Northern Europe and the Arab Spring: Normative Leaders or Opportunistic Bystanders?

In Brussels · 21.05.2012 16:30 - 18:30

National leadership plays an important role in EU external relations. When it comes to the EU’s Mediterranean policies, southern European countries have usually take the lead, while northern European countries have stayed on the side-lines. Inevitably, this division of labour has created frictions, as over NATO’s Libya intervention. The Arab Spring has underscored some of these divisions, but has also increased the visibility and interest in the region amongst northern European countries.

This seminar will highlight the role of three northern European countries – Germany, Poland and Sweden – during the Arab Spring and their views on the future of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. What has been the impact of the Arab Spring on their foreign policies? Can and should northern European countries play a more active role in the region? And what can be done to bridge internal EU differences over the region?

Welcome & Opening Remarks
Amb. Jan Store, Permanent Representative, Finnish Representation to the EU
Teija Tiilikainen, Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Timo Behr, Researcher, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Magnus Norell, Researcher, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
Patrycja Sasnal, Researcher, Polish Institute of International Affairs

Alar Olljum, Special Advisor to Managing Director Middle East & North Africa, EEAS
Antonio Missiroli, Head of European Dialogue Section, Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA), European Commission

Chair & Concluding Remarks
Teija Tiilikainen, Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs

The seminar is organised in cooperation with TEPSA – The Trans European Policy Studies Association.

For further information, please contact Timo Behr, +358 9 432 7731,