dachsaal, Uraniastrasse 1, 1010 Vienna
The Russian attack on Ukraine is not only reshaping the Western-led international order. It has raised new questions about the EU's ambition to become a geopolitical power with strategic autonomy, at least in the short and medium term. But it has also brought into focus the necessary inclusion of new actors – labelled collectively under the rather misleading term of the Global South – into processes of strengthening elements of international order and building peace in Europe. The continent is no longer the stable exception in a disorderly world, but part of a global struggle, in need of stabilising efforts from outside.
In the public part of the Vienna Peace and Security Talks 2023, we will explore whether there is a need for a new mode of interaction and a redefinition of global governance. We will look at past efforts to secure peace in Europe, like the OSCE, and ask what the future of these continental structures could be in the world after the Russian attack on Ukraine. The third and overarching question will be how inclusive forms of global governance could look to prevent further military confrontations with devastating effects between major powers.
Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Brussels
Juliano da Silva Cortinhas
Professor of International Relations at the University of Brasília
Professor Emeritus of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict Research Programme at The London School of Economics and Political Science
Director of the International Institute for Peace (IIP), Vienna
Head of FES Regional Office for International Cooperation, Vienna
On October 9th, the fifth edition of the Vienna Peace and Security Talks, organized by the Karl Renner Institute, the FES Regional Office for International Cooperation, and the International Institute for Peace, drew around 30 domestic and foreign experts and former politicians to the attic hall of the Vienna Urania to discuss “Renewing the Foundations of European Security”. As in the previous year, the conference was dominated by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and was at the same time overshadowed by the recent bloody events in Israel and the Gaza Strip. The were
The conclusion and highlight of the Vienna Peace and Security Talks 2023 was a public panel discussion. It’s main focus is in the title: “Towards a more inclusive global governance. “What role for Europe?”. Christos Katsioulis, Director of the FES Regional Office on International Cooperation – Peace and Security, spoke with, László Andor, Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) Brussels, Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the International Institute for Peace (IIP) Vienna, and Prof. Juliano da Silva Cortinhas from the University Brasília, about the emergence of a new world order. What should it look like? And what role can the European Union, with its claim to be or become a geopolitical force, play on the world stage?
Mary Kaldor, Professor Emerita at London School of Economics:
I always thought that the way to understand the EU was that it isn’t a power in the classical sense. When we talk about multipolarity, people don’t include the EU in the calculation: They talk about China, India Russia, America. So what is the European Union? I think the truth is it’s not classical, which is a good thing. I would describe it as a model of global governance, it’s not an international institution – although it has lots of such features - nor a supranational institution, it’s something in-between. And the way it was constructed way on the basis of human-rights-based, international law. When we talk about the future, the choices are not China vs. America. We’re not talking about ‘where does Europe stand in the geopolitical calculations, we’re talking about the idea of a rights-based, law-based international system, versus a real shift in the way the world is organized.”
László Andor, Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) Brussels:
“A great French idea appears within the European debates, and then first people welcome and then challenge this French idea. The debate on strategic autonomy took an interesting direction when people feared that this French concept would be about some kind of economic protectionism. The only allowed debate in EU institutions was about open strategic economy – to ensure that it doesn’t go into the wrong direction from an economic point of view. But what I think is evident when being serious about this concept: When discussions in Brussels started, the commission looked at relationships from the point of view of long-term security, long-term resilience. The EU is a very open trading system – it has been relying on an open, liberal, globalized economy. While Europe pulled together under the US umbrella, Europe also pulled together and started to look at its relations with the rest of the world from that perspective, and that was not the case before.
Prof. Juliano da Silva Cortinhas, University of Brasília:
“We ought to look at what is causing so many democratic crises in the world: People don’t feel represented. This creates a lot of room for populism internationally. In Brazil, hunger, poverty, inequality are the main issues. The economic issues matter. I think it is the same in the periphery of the international system: People care less about if they get to vote or not, but they want someone there who will take care of them. Bolsonaro said he would do that. He said ‘I’m not a politician – very similar to Trump. This was despite the fact that he had been a congressman for 28 years, his whole family was made out of politicians, his whole family had lived off of politics for a long time. (…) People were trying to experience something different. This is what is happening in Latin America as a whole. (…) People are voting for the opposition: They are always trying to look for something different. And something different in the future can be an autocracy, can be a strong government, can be someone who talks tough and provides easy answers for complex problems.”
Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the International Institute for Peace (IIP) Vienna:
“The OSCE is in a very deep crisis at the moment. It doesn’t mean it won’t survive: It is still working, there are still missions ongoing. In the long-term we need to talk about a European security architecture, which we currently view as either failed or in a deep crisis. And we don’t yet know what we will build it upon: is it going to be with Russia or against Russia? We see that there are so many different interests within OSCE member states from Vancouver to Vladivostok. (…) I don’t really see a possibility to engage in a fruitful dialogue as long as this war is going on as is currently the case. That brings me to another problem: While many wars end through negotiation, many wars don’t end at all (…) We need to already be thinking ahead about how we can support what comes afterwards, and that requires us to think of peace as a process. (…) Negotiations might be a start. We are already seeing smaller steps, be it prisoner exchanges, the grain deal, or humanitarian corridors. From there we might reach peace negotiations that the OSCE could step into.”