Is the EU a Paper Tiger?

After the end of the Swedish presidency of the European Union at the beginning of the year, EU issues seem to have gone into eclipse here. Especially with an election coming, European questions have not exactly been dominating the news.

Yet the half billion citizens of the EU can play an enormous role in the world. One-fifth of global imports, one quarter of the world’s Gross National Product, and more than half of all development assistance is from the European Union.

But how is this influence used, and how are the 27 national voices brought together on the international stage? Or is the EU just a paper tiger in the global arena?

The Swedish Pan-European Association recently took a look at the EU in the world in Trade, Development Aid, Foreign Relations, and Security Policies. Among the participants they brought together: academics, officials from government ministries, journalists, representatives from NGO’s, former ambassadors, and one previous EU Commissioner.

We talk to:

Professor Carin Berg, the secretary of the Swedish Pan-European Association.

Former Swedish Member of the European Parliament Anders Wijkman, who spoke about development issues.

Ove Bring, one of Sweden’s most respected experts on international law, and a professor at the Swedish National Defence College, who talked about security and defence issues.

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