Geopolitics & Values: what is the real power of the EU? – How to use the COVID crisis as an opportunity for a new European soft power

Results of the IED Call for Papers (July 2020)


Video Statement by Professor Joseph Nye

The Institute of European Democrats (IED) is proud to present the 39 Research Papers which have been selected in the frame of its Call for Papers on Geopolitics & Values: what is the real power of the EU? launched in July 2020. The 39 selected research papers are bringing new ideas and proposals to redefine Europe's role and mission on the global scene after the COVID-19 crisis. Through this research, the IED wishes to provide democratic ideas & solutions to promote a new effective multilateralism. We wish you a good reading....

Download the Call for Papers


Soft power can be defined as the use of a country's cultural and economic influence, as an effective substitute to military power. The European Union is commonly perceived as a 'soft power', promoting democracy and fundamental rights with its neighboring countries and globally. Based on both, cultural heritage and creative industries, the 'soft power' make at the same time very important parts of European GDP and jobs.

How can this approach be maintained while this position is being challenged in the last years by re-emerging hard power and 'sharp power' policies?

The recent COVID-19 crisis has profoundly shaken the international scene, showing the fragilities of single countries going it alone and the strategic necessity of global cooperation and solidarity in the field of health care and scientific and medical research in particular.

Can the COVID-19 crisis more generally be used as a catalyst for change in international relations? How can multilateralism be relaunched and what could be the role of the EU in this new setting? Which traditional or new tools of 'soft power' can be used in this context to promote Europe's values on the global scene such as democracy, rule of law, liberties, solidarity, sustainability?

Here come the answers from our fellow researchers....

Research Papers