At this pivotal moment for Europe and the liberal democratic order, this podcast series from The Institute For Human Sciences explores the undercurrents, tensions and dilemmas that the continent is facing and will will face in the near term. In conversation with leading figures in the field, civil society pioneer Ivan Vejvoda is your guide to the diverse and complex preoccupations of an uncertain time.
Episode 15: The European Green Deal and its Implications with Olivia Lazard
In this conversation, Ivan Vejvoda talks to 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 decarbonisation 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 full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Episode 14: 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? Here, Wojciech Przybylski - Editor-In-Chief of Visegrad/Insight and 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?
Episode 13: CO₂, China and Economic Competition with Janka Oertel
This week Ivan Vejvoda is in conversation with the director of the Asia programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations Janka Oertel. Against a backdrop of rising global temperatures and the pledges made at the COP 26 summit in Glasgow last year, Oertel and Vejvoda consider the pivotal role that China will play in determining whether humanity can achieve its stated aim and keep warming below 1.5 degrees. Conventional wisdom sees the rise in emissions that has accompanied China's emergence as an economic superpower as a forbidding hurdle, but emissions have fallen recently and the country's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 took many by surprise. What does the arrival of the Chinese epoch mean for Europe and the planet?
Episode 12: Abortion Rights and Ultra Conservatism with Amanda Coakley
In this episode Ivan Vejvoda speaks with award-winning international correspondent and Europe's Futures fellow Amanda Coakley about the rollback of women's reproductive rights in Central Europe following abortion's effective outlawing in Poland when a judgement of the country's constitutional tribunal came in to force in January 2021 limiting abortion to cases where the pregnancy was the result of a criminal act or where the life of the mother was at risk. Here they ask why some countries have moved toward restrictions of this kind while others, like Coakley's native Ireland, have seemed to progress in the opposite direction. What are the social forces underpinning this shift in attitudes and what role have ultra-conservative organizations played?
Episode 11: European Autonomy with Zoran Nechev
Zoran Nechev heads the Center for EU integration at the Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” Skopje, a Macedonian think tank organisation devoted to research and capacity-building in matters related to EU in general, and the enlargement process more specifically. He is an IWM Europe's Futures fellow, a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group, a PhD candidate at Vrije Universiteit's Institute for European Studies and an associate fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations.
Boiling down the definition of strategic autonomy to the EU's 'freedom to act, and the freedom from overdependence' - Nechev and Vejvoda use this podcast to explore the necessity for, logistics of and limits on European autonomy. As various crises have rocked the foundations of the EU, shifts in the geopolitical status quo have raised questions about the potency of NATO and the process of EU enlargement has proceeded in fits and starts; they look to the future and ask what EU security policy might look like a decade from now.
Episode 10: Democratic Resilience with Oana Popescu-Zamfir
A renowned public figure and director of the Global Focus Center in Romania, Ivan Vejvoda's guest this week is Oana Popescu-Zamfir. Bringing a wealth of academic and government experience to the Europe's Future's programme, Oana is also the director of the Democratic Resilience Index: the first quantitative instrument specifically designed to measure the robustness of democratic institutions around the world with pilot results in Romania, Hungary and the Republic of Moldova.
Here, she and Ivan turn their attention to the challenges facing Europe's institutions today. From the ongoing fundamental clash of political systems developing in the twenty-first century as China's economic power grows and Russia tests its borders to the threats of cyber warfare and disruptive technologies - and to the disillusionment of ordinary people who feel they have lost their grip on their daily lives - Ivan and Oana seek an understanding of the state of play in a democratic order that feels increasingly fragile.