, September 20, 2019

Rule of Law, Trade, Climate – EFPI Tackles the Hottest Topics in the EU This Autumn

FRANCOIS LENOIR / REUTERS / SCANPIX
A statue of Justice is pictured during a protest outside the EU Commission headquarters as the European Court of Justice is set to rule a day later whether the EU-Canada free trade deal is in line with EU law in Brussels, Belgium, April 29, 2019.
A statue of Justice is pictured during a protest outside the EU Commission headquarters as the European Court of Justice is set to rule a day later whether the EU-Canada free trade deal is in line with EU law in Brussels, Belgium, April 29, 2019.

How to safeguard the rule of law? How to defend free trade? How to become a global leader in climate policy hand in hand with transforming national economies?

These are the three rising topics in the European Union that the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute together with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung will be exploring with experts from Estonia and abroad at a series of seminars titled “Engaging with Europe of Tomorrow” during this autumn.

The first seminar on Wednesday, 25 September will touch upon the rule of law. The European Commission and some Member States have made proposals regarding new instruments aimed at ensuring respect for the rule of law, including a regular monitoring of all Member States and making structural funds conditional upon respect for the rule of law in the EU’s long-term budget. This issue is also among the priorities of current Finland’s Presidency of the EU Council.

Henriikka Leppo, Counsellor (EU affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Finland, Marika Linntam, Director General of the Europe Department at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dorka Takácsy, Analyst at the Political Capital Institute in Hungary will discuss the main challenges to the rule of law in the EU, how do they affect the functioning of the EU and what measures would be effective in ensuring respect for the rule of law in all Member States. The discussion will be led by Kristi Raik, Director of the EFPI at ICDS.

Trade policy

At the second seminar on 24 October the focus will be on EU trade policy. The EU has traditionally been a bastion of free trade. In recent years, defending global rules-based trade has become increasingly challenging due to geopolitical tensions and protectionist tendencies among several major powers. Within the EU, Brexit weakens the weight of those member states that have been most vocal defenders of free trade. What are the main developments that undermine the global system of free trade? How does the EU tackle these challenges?

Climate policy

Topic of the third and final seminar on 26 November is crucial, but also dividing – climate policy. In the field of foreign policy, Europe aspires to be a global leader on the climate change agenda. What are the main dividing lines among and within the Member States with regard to the EU’s climate change policy? What are the most important goals and how does the EU pursue them?

All the seminars are for invited guests and will take place in the seminar hall of ICDS in Tallinn.

Contact: rkk@icds.ee

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