Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

European Strategy: Any Trump Cards left?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017  Time: 12-1:00 pm
Robert Sutherland Hall, room 448 


Not only has US President Trump declared NATO to be obsolete, he has also welcomed the Brexit and expressed the hope that more EU Member States would follow the British example. With an ally like that, the European Union doesn’t need enemies. Unfortunately, plenty of actors see themselves as rivals of the EU as they are seeking to control markets, territories, and resources. But perhaps new partnerships can be imagined as well. When the strategies of the great powers as well as the balance of power between them are shifting, creative strategic thinking on Europe’s part is called for. Based on the old truth, expressed by Lord Palmerston, that “we have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow”. That surely requires concerted strategy and action through the EU. With great foresight, High Representative Federica Mogherini wrote a call for strategic autonomy into the EU Global Strategy. But do all Europeans have the same understanding of what EU strategic autonomy means?

Prof Sven Bishop | IDPS guest May 21, 2017


Dr. Sven Biscop

Director, Europe in the World, Egmont-Royal Institute for International Relations, Brussels
Professor, Ghent Institute for International Studies, Ghent University




Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop obtained his degree in political science/public administration at Ghent University (Belgium) in 1998, winning the best thesis award for his work on European defence. Subsequently awarded the Paul-Henri Spaak PhD scholarship of the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders, he defended his dissertation in Ghent in 2002, published as Euro-Mediterranean Security: A Search for Partnership (Ashgate, 2003).

Currently Sven is the Director of the Europe in the World programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, which he joined in 2002, and a Professor in the Ghent Institute for International Studies (GIIS) at Ghent University. His research and teaching focus on the strategies of the European Union, NATO and their Member States.

Sven also teaches at the College of Europe in Bruges and at LUISS in Rome. As a member of the Executive Academic Board of the EU’s European Security and Defence College (ESDC), he regularly lectures in its courses, as well as in various European staff colleges, and at the People’s University in Beijing, where he is a Senior Research Associate of the Centre for European Studies. Sven also represents Egmont in the Higher Studies in Security and Defence, a course for security practitioners organized with the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defence.

In 2015, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Sven was made an Honorary Fellow of the ESDC. He also is an Honorary Member of the ESDC Alumni Association. He further serves as a Senior Research Fellow within the Global Europe Centre (GEC) at the School of Politics and International Relations of the University of Kent, and as a Senior Associate Fellow of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) and of the Baltic Defence College.

Sven chairs the jury of the biennial European Defence Agency – Egmont PhD Prize in European Defence, Security & Strategy. He is a member of the Strategic Advisors Group of the Atlantic Council (Washington) and of the board of the Flemish United Nations Association.

With Richard Whitman, Sven co-edits the European Strategy & Security book series for Routledge; and with Knud Erik Jorgensen he co-edits Global Affairs, the journal of the European International Studies Association (EISA). He is the editor-in-chief of Egmont’s journal Studia Diplomatica and its Egmont Papers, and a member of the editorial board of the journals European Security (UK) and The International Organisations Research Journal (Russia).

Sven’s latest book is Peace without Money, War without Americans – Can European Strategy Cope? (Ashgate, 2015). 

Born in Willebroek (Belgium) on 10 February 1976, Sven now lives in Brussels with his husband Aberu, amid a great many books, military paraphernalia, and chinoiseries. Unfortunately they travel too often to keep a cat.