Lunch Discussion: A New Role for Central Europe in the EU?
- Martin Michelot, Head of Research, the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy (Prague), Non-Resident Fellow, Paris Office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Senior Transatlantic Fellow and Director, Paris Office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States
The combination of the migration crisis and a NATO agenda skewed towards the East has shed a new light on the importance of Central European countries, who are, for the first time, in the position of driving rather than passively taking in the European and Allied agenda. In parallel, the current political, economic and strategic situation in Europe has paved the way to the rise of populism, fractured populations, and to Central Europe seemingly expressing reluctance towards further integration in the EU after the British referendum. At the same time, the dynamics in Central Europe, especially after the Bratislava informal summit, seem to indicate that the Visegrad Group may be struggling to reach common goals and objectives in the future.
What would be the consequences of current political developments in Central Europe for the European dynamics and prospects for future integration on economic and security issues? Will the recent strong rhetoric coming from Hungary and Poland undermine the leverage of the Visegrad Group within the EU, and how will power dynamics be affected? How do the Visegrad 4 countries expect to be able to influence future EU policies, and on which issues?
Martin Michelot is the head of research at the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in Prague, and a non-resident fellow at the Paris office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Michelot specializes in transatlantic security and NATO policy with a particular focus on regional security cooperation mechanisms in Europe, and French foreign policy. Michelot leads Europeum’s foreign policy programming in Central Europe, with a focus on security policy, immigration issues and regional cooperation. Michelot also manages the high-level convening program Transatlantic Security and Future of NATO program for GMF, where he has over 4 years of experience in event management and research on transatlantic security cooperation issues. He is a graduate of Sciences Po Lyon, where he studied international relations. His previous experiences include the Brookings Institution, where he served as a research assistant, and the French National Assembly, as parliamentary assistant. Michelot is a regular contributor to various news outlets on the topics of European defense policy and transatlantic relations. Michelot regularly teaches seminars at Sciences Po Lyon, Sciences Po Reims, the Ecole Centrale, and Charles University. He was selected by the Atlantic Council as one of the 15 Emerging Leaders tasked with writing a report before the NATO 2014 Wales Summit.
Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer is a senior transatlantic fellow and serves as the director of the Paris office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). An accomplished expert on U.S. foreign policy, transatlantic relations and international security, she has held several positions in government, academia and international organizations, and is the author of many publications on these issues. She leads GMF’s Transatlantic Security Program and GMF’s Transatlantic Strategy Group on the Future of U.S. Global Leadership. From 2009-11, she served as special advisor for U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations at the Policy Planning of the French Foreign Affairs Ministry. From 2010-13, she was an advisor to USEUCOM Commander and SACEUR, Admiral James Stavridis, as part of the Next Generation Advisory Panel. From 2006-09, she served as a consultant for the French Defense Ministry and contributed to several high-level working groups on U.S. foreign policy, transatlantic defense cooperation and post-conflict reconstruction. She is an associate professor at Sciences Po Paris and co-editor of the Paris-based journal Politique Américaine, the focus of which is the United States, U.S. foreign policy, and transatlantic relations. She holds a Ph.D. in political science (Sciences Po Paris) and is the author of the book Hamlet en Irak (CNRS éditions, 2007).