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Palliser Lecture: Europe’s Future: 1814, 1914 – or something completely different?

House of Lords, London, February 3, 2014

2014 marked the centenary of the start of the First World War, which began not only four years of bloodshed in the trenches of France and Belgium, but also three decades of instability, fascism and further war across Europe and much of the world, leading to the decline of European influence in the world. 2014 also marked the second centenary of the start of the Congress of Vienna, which sought to rebuild Europe after the Napoleonic wars. At the time, Europe faced a stark choice: will its leaders be like the “sleepwalkers” of 1914, who blindly fell into decades of war and destruction? Or the architects of 1814, who had a clear vision of the future for Europe? Or, will it be something else entirely? It was this dilemma that Edward Mortimer, former chief program officer of Salzburg Global Seminar, sought to address while delivering the inaugural Palliser Lecture in memory of Sir Michael Palliser GCMG at the House of Lords in London.

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