UPDATE 2021 - Interview with Kinga Brudzińska, PhD, Programme Director of Future of Europe for GLOBSEC Policy

Kinga Brudzińska, PhD, is Programme Director of Future of Europe for GLOBSEC Policy Institute.

Kinga has ten years of professional experience in country-specific and policy analysis and advice. Her main research interests lie in the fields of EU foreign policy and EU institutional architecture, with a particular focus on relations among the Member States, and the concept of differentiated European integration. She has chiefly worked on Visegrad countries, and Spanish speaking world. Prior to GLOBSEC, she worked at the Permanent Representation of Poland to the OECD, the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and the Permanent Secretariat of Community of Democracies. Kinga is an author of the chapters in books, articles in press (i.e. Fair Observer, Es Global, EurActiv, Public Service Europe) and various analyses on the EU and the Latin America and Caribbean region. She is Alumna of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Global Governance Network, and the Humanity in Action & Lantos Foundation’ Senior Fellow. Kinga holds Ph.D. in Arts of Political Science, Faculty of Political Science and Journalism from the University of Warsaw, MA in International Relations from the Faculty of Economics at the Cracow University of Economics and Diploma in Latin American Studies from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (TEC Monterrey) in Mexico. (Source https://www.globsec.org/people/kinga-brudzinska/)

Joe Biden is president elect, what can we expect for the future transatlantic relationship? 

The election results in the United States, which have been officially announced this week, it’s a good sign for the European Union. President-elect Joe Biden has been known for being a true transatlanticist who has forged close relationships with key European leaders, including Germany. While we should not expect that the EU-US policy will change overnight and in some areas such as digital tax or trade the differences will prevail. But the fact that we can expect the US to be back in supporting the Paris on climate change or the deal with Iran, it means a lot for the EU. What is more, the simple fact of not undermining officially the European project (as President Trump did several times) but joining forces in overcoming global challenges, is a good way to start 2021.

Almost all Europe is in lockdown or at least "lockdown light", but at least several vaccines are ready to get delivered soon. Do you think next time EU countries will try a more cooperative and less nationalistic approach to face the pandemic, especially if we look at the situation in March 2020?

It is hard to tell how Member States would react to the next pandemic/crisis as every situation is different. However we can see that Member States and EU institutions have learnt from their past mistakes. For example, internal EU borders have not been shut down in the second wave of the pandemic. What is more, some Member States have started to closely cooperate in fighting the virus. For instance Austria and Hungary sent the medical doctors to help Slovakia with the nationwide COVID-19 testing or Germany, Poland and Romania have sent teams of doctors to help treat patients in hospitals in the North and South of Italy (more examples of European solidarity is here). Finally, the European Commission signed a number of contracts to secure COVID-19 vaccines for EU countries. The plan is to start vaccinations in all Member States at the same day and avoid competition who get the vaccine first. The last European Council meeting on the next EU budget and Recover Fund also show that Member States can get their act together even on a very sensible issues such as the rule of law mechanism when the stakes are high.

Media literacy, especially (digital Media literacy): Could you give us a brief statement about the importance of media literacy and why we need it? 

Digital media has enormous power to influence our thinking, beliefs or behaviour, and even our democratic systems. In order to consume media in digital age properly, and avoid falling into a trap of disinformation campaigns, we need to deploy a wealth of digital and functional skills and knowledge that included critical understanding of the digital environment. Digital media literacy is a key to success. Sooner we embed it within the mainstream curriculum, faster we will have informed and digital savvy citizens who can assertively navigate the Internet. 

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