Roland Freudenstein was born in Bonn, Germany. After a two-year voluntary military service, he studied political science, economics, Japanese studies and international relations in Bonn and Los Angeles. Having worked as a research fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, he became a member of the foreign and security planning staff of the European Commission in Brussels in the 1990s.
Subsequently, he became the director of the Warsaw office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and later held a leading function in the Foundation’s central office in Berlin. After coming back to Brussels in 2004, he represented the German city-state of Hamburg to the EU. Roland Freudenstein has been, since 2008, Head of Research and Deputy Director of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and, since October 2015, its Policy Director.
He has contributed to debates and published extensively on European integration, international security, German-Polish relations, global democracy support and about Russia and Eastern Europe.
Why is the far-right movement growing in popularity in Europe and in the U.S.? Are the reasons for these trends interrelated? What is the role of social media in propagating extreme right narrative in Europe and in the United States? How significant are international networks and connections in the world of right-wing extremism? What are the political reasons to employ the far-right narrative and what are the mechanisms that could be useful to counter this narrative?
How can the complementarity between foresight and resilience building of EU and NATO be ensured? Which capability and capacity gaps need to be addressed to meet pressing challenges? Drawing on the lessons learnt: what did we learn from past crisis to manage and anticipate challenges in the future?
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends already in motion and brought about new challenges. NATO and the EU need to adapt to the new realities and increase the resilience of both their members and the organizations as a whole to act and shape a positive future. Strategic foresight offers the means to do that. Thinking forward while acting now is the main challenge of the two institutions, and setting in motion processes to adapt, act and anticipate has become of paramount importance.