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 overall themes:
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's path towards 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. During a seminar series initiated in 2018, the Europe programme together with the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS) will gather key perspectives on the future of the European Union. The series will result in an anthology to be published in the spring, and aims to contribute to the discussions about the EU after Brexit and to serve as food for thought ahead of the elections to the European Parliament in May.
National security is the responsibility of the Member States under the EU treaties. Nevertheless, the European Union has been given an ever-wider mandate in several security sectors such as crisis management, conflict prevention, counter terrorism, defense equipment and critical infrastructure protection. This happens at the same time as NATO has returned to the core task of its members' territorial defense. Within the EU, security cooperation has a strong support from European voters and for various reasons development is now at a dynamic stage. Within this focus area, we want to follow the policy developments in the broad field of security and protection; what kind of security can the EU deliver, how does it work and change in practice, and how does it connect to other organizations like NATO and the OSCE? Ongoing projects analyze security policy consequences of Brexit, European intelligence cooperation, and regional and mini-lateral defence cooperation in northern Europe.
Europe- global power and order
Despite the ambition to work for a ring of well-managed states in its neighbourhood, today the EU finds itself surrounded by areas of conflict and weaker states. European institutions have served as models for a rule-driven world order, but the trust in the global system that has served Europe is increasingly waning. At the same time, the need for real international problem solving is increasing. This situation seems particularly prominent in the transatlantic relationship. But turbulence also affects the EU’s relations in South and East. Should for example, Europe be seeking a more independent relationship with Asia? How is the EU affected by the United States' new focus on super-power rivalry? Within this focus area, the Europe programme will highlight Europe's relations with the Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood but also the EU's ambition to act strategically in relation to the world's great powers. The transatlantic relationship remains an interest in the programme but is increasingly complemented by China's perspective and other global power players. Various areas and tools for power and strategic actorship will be highlighted, from military capabilities to research, high technology and standards.
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 program, 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.