Russia and the future of Europe: Lessons learnt and future prospects

Webinar · 11.11.2022 10:30 - 12:00

Russia’s illegal and brutal war against Ukraine has led to a profound change in Europe’s security landscape, and powerfully questioned the Russia policy of the European Union and many of its member states, including Finland. The EU has responded to Russia’s military aggression with unprecedented sanctions, as well as providing Ukraine economic assistance and military materiel aid – for the first time in its history – in the context of a broader Western effort. Russia’s “weaponization” of dependencies such as energy relations have further strained Europe’s relations with Russia. This webinar will discuss lessons learnt and the longer-term prospects for EU-Russia relations from a northern European perspective. How can we assist Ukraine and respond to Russia’s escalation of the war? What are the key elements of restoring peace in Europe and building a sustainable security architecture for the continent’s future?  


Opening words:
Paul Schmidt, Secretary General, the Austrian Society for European Politics

Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Oleksiy Melnyk, Co-Director, Razumkov Centre, Ukraine
Sinikukka Saari, Leading Researcher, FIIA

Juha Jokela, Programme Director, FIIA

This event marks the publication of the book Russia and the Future of Europe: Views from the capitals edited by Michael Kaeding, Johannes Pollak and Paul Schmidt. The book sheds light on how Member States and EU neighbours relate to Russia.

The webinar is a joint webinar with The Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) and the European Parliament (EP).



opening words

Paul Schmidt

Secretary General, the Austrian Society for European Politics

Dr Schmidt has been Secretary General of the Austrian Society for European Politics since 2009. Previously, he has worked at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, both in Vienna and at their Representative Office in Brussels. His current work mainly focuses on the analysis and discussion of topical issues regarding European integration.


Heidi Hautala

Vice-President of the European Parliament

Heidi Hautala is a Finnish Member of the European Parliament 1995 to 2003, 2009 to 2011, and since 2014 representing the Greens and Vice-President of the European Parliament since 2017. In this term she serves as a Member of the Committee on International Trade and of the Subcommittee on Human Rights. She also serves as a Substitute Member of the Committee on Legal Affairs. In addition, Hautala has served as Minister for International Development and State Ownership Steering in the Government of Finland 2011-2013.

Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Razumkov Centre, Ukraine

Mr Oleksiy Melnyk is Co-director at the Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes of the Razumkov Centre in Kyiv, Ukraine. Before joining the Razumkov Centre, he served as First Assistant to the Minister of Defence of Ukraine (2015-16) and worked for SC Ukroboronservice. He has 21 years of experience in military service (Air Force, Lt Col. Ret.), including participation in UN peacekeeping operation (UNTAES).

He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1984, was trained in the United States in 1993-94 and 2000-2001, and studied international relations and security at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, United Kingdom (2007). His main areas of research include international security, conflict management, national security and defence governance and reforms, as well as NATO-Ukraine relations.

Sinikukka Saari

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Dr. Sinikukka Saari is a Leading Researcher at FIIA. She works at FIIA’s Finnish Foreign Policy, Northern European Security and NATO programme and leads foresight related research at FIIA.

Dr. Saari’s fields of expertise include Russia’s foreign and security policy, Finland’s foreign and security policy as well as foresight in IR and Foreign Policy studies. In particular, she has studied Russia’s relations with its various neighbours from Oslo to Beijing and the EU–Russia relations. Prior to her current position, Dr. Saari has worked as a Researcher and Senior Researcher at FIIA, as an Analyst for the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Tbilisi, as a Senior Analyst at EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in Paris and as a Special Advisor for the Policy Planning and Research Unit at the Foreign Ministry of Finland. She has also served as a visiting scholar at the Moscow Carnegie Center and at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) in Stockholm. Sinikukka Saari has received her PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Social Sciences in 2007.


Juha Jokela

Programme Director, FIIA

Dr Juha Jokela is the Programme Director of the European Union research programme at FIIA. His current research interests include political implications of Brexit and differentiated integration in EU’s external relations. Dr Jokela’s previous projects and publications include the EU’s sanctions policy, political and security developments in the Arctic, the EU’s role in the G20, Europeanisation of foreign policy, and Finland’s EU policy. He has previously worked at the EUISS as a Senior Associated Analyst and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, as an Advisor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and as Research Fellow and Director of the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki. Dr Jokela holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bristol (UK).