Public event

Europe, besieged fortress or democracy promoter?

The European Union prides itself with promoting values within and beyond its borders: democracy, multilateralism, diversity, and rule of law. But in the past decade EU has been badly shaken by security problems created by refugees from unsolved conflicts in the Middle East or Africa, the rise of Turkey and Russia as regional autocratic powers and the dissent of member states like Hungary or Poland from core EU values.

Join us in the fourth debate of ERCASDemocracy Promotion after Afghanistan series for a discussion on how can a continent that often feels besieged stand the course in promoting its values abroad. With Gerald Knaus, the expert on EU refugee policy, and Radwan Masmoudi, founder and president of the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy, moderated by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School.



  • Gerald Knaus is the founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI), working on South-East Europe and the Caucasus, European enlargement, and the future of EU foreign policy. He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and was for five years an Associate Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. His recent book, “What Borders Do We Need?”, was awarded the Bruno-Kreisky-Preis. He furthermore received the Karl Carstens Award for outstanding services to communicating security policy issues and the idea of comprehensive security to the broader public. He studied in Oxford, Brussels, and Bologna.

  • Radwan A. Masmoudi is the Founder and President of the Center of the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC dedicated to promoting freedom, democracy, and good governance in the Arab and Muslim worlds, as well as improving relations between the United States and the Muslim World. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Center’s quarterly publication, Muslim Democrat, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Forum for Islamic Dialogue (IFID), the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS), the Executive Committee of the Network of Democrats in the Arab World (NDAW), and served as a member of the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy, between 2012 and 2022. Dr. Masmoudi hold a master’s and PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has published several articles and spoken on major international conferences on the compatibility between Islam and Democracy, and the democratic transitions in Tunisia, following the Arab revolutions of 2011.


  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi is Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School in Berlin. Her research centres on anti-corruption policy and good governance. Mungiu-Pippidi chairs the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) where she managed the FP7 research project ANTICORRP and the Horizon 2020 project DIGIWHIST. Mungiu-Pippidi is President of the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) and founder of the social media watchdog platform Clean Romania! ( She studied political science at Harvard University after completing a PhD in Social Psychology in 1995 at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi in Romania.