Jonathan Holslag

In 2014, professor Jonathan Holslag, delivered the 13th Europe Lecture. The theme of the lecture was 'Peace and Security' i. Former president of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga i also gave her view on the topic of peace and security in Europe. The lecture was moderated by Tom de Bruijn i.



Jonathan Holslag

Jonathan Holslag

Prof. Jonathan Holslag (1981) is co-founder of the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies and a lecturer on international relations at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Prof. Holslag is one of the most prominent specialists in Asian affairs in Europe and a rising star in the field of geopolitics. He wrote several popular books on China as an emerging great power. His book "The Power of Paradise" has generally received good reviews, and in part provides an outline for an EU response to the changing world order.

Besides his academic work, he has been advising most of the European institutions, several governments and international organisations. Prof. Holslag maintains relations with politicians, high ranking civil servants and prominent researchers from across the globe. He has appeared frequently in globally recognised media and is frequently sollicited as an opinion leader in international discussion forums.



Thank you so much for the invitation to share some ideas today.

This former house of worship makes me instantly think Europe’s position in today’s world. The problem with Europe is that it preaches too much. It tries to lure countries to enter the church of European values, but when these countries try to find out more about it, they discover that the church is empty and that the parishioners are out on the streets selling its bibles and benches… How can one expect the rest of the world to cherish European values if Europe itself seems to have given up to believe in them?

A good friend from China once joked: “When we talk Americans we can be sure that they think they have it right, when we talk to Europeans we get confused because of your own bewilderment. It’s not Mars versus Venus; it’s more like Armageddon versus Monty Python.” Ladies and gentlemen, today I want to discuss with you how the 500 million Europeans can survive and thrive in what promises to be yet another turbulent century. This lecture is not going to be a walk in the park. I want to disconcert you, to make you feel alarmed: alarmed about the state of Europe, alarmed about the state of the world around us, and alarmed about the sterile state of our thinking when it comes to solutions.