“Governments across Europe need to be more candid with their citizens" with Dr Robin Niblett

Past Event

07 June 2018, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

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This talk is co-hosted by the Oxford Martin School and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, to celebrate their 20th Anniversary

One of the biggest failings of European governments over the past 25 years has been their unwillingness to explain to their electorates the profoundly changing dynamics of the global economy and the pressures this will place on their economic future. European welfare systems and other aspects of the socio-economic contract have become increasingly unsustainable in this international context. Yet governments have tended to underplay the extent of the challenge, avoided or postponed necessary structural responses, and constructed fair-weather institutions to disguise the gaps between policy choices and needed reforms. The result has been deep popular resentment to the halting reform process, which is seen as helping preserve the riches of the few rather than creating fair opportunities in the future, and an erosion in public trust in established parties.

Can parties, politicians and governments recover in the coming years, and what will they need to do? What is the balance of responsibilities at the national and EU institutional levels? What risks might throw them off course?

About the speaker

Dr Robin Niblett became the Director of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) in January 2007. Before joining Chatham House, from 2001 to 2006, Dr Niblett was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). During his last two years at CSIS, he also served as Director of the CSIS Europe Programme and its Initiative for a Renewed Transatlantic Partnership.

He is the author of Britain, the EU and the Sovereignty Myth (Chatham House 2016), Britain, Europe and the World: Rethinking the UK’s Circles of Influence (Chatham House, 2015), and Playing to its Strengths: Rethinking the UK’s Role in a Changing World (Chatham House, 2010). He is also editor and contributing author to America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership (Chatham House/Wiley-Blackwell, 2010); a contributor to Influencing Tomorrow: Future Challenges for British Foreign Policy (Guardian Books, 2013) by Douglas Alexander MP and Dr Ian Kearns; author and contributor to a number of CSIS reports on transatlantic relations, and contributing author and co-editor with William Wallace of Rethinking European Order (Palgrave, 2001).

Dr Niblett is a frequent panellist at conferences on Europe and transatlantic relations. He has testified on a number of occasions to the House of Commons Defence and Treasury Select Committees and Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as the US Senate and House Committees on European Affairs. He is a Non-Executive Director of Fidelity European Values Investment Trust and a member of the World Economic Forum Europe Policy Group. He was a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (2015-16) and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on International Security (2016). He was Chairman of the Experts Group for the 2014 NATO Summit; Chairman of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Europe (2012-13) and Chair of the British Academy Steering Committee of Languages for Security Project (2013).

In 2012 he was awarded the Bene Merito medal by the Polish government. He became a Companion of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 2015. He received his BA in Modern Languages and MPhil and DPhil from New College, Oxford.