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European Strategic Dialogue Launch | A Strategic Compass guided by the Core?

  • Luis Vassy
  • Joachim Koops
  • Dirk Brengelmann
  • Dr. Alice Pannier
  • Evelyne Grenèche
Tuesday 9 November 2021
Online event

To kick off the new lecture series “European Strategic Dialogues”, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the Institut français des Pays-Bas, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University and the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) at the University of Bonn will discuss fundamental questions of a greater European strategic autonomy - join us for this online launch event!



  • Luis Vassy, French Ambassador to the Netherlands
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch (tbc), Rector of the University of Bonn


  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Koops, Chair of Security Studies and Scientific Director of the Institut of Security and Global Affairs , Leiden University
  • Dirk Brengelmann, Former Ambassador of Germany to the Netherlands and Brazil, CASSIS, University of Bonn
  • Dr. Alice Pannier (tbc), Head of Geopolitics of Technology Program, IFRI
  • Evelyne Grenèche, French Ministry of the Armed Forces, Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy


Sophie Vériter, Institut of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University

About this event

At the very time when the European Union is developing a “Strategic Compass” to define its military level of ambition and what it means for capability development and partnerships, the US’ Afghanistan withdrawal has forcefully demonstrated that this full-scale European exercise is of utmost importance. Not only after this case, but also in the context of an emerging “era of hyper-competitiveness", which Ursula von der Leyen described in her 2021 State of the Union address, the need for a stronger and more strategically autonomous Union is undisputed.

Equally indisputable remains the ambiguity of the concept of ‘strategic autonomy’. There is for sure no lack of ambition. French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently delivered a joint statement on how to “strengthen Europe’s role as a global player” (31.08.2021). Is an internally increasingly stressed Union even capable of finding a common line with regards to strategic issues? Can the gap between idealistic aspirations and hard realpolitik, the division between the promotion of a human rights-based global order and a realistic and strategic pursuit of security interests – even in cooperation with questionable partners – be bridged? What can be the basis for strategic and determined engagement, which role could states like France, Germany and the Netherlands play, and what conditions have to be met so that the nebulous concept of ‘strategic autonomy’ materializes? These and other questions will be discussed from a Franco-Dutch-German perspective during the webinar.

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