Dahrendorf Forum presents briefing on “Realising Europe’s Sharp and Soft Power: Prospects for 2030” at European Commission

On 1 October, the Dahrendorf Forum’s Academic Co-Directors Helmut Anheier and Iain Begg shared the findings of a recent foresight exercise entitled “Enhancing Europe’s Global Deployment of Power: Eight Proposals” at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) in Brussels”.

The report, which was also co-written by the Dahrendorf Forum’s Christoph Abels and Kevin Featherstone, proposes an array of measures – from further internationalising the euro to modernising competition policy – designed to help Europe ‘punch its weight’ in its global deployment of soft and sharp power. In addition to presenting proposals to develop the EU’s deployment of sharp and soft power, panellists discussed important roadblocks to achieving these goals, such as the rise of China and Europe’s perceived lack of unity as an actor on the international stage.

The audience, comprised of policy-makers and analysts from across the Commission, probed the panel to elucidate what the main objectives of European power projection should be over the next decade. Keeping pace (or catching up) with competitors, being able to defend European interests and sharing a cohesive ‘European narrative’ emerged as some key potential goals of the next EU Commission. Although panellists and audience members all agreed that many challenges remained, the prospect of the upcoming Von der Leyen ‘Geopolitical Commission’ inspired some optimism regarding Europe’s ability to exert more power in global affairs in the future.

The final publication will be published on our publications page in the coming weeks.