Is the European Union in disarray? Former Ambassador David Ritchie AO to speak at ANU

Monday, August 28, 2017 — Current commentary that the European Union (EU) is “falling apart” after Brexit and other challenges will be examined in the 2017 Schuman Lecture at The Australian National University (ANU) next week.

Media are invited to hear distinguished former diplomat David Ritchie deliver “Schuman’s vision in the age of disarray: Whither Europe and the West?”  On Monday 28 August at 5.30pm at University House at ANU.

The former Australian ambassador to Germany, Italy and Indonesia will examine the current narrative on Europe’s challenges including Brexit, a rise in populist political parties, managing the flow of asylum seekers and whether President Donald Trump is moving away from the traditional US role as the guarantor of European security.

“There is no doubt that the Europeans’ trust in the United States under President Trump has been shaken, but this, and Brexit, have actually drawn the EU member states closer together”, said Mr Ritchie.

“One of the problems facing Europe today is the strongly-conflicting views within the EU about how to define the “new” Europe post Brexit, and these are yet to be resolved,” he said.

Mr Ritchie was Deputy Secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2013-16 and previously in 2002-2005.

“I also want to address where the West is heading now. To use Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s phrase from earlier this year, are we now entering a post-West world Order”?

The lecture will emphasise Australia’s large stake in the “new” EU that will emerge after Brexit, and how we can gain the best advantage out of it and our future relationship with the United Kingdom.

More information on this event can be found here: Schuman Lecture Series:


WHAT: Schuman Lecture Series. Schuman Lecture 2017.

WHO: David Ritchie AO, joins Chair Professor Jacqueline Lo, Executive Director, ANU Centre for European Studies. 

WHEN: Monday 28 August 2017, 5.30-7pm.

WHERE: The Hall, University House. 1 Balmain Crescent, Acton. ANU.

For media assistance, contact the ANU media office on 6125 7979, or email