Highlights of EUIA21

The ‘European Union in International Affairs’ (EUIA) Conference took place from 26 May to 28 May 2021. It provided a major forum for academics and policy-makers to debate the role of the EU in the turbulent realm of international affairs. This year’s theme was ‘Assessing the EU’s Capacity to Act’.

After a postponement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the seventh edition of this event took place in a hybrid format, where day 1 was held physically for all speakers at the KVAB (Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts), with the audience attending digitally through our dedicated EUIA21 platform. On days 2 and 3, all panels took place digitally with a physical livestreaming studio at the Brussels School of Governance’s premises in Brussels in order to connect all sessions.

Below you can find the videos of the opening ceremony & keynote speech as well as of the two policy link panels that took place on 26 May, at the KVAB. We also have a number of podcasts, recorded before and during the conference, which can be accessed here.

#EUIA21 Opening Ceremony/Keynote by Margrethe Vestager

This video features the Opening Ceremony for the seventh edition of the EUIA conference. The conference was formally opened by Florian Trauner, the #EUIA21 Conference Chair. The opening keynote was provided by Ms. Margrethe Vestager, the Executive Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the political priority ‘Europe Fit for the Digital Age’. She outlines the EU’s international capacity to act in areas such as the regulation of artificial intelligence or competition. Ms Vestager was introduced by Mr. Karel de Gucht, President of the VUB’s Brussels School of Governance and former EU Trade Commissioner.

Panel: The EU and the UN: Shared Challenges, Same Vision?

This video covers the policy link panel on EU-UN relations which took place on 26 May 2021. The chair/moderator was Philippe de Lombaerde (Director of the United Nations University UNU-CRIS, a #EUIA21 organising institute). The panelists were Veronika  Boskovic Pohar (Political  and  Security Committee); Barbara Pesce-Monteiro (UN Secretary-General’s Representative towards the EU); Felix Fernandez-Shaw (Directorate General INTPA); and Mario Telo (ULB). The panelists exchanged views on various aspects of the EU-UN interactions and reflected upon their future perspectives.

Panel: Charm or Chasm – How Europe Can Deal with China

Can one conclude an investment agreement with China and adopt human rights sanctions against it at the same time? For the EU, is China still a partner, competitor and rival all at once? This video shows the EUIA policy link panel on Chinese-European relations which took place on 26 May 2021. The chair/moderator was Sven Biscop (Egmont Institute, a #EUIA21 organising institute). He engaged with Eva Gross (European External Action Service); Roberto Zadra (NATO); Luis Simon (Brussels School of Governance, VUB); and Tobias Gehrke (Egmont Institute).