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61st LEIDEN-LONDON meeting 2022

  • Frank Hoffmeister EEAS, Brussels
  • Steven Blockmans CEPS and UvA
  • Mavluda Sattorova University of Liverpool
  • Leigh Hancher University of Tilburg
  • Marise Cremona EUI (emeritus)
  • Nico van Eijk, CTIVD, The Hague
  • Thomas Ackermann, University of Munich
  • Jan Wouters, University of Leuven
Saturday 25 June 2022
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden

Interdependence, cooperation and strategic autonomy: A (legal) view from the EU

Swings and developments in the foreign policy of world powers have accelerated the awareness of the need for the EU to clarify and strengthen its geo-political position. In terms of security, but also in many other areas, the EU faces the need to define and promote its own position, even while being committed to common international responses. The phrase that has become current in attempting to capture this new focus is “strategic autonomy”. It forms part of a rhetoric (think of: “Resilient Europe”, “Managed Globalization”, “Geopolitical Europe”, “Europe that protects”) that reflects problems of access to vital resources, concerns over dependence on third countries, and the desire, especially in commercial policy, to defend and disseminate the EU’s own rules and norms.

Strategic autonomy is clearly a political concept but also poses economic and legal questions.

For example: does strategic autonomy necessarily imply an ‘EU-first’ policy? Is European strategic autonomy potentially constrained by familiar features of EU law, such as its system of competences, its openness to international law, and its respect for fundamental rights? What are the distributive, social, moral and normative consequences of this turn to strategic autonomy? How do strategic autonomy aims affect  the EU’s relations with its neighbours, including the UK?  If strategic autonomy is essentially a political idea, what part is played by democratic institutions and processes – and what is the place in such security-inspired developments for common efforts to combat electoral interference and counter post-truth propaganda, to preserve the autonomy of the EU and domestic institutions?


9-9:30 Welcome, registration and tea and coffee

Session I  - Chair: Michael Dougan

9:30 Opening – Stefaan Van den Bogaert, Director Europa Institute

9:35-10:05 Keynote: Strategic autonomy in the EU’s external relations – Frank Hoffmeister

10:05-10:30 Discussion

10:30-11.00 Tea and coffee

Session II – Chair: Alison McDonnell

Strategic autonomy in specific areas:  Part I

11:00-11:40 The Strategic Compass: A legal analysis of the guide to a European Defence Union – Steven Blockmans

11:40-12:20 FDI and strategic autonomy: Changing contours of international investment law – Mavluda Sattorova

12:20-12:45 Discussion

12:45 Award of 2021 Common Market Law Review Prize for Young Academics

12:50- 14:35 Lunch

Participants are invited to lunch at Restaurant Prentenkabinet, Kloksteeg 25, Leiden


14:35 Opening afternoon Sessions

Session III  - Chair: Christa Tobler

Strategic autonomy in specific areas:  Part II

14:40-15:10 REPowerEU - Sharing strategic autonomy in the gas crisis – Leigh Hancher

15:10-15:30 Cyber: Changing perspectives on national security and strategic autonomy –  Nico van Eijk

15:30-15:55 Discussion

15:55-16:15 Coffee/ tea

Session IV – Chair Marise Cremona

Overarching political and legal issues

16:15-17:00 Panel discussion – including Marise Cremona, Thomas Ackermann, Jan Wouters


Speakers and Chairs:

Frank Hoffmeister, European External Action Service, Brussels

Steven Blockmans, CEPS and University of Amsterdam

Mavluda Sattorova, University of Liverpool

Leigh Hancher, University of Tilburg

Nico van Eijk, CTIVD (Review Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services), The Hague

Marise Cremona, European University Institute

Thomas Ackermann, University of Munich

Jan Wouters, University of Leuven

Michael Dougan, University of Liverpool

Alison McDonnell, University of Leiden

Christa Tobler, University of Leiden


For practical information please contact Ms Reeda Al Sabri Halawi

Email: r.al.sabri.halawi@law.leidenuniv.nl 

Kindly register for the event in the link below:


The Leiden-London event can also be followed online via this link:

https://weblectures.leidenuniv.nl/Mediasite/Play/29eb5a86117e4b9cbe32cd21cb1987ed1d .

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