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Johan Verbeke - Strategic Unease: A World in Search of a New Balance

Johan Verbeke, lifelong Belgian diplomat, the Director General of the Brussels-based EGMONT - Royal Institute of International Relations, gave a lecture on the changing world order at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the 20th of April.


Johan Verbeke, lifelong Belgian diplomat, the Director General of the Brussels-based EGMONT - Royal Institute of International Relations, gave a lecture on the changing world order at the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the 20th of April. Verbeke pointed out the political uncertainty and unpredictability of the current era in his policy brief titled ‘A World in Flux’ at the end of 2017. He talked about its roots, possible explanations and consequences at our institute. He cited, among other things, the United States’ former unipolar situation, China’s ‘geo-economic’ advancement, the European Union’s economic strength and political weakness, Russia’s aggressive return and the role of the UN-guaranteed rules. In response to questions, Verbeke explained that globalization is a process that, while increasing inequalities in the world, cannot be stopped, yet instead of isolation or protectionism, it is necessary to correct its harmful effects. Furthermore, he believed that Europe is a major economic and trade power, which is further strengthened by the ‘capital of trust’ that the US or Russia has long lost.