of

About this event

Does the EU have what it takes to address the most pressing challenges in today’s world, ranging from internal democratic backsliding to the climate crisis and a global pandemic? Is it well equipped to act as an assertive actor in foreign policy? Can or should it control the EU’s external borders? How does it protect itself against new, emerging hybrid threats?

When scrutinizing issues in international politics such as these, the concept of the national interest is a prominent perspective for national policymakers. In the analysis of EU policy, however, the equivalent to the national interest, the European interest, is rarely, if ever, invoked. Yet, without a coherently conceptualized and repeatedly applied notion of one or multiple European interests during the EU policy-formation process in Brussels and national capitals, Europeans risk the renationalization of EU policy debates, decision-making paralysis, and underappreciation of the EU’s potential.

Join us in discussing a new publication defining the European Interest(s) and addressing these pressing issues.

If you have any questions, please contact Anne Flotho-Liersch at [email protected].

About the Project

The European Interest(s): Redefining the European Debate is a project carried out by the German Marshall Fund with kind support from Stiftung Mercator and has been running since September 2020. A consortium of European experts has contributed to a first definition of the European Interest concept, subsequently evaluated though a consultations by a group of European residents. The input provided during the citizens’ consultation held in September of this year has been integrated into the final publication, which will be launched with a series of public events in major European capitals such as Berlin, Brussels, Warsaw, and Rome.

The project aims to reform and rejuvenate the European debate. Ultimately, we want to provide decision-makers and other actors with a new concept and narrative in their struggle over the future of Europe. Our target audience consists of decision-makers in political institutions, academics, the think tank community, and the media, as well as civil society and citizens.

For more information about the project and how the results will be used, please visit our website or reach out to [email protected]


The capacity for in-person attendance is limited and registration will be conducted on a first come first serve basis. 

To ensure the health and safety of our staff and visitors, GMF requires guests who wish to attend in-person gatherings to wear masks during GMF events. In addition, guests will have to provide proof of vaccination. Proof of vaccination can be provided by presenting the vaccine card, picture of the vaccination record, or a vaccine app upon arrival at the event site.

Event Speakers

Jacob Kirkegaard

Senior Fellow

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, senior fellow, joined GMF part-time in September 2020, while also remaining a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington, DC-based macroeconomic thinktank he has b...

Rachel Tausendfreund

Editorial Director

Rachel Tausendfreund is editorial director at GMF, overseeing the organization’s research output and publication planning. Before joining GMF, Rachel was editorial director at the European Council on Foreign Relations and edit...