SPRING LECTURE: EU as Foreign Policy Actor in the Era of Populism

Vesalius College is pleased to invite you to the spring lecture on:

‘EU as foreign policy actor in the era of populism’

Mr. Christian Leffler, European External Action Service, Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Issues.

Monday, 25 February, 2019

18:00 – 19:30 (light reception starting at 17:30)

Vesalius College (VeCo 2-3), Plainlaan 5, 1050 Brussels


The lecture will analyse challenges that the EU faces both within and outside Europe. It will consider how the rise of populism inside the EU combined with challenges to the existing global economic arrangement affect EU international standing and its policies. We will further explore how these tensions are enhanced by the rise of new economic powers and how it effects the EU position in the international arena.


Born in Göteborg in 1955, Mr Leffler obtained a Bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from the LSE. After doctoral studies at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva he joined the Swedish Foreign Service in 1980. He joined the European Commission in 1996, where he took up the post of Commission “Antici” and Head of the unit in the Secretariat General responsible for the coordination of relations with the Council of Ministers.

In 1999, he became the Deputy Head of the Private Office of the Right Honourable Chris Patten, European Commissioner for External Relations. From 2002 until 2007, he was Director in charge of the Middle East and South Mediterranean in the European Commission’s Directorate General for External Relations. He then spent three years as Head of Cabinet of Mrs Margot Wallström, Commission Vice President for Institutional Relations and Communication.

During 2010 Mr Leffler was Deputy Director General of the DG for Development and relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States, as well as a senior adviser to EU High Representative for CFSP and European Commission Vice-President Catherine Ashton, assisting her in the preparation for the establishment of the new European External Action Service. From the beginning of 2011 to 2015 he was Managing Director for Americas with the European External Action Service. Mr Leffler took up his current position on 16 September 2015.

This lecture is also open to the public.
Attendance is free but registration is required. Please register HERE.