Expert Roundtable 2:

Europe’s Grand Strategy after Brexit: Old Challenges and New Realities

As the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union settles into political and economic normality, Europe continues to face both old challenges and new realities. The unprecedented nature of Brexit and the years-long negotiation process has shed new light on the inner workings of the EU, operational strategies, and the key individuals and states involved in the decision-making process. At this stage, looking ahead, the EU is examining its role both in Europe and around the world in a rapidly evolving political environment and a period defined by the ongoing consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the same time, some consequences of previous decisions have yet to be fully determined. Rising tensions in Northern Ireland over border and customs questions are being closely watched with concern. Moreover, the continuing fallout of the pandemic and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines raise additional operational challenges and political conflicts. Besides that, the EU is exploring future relations with both the UK and partners outside of Europe, in addition to ongoing discussions with Turkey. As a result, the European bloc faces both challenges and opportunities in its future. Taking these points into consideration, this session will explore and analyse the EU’s next steps with regards to its regional and global outlooks.

Discussion Themes

• In the wake of Brexit, what does the future hold for the EU’s domestic, foreign and security policy?

• How will the EU look to expand its presence in diplomatic and military affairs, particularly as it moves towards strategic autonomy?

• How will domestic politics within the EU influence Europe’s global position and prospective political and economic strategies?

• Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, who can we expect to see fill the economic, political, and diplomatic space in the bloc?

• How will ongoing tensions in Northern Ireland and the uncertainty surrounding surrounding the issue of EU borders shape future discussions on sovereignty and trade?


• Antonio Villafranca – Director of Studies, ISPI; Co-Head, Europe and Global Governance Centre

• Richard G. Whitman – Director, Global Europe Centre; Professor, University of Kent; Associate Fellow Europe Program, Chatham House

• Christian Odendahl – Chief Economist, Centre for European Reform

• Enes Bayraklı – Associate Professor, Turkish German University

• Mete Çoban MBE – CEO, My Life My Say