Follow live the fifth Arqus Academic Debate: Europe as a global actor

On The March 17, 2021

What is Europe's place on the international scene? What impact can it have in the face of the individual policies of the member states? What role can it play in responding to current global challenges? These questions will be at the center of the debate, which will make it possible to compare the opinions of researchers from different European countries, and specialized in cultural history, international law, European studies, security and politics.

The Arqus European University Alliance brings together the universities of Bergen, Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon, Padua and Vilnius. The aim is to design, develop and implement an innovative inter-university cooperation model through various forms of exchanges and collaborations.At the Lyon and Saint-Étienne sites, the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and the Université Jean Monnet are all involved.

The debate in a few words

Europe is involved in a wide range of global interactions and competitions. For a long time, however, it has relied on its integration into the blocs of the Cold War and later into the continuation of the Atlantic Alliance. This is not only less and less adequate but is also perceived as increasingly unsatisfying. This raises the problem of answering the question – both in individual European societies and at the EU level – of how one envisions the future European strategy in relation to global challenges? What concrete steps need to be taken to achieve this? This general problem can be played through on various objects (from the environment to pandemic, from copyright to international law, from foreign trade to knowledge society, etc.).

In this debate, experts from different Arqus universities and fields of expertise will focus on how Europe acts internationally and how it reacts to what is perceived as a substantial crisis full of challenges: Brexit, climate change, pandemic, etc. The panelists, from very different perspectives, will discuss questions about (1) what they think about Europe’s quality as an actor in comparison to the member states; (2) how they interpret the European capacities to act according to its economic potential on the international stage and in comparison to competitors such as the US, China, Russia etc; (3) how they see Europe being prepared for challenges of a truly global character.


Follow live on YouTube


  • Margarita Šešelgytė, Director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University
  • Solveig Richter, Heisenberg professor for International Relations and Transnational Politics at the University of Leipzig
  • Paolo Roberto Graziano, Professor of Political Science at the University of Padua, & Research Associate at the European Social Observatory, Brussels
  • Luis Hinojosa, Chair of International Law at Granada University, former Director of the Department of Public International Law (2009-2017)
  • Florian Bieber, Professor of Southeast European History and Politics and Director of the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz, Austria
  • Moderator: Matthias Middel, professor of cultural history at Leipzig University and director of its Global and European Studies Institute.