Historically, one of the main reasons behind the European integration process was to protect the European cultural and civilizational heritage against the spread of a hostile communist ideology. Establishing a European alliance beyond the market integration that could act in an autonomous way in the area of European security was therefore on the table early on: this also gave rise to the Fouchet Plans and the European political aspirations of President Charles de Gaulle. However, the idea failed, and the European integration preserved its market focus until the end of the Cold War.

This historical crossroad provided fresh impetus for Europe to define its place in the World. Even though the concept of strategic autonomy recently reappeared, the external threats and the return of big power rivalry pose a serios challenge to the European cooperation. How did Europe use or lose the opportunity the end of the Cold War period provided to build and reinforce its own autonomy? What does the concept of strategic autonomy mean and what different aspects does it have? What are the current challenges to build such a European autonomy? On the eve of the Reclaiming Our European Future conference, these questions will be explored by Matthieu Grandpierron, head of the Political Science department at ICES-Vendée Catholic University in a conversation with Lénárd Sándor, head of the Center for International Law at MCC.

Matthieu Grandpierron is the head of the Political Science department at ICES-Vendée Catholic University. His research looks at the impact emotions, understanding of status and history have on foreign policy decision-making processes. He is also senior researcher at Ecole Polytechnique, Visiting Professor at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law.

Lénárd Sándor is the head of Center for International Law at the MCC and of the Barna Horváth Hungary Law and Liberty Circle. He previously served as a state attorney, a chief counsel at the Constitutional Court of Hungary and as an advisor at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Date: 22 February (Thursday) 5 pm - 6 pm

Venue: MCC Budapest (Tas Vezér Street 3-7.)



If you would like to join our international conference as well, you can register via this link: https://mcc.hu/esemeny/reclaiming-our-european-future-magyar