The Europe Programme conducts research and analysis on the politics, cooperation and institutions of Europe. As a political and economic union, the EU, and knowledge about how the EU works, is of special importance for Sweden, and central to the work of the Programme.
The Programme actively promotes new ideas and policy debate in Sweden, Europe and the world through regular collaboration with academics and decision makers.
The activities of the Programme focus on three areas:
European integration and disintegration
The Union is currently under severe pressure from a number of concurrent challenges and crises. Many of these - for example lack of shared values, economic instability and relations to new and former members - generate proposals for reform, which, in turn, lead integration into different directions. Today we see simultaneous forces of integration and disintegration. Britain exiting the Union accentuates this development, at the same time as it creates some kind of unity and deepening cooperation in certain areas for the remaining EU member states.
Separatism in Europe challenge some of the assumptions on which integration is based, such as the role of regions and the problem-solving capacity of states.
EU’s Foreign and Security Policy
EU foreign policy is affected by the regional situation as well as the challenges of the multilateral system. The EU is today surrounded by conflicts and increasingly weaker states. Confidence in the institutions and the global system that has served Europe well has been shaken. At the same time, the need for real international problem-solving is increasing, which is clear in the transatlantic relationship. The turbulence also affects EU relations in the South and the East, e.g. the relationship with Asia.
In terms of security policy, the EU has long sought its role. According to the EU Treaties, national security is the responsibility of the Member States. However, the EU has been given an increasingly comprehensive mandate in crisis management, conflict prevention, counter-terrorism, defense cooperation and in the protection of critical infrastructure, and NATO has returned to the core task of its members' territorial defense. The EU's work in this area has strong support in Europe and for various reasons, development is now at a dynamic stage.
Europe in the Geoeconomic era
The world's conflicts are increasingly taking place in the economic field. Where the power logic of geopolitics takes place in the domains of the globalized market, one can speak of geoeconomics. Europe, which has benefited from globalization and from rules-based international cooperation, has had to adapt to the geoeconomic reality with new investment review mechanisms and export controls by developing new strategies for strategic technological areas, by making a more political use of the single currency and by more strategic discussions on aid objectives.
The Programme produces research-driven publications. These include books, expert opinions, policy-oriented papers and articles in academic journals. Opinion pieces and commentaries are published in Swedish and international press. In addition to an extensive scientific production, the research findings are available to policy makers and the general public, in Sweden and internationally. Within the Programme, developments in Europe are also monitored by the Institute's editors in the country database landguiden.se, and the journals Världspolitikens Dagsfrågor and Utrikesmagasinet.
Partnerships and cooperations
Building on our Institute’s history as a venue for research and practice, the Programme welcomes partnerships and cooperation with researchers, institutes, organizations and companies interested in the region. We regularly host foreign guest researchers and welcome delegations.
The Europe Programme is grateful to the following organizations and establishments for their support.
•The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens jubileumsfond)
•The Swedish Research Council (VR)
•The European Union Framework Programme 7
•The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)
•Compagnia di San Paolo
•The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
The Programme seeks support from organizations which recognize the importance of independent policy-focused research that informs decision-making through deepening understanding of political and economic developments in Europe.