Education Division Scholarship

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This paper examines the strategic evolution of Europe’s security framework in the context of the Russo-Ukrainian War and the concluded Vilnius Summit — a critical juncture, with the possibility of selecting a new Secretary General. Among the nominees was Kaja Kallas, Estonia’s Prime Minister, whose innovative vision advocated a departure from traditional models. Kallas promoted a more inclusive and flexible NATO membership structure, more active and robust support for Ukraine against Russian aggression, increased roles for women in security architecture and policymaking, and the utilisation of public diplomacy and strategic communication in novel ways. The summit culminated in the reappointment of the well-respected Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, deferring the transformative opportunity represented by Kallas’s candidacy for the future. Kallas’s bold yet strategic approach effectively rallied support, justifying the paper’s focus on her. This reappointment underscores a missed-for-now chance to evolve Europe’s security architecture, leaving Kallas as a promising future prospect. The paper employs a mixed-methods case study on Kallas’s approach, recognising the Summit as both a reflection of continuity, and a beacon for potential future transformation.

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UA: Ukraine Analytica. Published by NGO “Promotion of Intercultural Cooperation” (Ukraine), Centre of International Studies (Ukraine), with the financial support of the Representation of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Ukraine, International Renaissance Foundation