Europe is still in the process of defining its role as a global player. Next to dealing with current political, military and economic conflicts worldwide, it also faces the question of shaping its relations with the emerging centres of power in Asia. Significant issues in this context are Europe s dependency on raw materials and the need to keep or attract highly qualified labour.
Similarly, the EU s political strategies, different from those of the USA, for instance, have yet to be clearly defined. Is the EU s influence limited to those fields of politics called soft power ? A further European concern is to strengthen international regimes such as the United Nations. Faced with the threat of a clash of civilisations , Europe could draw on its traditions and diversity to assume the role of a mediator between the West and the Islamic world.
The Alpbach Political Symposium provides a forum for discussing the perspectives of and challenges to Europe s role in the world.