EU foreign and security policy in an era of radical uncertainty

kutsutilaisuus · SEMINAR · 21.04.2023 10:00 - 11:30


The European Union has so far provided a united front against Russia’s aggression and in support of Ukraine. This has elevated the EU as a foreign and security policy actor. Yet managing manifold global and regional threats will test the EU’s ability for action and resources in the months and years to come. The war has underlined global uncertainties regarding security, energy, and food supply, among other matters. It has also accentuated strategic competition around the world. Can the EU move beyond enacting suboptimal solutions and retain its relevance as a regional and global actor? What is required of the EU in terms of its foreign policy? What kind of military capabilities does Europe need and what direction should the EU-NATO collaboration take?



Opening remarks:
Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Charles Powell, Director, the Elcano Royal Institute

Niklas Helwig, Leading Researcher, FIIA
Katariina Mustasilta, Leading Researcher, FIIA

Juha Jokela, Programme Director, FIIA


Opening words

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He is also a tenured professor of International Relations and European Union Affairs at Tallinn University (part-time), Estonia, and holds the rank of Docent at Tampere University. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. Aaltola’s areas of expertise include the U.S. global role, dynamics of major power politics, democratic vulnerability, pandemic security, and Finnish foreign policy.


Charles Powell

Director, the Elcano Royal Institute

Charles Powell has been Director of the Elcano Royal Institute since 2012, and a Professor of Contemporary History at CEU San Pablo University since 2001.

He studied History and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, which also awarded him a Doctorate in History. While at Oxford, he was a lecturer at Corpus Christi College, a J. A. Pye Fellow at University College, and a Junior Research Fellow at St. Antony’s College. He has also been a visiting professor at the Catholic University of Portugal and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

From 1997 to 2000, he was deputy director of the European Studies programme of the Ortega y Gasset University Institute, and was later appointed Deputy Director of the José Ortega y Gasset Foundation’s Spanish Centre for International Relations (CERI). In 2001 he joined the Elcano Royal Institute as Senior Analyst for Europe, and in 2004 he was appointed Deputy Director for Research and Analysis. In the course of his career, he has supervised eight doctoral theses and taught and lectured in more than 40 countries in Europe, Africa, America and Asia.

Hanna Ojanen

Research Director, Tampere University

Hanna Ojanen works as Research Director at the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Warfare at the Finnish National Defence University. She holds a doctorate in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute (EUI). Her research interests focus on European security and defence, EU-NATO relations and Nordic countries’ security policy.


Niklas Helwig

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Niklas Helwig is a Leading Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He is also an Adjunct Professor in International Relations at Tampere University. His research focuses on EU foreign and security policy, German foreign and security policy, as well as EU-US relations. He currently leads an Academy of Finland-funded sub-project on “Transforming strategic cultures in contemporary Europe” (STRAX).

He worked at various think tanks in Europe and the US, including the RAND Corporation in Arlington VA, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin and the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. He was a DAAD Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington D.C. in 2018.

Katariina Mustasilta

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Katariina Mustasilta is a Leading Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She steers the research project ‘Finland in Afghanistan 2001-2021’ that examines Finland’s engagement in the stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. She is part of the Institute’s European Union research programme, and her research focuses more broadly on political violence and conflict trends and (the EU’s) international conflict prevention and peace-building efforts.

Mustasilta holds a PhD in Political Science from the Government Department at the University of Essex. Her PhD thesis focused on the role of traditional governance in sub-Saharan African countries’ internal conflicts.


Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA

Juha Jokela is the Programme Director of the European Union research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Dr Jokela’s previous academic and policy studies projects and publications include the EU’s sanctions policy, political implications of Brexit for the EU, political and security developments in the Arctic, Europeanisation of foreign policy, EU’s Asia relations, and Finland’s EU policy. His current research interests include differentiated integration in EU’s foreign policy, and the role of G7 and G20 in multilateral cooperation.

Dr Jokela has previously worked at the EU Institute for Security Studies as a Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, as an Advisor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and as a Research Fellow and the Director of the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. Jokela is a member of the board of Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), member of the Steering Committee of EuroMesCo, the main network of research centres and think-tanks in the Euro-Mediterranean area, and member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP).

Jokela holds a PhD from the University of Bristol (UK), which focused on Europeanisation and foreign policy in Finland and the UK, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Birmingham (UK).