14 November 2018

The EU and the Responsibility to Protect in an Illiberal Era

Beginning 18:30  Ending 20:00

On 14 November 2018, the Dahrendorf Forum hosted an expert workshop to address the question posed in Professor Karen Smith’s recent working paper for the Dahrendorf Forum: Can the EU ‘rescue’ R2P? And if so, how?

The 2005 United Nations agreement on the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) populations from atrocities was intended to set acceptable boundaries to ‘humanitarian intervention’, but it is still extremely controversial and vulnerable in a world of increasing nationalism and illiberalism.

The speakers and invited participants – all academic, think tank or government experts in the fields of human rights, mass atrocities, and the Responsibility to Protect – assessed the status of R2P worldwide, and the ways Europe could safeguard and increase its effectiveness. They also debated whether the EU has a consistent R2P strategy, and if not, whether the EU should develop one in order to try and safeguard R2P in an increasingly complex world.

The panel included:

  • Karen Smith, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Director of the European Foreign Policy Unit in the International Relations Department
  • Roberta Dirosa, Policy Officer, PRISM division, European External Action Service (EEAS)
  • Adrian Gallagher, Research Director of the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Leeds.

The event was chaired by Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor in Contemporary Greek Studies, Professor in European Politics, and Co-Chair of the Dahrendorf Forum working group on governance, institutions, and policy

The event was held under the Chatham House rule with attendance by invitation only.