Programme | International Conference: Europe as a Global Actor 2021

CEI-Iscte, in partnership with OBSERVARE/UAL, is organising the fifth edition of the International Conference “Europe as a Global Actor”, on 10 and 11 May 2021. Find out more about the programme!


The fifth edition of the international conference “Europe as a Global Actor” seeks to discuss the EU’s current and envisioned role in the world (and Africa, Middle East, Latin America, Asia in particular) in the context of UK’s departure from the EU, the re-configuring of EU-US relations, and the increasing challenge to the EU’s role as a global actor posed by China, Russia, and Turkey’s growing assertiveness.

We aim to debate the EU’s capacity to act, its physical and ontological security, and its resilience, in light of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU and the priorities of the current Trio of Presidencies (Germany, Portugal, Slovenia). Furthermore, we are interested in addressing how the EU has and can respond to key threats to its security, maintain internal cohesion, and act as a leader in tackling the global climate crisis. As in previous editions, the EU’s relationship with other major players and with local actors in shared neighbourhoods will also be discussed.

The Conference Program includes thematic panels, round tables with keynote speakers, as well as plenary sessions on the challenges of European security and defence, diplomacy, climate change, and other relevant subjects. As such, in addition to the presence of several invited scholars and practitioners, the program also includes the presentation of communications by international researchers and practitioners. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s conference is planned to take place in a mixed format (both physical and digital).


10 May 2021

9h30-10h00 | Opening Session 

  • Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues (Rector, Iscte)
  • José Amado da Silva (Rector, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa)
  • Luís Tomé (Director, OBSERVARE-UAL)
  • Luís Nuno Rodrigues (Director, Centre for International Studies, CEI-Iscte)

10h00-11h30 | Roundtable 1

Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council and the priorities of the trio 

Moderator: Filipe Caetano (TVI-Portugal)

  • Francisco Seixas da Costa (OBSERVARE-UAL)
  • Luís Simón (Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS), Brussels School of Governance Elcano Royal Institute)
  • Ana Bojinović Fenko (University of Ljubljana)
  • Madalena Meyer-Resende (IPRI-NOVA)

11h30-11h45 | Break

11h45-13h00| Roundtable 2

The EU’s Strategic Compass: The Way Forward

Moderator: Leonídio Paulo Ferreira (Diário de Notícias)

  • Ana Isabel Xavier (OBSERVARE-UAL)
  • Bruno Cardoso Reis (CEI-Iscte)
  • Ines Marques Ribeiro (CEI-Iscte)

13h00-14h30 | Lunch break

14h30 – 16h00 | Panel 1: Transatlantic relations

Moderator: Bruno Cardoso Reis (CEI-Iscte)

  • Patricia Daehnhardt (IPRI-NOVA): The reconstitution of transatlantic relations
  • Vira Ratsiborynska (Vrije University Brussels): Shared resilience against hybrid threats: EU-NATO approaches
  • Miguel Borba de Sá (University of Coimbra): Transatlantic Alliances in Times of Hegemonic Decay: European Aggravations of Venezuelan Political Crises and the Future of Europe in the Emerging World Order
  • Ana Belén Perianes Bermúdez (University Institute General Gutiérrez Mellado-UNED): The transatlantic link since Obama´s Pivot to Asia: Prospects for future and challenges for the emergence of the EU as a global actor

16h00-16h30 | Break

16h30-18h00 | Panel 2: Security and Defense

Moderator: Luís Valença Pinto (OBSERVARE-UAL)

  • Manuel Herrera (CEI-Iscte): The European Union as a global/regional actor in the field of Nuclear Non-Proliferation
  • Marco Marsili (CEI-Iscte): Russia vs. EU: Confrontation in a Contested Neighbourhood. A Challenge to the Helsinki Accords
  • Ines Marques Ribeiro (CEI-Iscte): The EU’s resilience in security and defence: a critical geopolitical perspective
  • Adrian Pogacian (ReThinking Europe): Political Strategies in a Multi-Polar World. Where is EU in all this story?

18h00-18h15 | Break

18h15 – 19h15 | Roundtable 3

Chang(EU) talks: EU’s capacity to act: strategic sovereignty, autonomy, resilience

  • Ana Isabel Xavier (OBSERVARE-UAL) (Moderator)
  • Gustav Lindstrom (Director, EUISS)


11 May 2021 

9h30 – 11h00 | Panel 3: Resilience and Narratives

Moderator: Ines Marques Ribeiro (CEI-Iscte)

  • Carlos Morgado Braz (International Centre for Policing and Security/University of South Wales): Right-wing extremism and the new dimension of terror in Europe: historical parallels as a double-edged sword
  • Rebeca Gradíssimo (Iscte): “Homo Europaeus” A cultural construct
  • Solvita Denisa-Liepniece (Vidzeme Univesity of Applied Science): Deep media literacy to increase cognitive resilience
  • Vanda Amaro Dias and Maria Raquel Freire (CES, University of Coimbra): (In)securitization practices in the Mediterranean: an analysis of EU Operations

11h00-11h30 | Break

11h30 – 13h00 | Panel 4: Climate

Moderator: Ricardo Sousa (OBSERVARE-UAL)

  • Fábio Reis (University of Coimbra): Towards an EU Climate-Resilient Peacebuilding
  • Michael Richter (University of Bremen): EU Foreign Relations and Climate Change – Paper Tiger or Game Changer? The Cases of Africa and the EaP

13h00-14h00 | Lunch break

14h00 – 15h30 | Panel 5: Asia

Moderator: Daniel Cardoso (OBSERVARE-UAL)

  • Sofia Ribeiro-Lemos and Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira (University of Minho): Dealing(s) with a Rogue: Comparing US and EU Strategic Narratives vis-à-vis North Korea
  • Daniel Marcelino Rodrigues (OBSERVARE-UAL): The EU and Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy
  • Luís Filipe Pestana (Beijing Normal University): China’s “Polar Silk Road”: challenges and opportunities for the EU
  • Eva Sali (Fudan University): EU-China relations: how strategic and autonomous is the EU?

15h30-15h45 | Break

15h45 – 17h00 | Panel 6: Global South

Moderator: Urban Jaksa (CEI-Iscte)

  • Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira and Daniella da Silva Nogueira de Melo (University of Minho): The European Union’s Actorness in South Atlantic
  • Osman Sabri Kıratlı (Bogazici University): Public Perception of the EU in Global South
  • Joana Vidal Lopes (OBSERVARE-UAL): Challenges from the Mediterranean Refugee and Migrant Crisis in the European Union
  • Lars Niklasson (Linköping University & SIEPS): EU and Africa on the right track? Contradictions of the proposed EU strategy for Africa

17h00 – 17h15 | Break

17h15 – 18h45 | Roundtable 4

The EU, USA and China

Moderator: Helena Carreiras (IDN).

  • Huseyin Bagci (Turkish Foreign Policy Institute)
  • Mark Meirowitz (SUNY Maritime College in New York)
  • Carlos Gaspar (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa)
  • Raquel Vaz Pinto (IPRI-NOVA)

18h45 – 19h00 | Break

19h00 – 20h00 | Closing Remarks

  • Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues (Rector, Iscte)
  • His Exelency, the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva


Learn more about the EGA Conference here.


The conference will take place online through the Zoom platform:

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CEI-Iscte (Centre for International Studies) is a university-based multidisciplinary research center at ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL). CEI-Iscte aims at promoting interdisciplinary research in Social Sciences, International Relations and Economy, focusing in its areas of geographic specialisation: Africa, Asia, Europe, and Transatlantic Relations.

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