François Godement: The Global Role of EU

Author:François Godement Date:2017-12-18

On the afternoon of December 15, 2017, Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IISS), Peking University (PKU) held the 20th “North Pavilion Seminar”. François Godement, Director of the Asia and China Programme and a Senior Policy Fellow at European Council on Foreign Relations delivered a lecture entitled “The European Union as a Global Actor”. This lecture was hosted by the Associate Prof. Guan Guihai, Executive Vice President of IISS.

François Godement pointed out the great influence that the two World wars imposed on the founding of the European Union from a historical perspective. Europe established the EU to manage crises, which enabled it to enter a relevantly stable period after the wars.

The speaker indicated that the special setup of the EU’s double hierarchy decision-making has made it difficult for the EU to draw a clear line between member states and the Community in the issues of participation in global affairs. The unity and opposition between the two is the core problem of the EU affairs.

François Godement believes that crisis is actually a motivation for the EU’s advancement. In recent years, emergence of crises such as the EU identity, the Euro and refugee crises, as well as changes in the relationship between Russia and Europe have brought great challenges to the EU. However, the haze over Europe is dispersing. The EU is also making great efforts to advance through unity and coordination, trying to open up more space for action.

During the comments and Q&A session, François Godement exchanged ideas with teachers and students on many issues, including China-EU investment and trade, cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe, and the differences between the South and the North within the EU. (Contributed by Huang Xiaoting)


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