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German-Portuguese Expert Meeting on the 4th and 5th of December in Lisbon

On the 4th and 5th of December 2017, the German-Portuguese Expert-Meeting took place in Lisbon on the topic of “The European Order”, organized in cooper­ation with our Portuguese partner, the Instituto Português de Relações Inter­na­cionais (IPRI).

This year’s German-Portuguese Expert Meeting primarily focused on reforms of the Eurozone, as well as on reform initia­tives of the European defence policy, taking transat­lantic cooper­ation and the EU-African relations into consideration.

In the centre of the debate on Reforms of the Euro and the Eurozone was the call for a consol­i­dation of the Euro as a single currency of the European Union. The crisis of recent years has signif­i­cantly shaped the EU and strengthened its ability to alter the European continent. However, in the current period of stability, the EU needs to prepare for the challenges of the future. Besides fiscal and economic reforms, social compo­nents of the EU agenda should be brought back to the centre of attention. PESCO consti­tutes one of the most signif­icant compo­nents of the European defence policy in recent years. Partic­u­larly, as the EU allows for the recovery of state sover­eignty on a collective level. The EU has to guarantee peace and prosperity to its member states in order to ensure the upheaval of inter­na­tional law and order, partic­u­larly as the security of the EU is directly linked to the security of its neigh­bourhood. Furthermore, the partic­i­pants criti­cized the long-persisting Eurocentric approach to the EU-Africa relations, which has been influ­enced by the under­lying post-colonial struc­tures. In order to prevent irregular migration, the EU must highlight its strength as a value-based community. In addition, the enhancement of EU-Africa relations in the future may only be achieved if the EU initiates a shift from devel­opment cooper­ation to investment programmes in the future.

The Expert Meeting aimed to promote an enhanced cooper­ation and under­standing, in addition to a coherent repre­sen­tation of the respective interests of the states regarding European reforms. This was partic­u­larly important to demon­strate the possi­bil­ities of unified European approaches and initia­tives that are in line with European reforms.

The IEP sincerely thanks Martin Kotthaus and the Federal Foreign Office, our partner Instituto Relações Inter­na­cionais da Univer­sidade Nova de Lisboa (IPRI-NOVA) and all experts who took part in the German-Portuguese Expert-Meeting and enriched the debate through lively and inter­esting contri­bu­tions. Special thanks go to the German Embassy in Lisbon and the German Ambas­sador to Portugal Dr. Christof Weil for his dinner reception.