Stefan Lehne

Visiting Scholar
Carnegie Europe
tel +32 2 735 56 50
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.


MA, International Relations, Fletcher School on Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University 
JD, University of Vienna


English; French; German

Contact Information


Stefan Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where he researches the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states. 

From 2009–2011, Lehne served as director general for political affairs at the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs. Prior to that position, from 2002–2008, he served the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union as director for the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Previously, he was head of the Task Force for Western Balkans and Central Europe. He has held a number of other appointments in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was a researcher at the Austrian Institute for International Politics.

Lehne’s work on issues of European foreign and security policy has been widely published in a number of academic journals, including Integration, the Austrian Journal of Political Science, and Europa Archiv. In addition, he has authored a number of monographs on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

  • Brexit; London
    Article September 8, 2016
    How to Build a More Flexible EU After Brexit

    The EU needs to combine internal cohesion and flexible integration to cope with external challenges and contain the forces that threaten to tear it apart.

  • Strategic Europe July 4, 2016
    The EU Global Strategy, a Triumph of Hope Over Experience

    The centrifugal forces currently tearing at the EU may be too strong to allow for any meaningful strengthening of EU foreign policy. But that’s no reason not to try.

  • Populism
    Article June 14, 2016
    Can the EU Survive Populism?

    To respond to the growing threat of populism, the EU should engage citizens directly, refocus on their grievances, and promote tolerance and pluralism.

  • Refugees; Border
    Article April 21, 2016
    The Tempting Trap of Fortress Europe

    The idea of shutting out migrants by reinforcing the EU’s external border may be alluring, but it would create more tensions and greater nationalist anger.

  • refugee; schengen
    Article February 4, 2016
    How the Refugee Crisis Will Reshape the EU

    Migration will likely be the ultimate make-or-break issue for the European Union. Member states can tackle this challenge only through cooperative, collective action.

  • Strategic Europe November 19, 2015
    Toward a European Neighborhood Realpolitik?

    The EU’s recent review of its European Neighborhood Policy offers a more realistic and practical approach to the union’s relations with its neighbors.

  • Europe
    Article November 18, 2015
    Are Referenda Blocking the EU’s Progress?

    As populism has grown in many EU countries, demands have proliferated for referenda to check European integration. The pressure for more direct democracy is stepping up.

  • Strategic Europe November 10, 2015
    Five Regional Assessments of the Refugee Crisis

    Five Carnegie Europe scholars discuss how the migration and refugee crisis is affecting different parts of the globe.

  • Refugees
    Q&A October 1, 2015 عربي
    The Roots of Europe’s Refugee Crisis

    The refugee crisis is impacting political stability in the Middle East and Europe. How should leaders respond to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II?

  • OSCE
    Paper September 22, 2015
    Reviving the OSCE: European Security and the Ukraine Crisis

    The OSCE has been the most appropriate framework to manage the Ukraine crisis. To continue to play a useful role, the body must adjust its methods and strengthen its toolbox.

  • Online Q&A on the Refugee and Migrant Crisis
    September 5, 2016 Virtual
    Online Q&A on the Refugee and Migrant Crisis

    Scholars from Carnegie Europe and the Carnegie Middle East Center participated in a Reddit AMA on the refugee and migrant crisis.

  • June 14, 2016 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum, Bonn
    Migrants vs. Natives and the Death of Europe’s Liberal, Secular Consensus

    Migration has tested the EU’s moral ground to the limits. What is at stake goes to the very heart of what it means to be European: a community of shared values, moral universalism, and liberal and secular consensus.

  • February 24, 2016 Carnegie Europe
    Will the EU Survive the Refugee Crisis?

    The refugee crisis unsettled the EU like no challenge before it. With the inflow of refugees likely to continue for years, migration may be the ultimate make-or-break issue for the EU.

  • Ministers
    April 28, 2015 Brussels
    Can Prime Ministers Do Foreign Policy?

    European leaders should boost the foreign policy role of the European Council and the EU’s other institutions—but will they?

  • March 2, 2015 Vienna
    The European Neighborhood Policy: Which Way Forward?

    Ten years after its launch, it is time to rethink the European Neighborhood Policy. There is a need for greater differentiation and for more nimble and flexible instruments.

  • European Parliament
    February 18, 2015 Brussels
    How to Fix EU Democracy

    To everyday citizens, the EU institutions appear distant, obscure, and elitist. With populism and Euroskepticism on the rise, how can the EU win back the trust of its people?

  • European Union
    May 15, 2014 Brussels
    Time to Upgrade EU Foreign Policy

    Facing crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, it is past time to reform and strengthen the European Union’s foreign policy.

  • European Union; Neighborhood
    March 13, 2014 Brussels
    Resetting the European Neighborhood Policy

    The EU’s approach to its neighbors is not working. Launching a fundamentally renewed European Neighborhood Policy should be a top priority for the EU leadership.

  • June 25, 2013 Beirut
    Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Impact and Recommendations

    The ongoing armed conflict in Syria is forcing Syrians to take refuge in neighboring countries, causing an especially predictable negative impact on Lebanon. This spillover effect not only changes the dynamics of Lebanon’s social, economic, and political equation, but also creates wider implications for the region.

  • Carnegie Europe
    September 26, 2012 Brussels
    The Big Three in EU Foreign Policy

    As the EU struggles with the ongoing euro crisis, the attitude of the "big three" will crucially influence the future scope and direction of its role in international relations.

Carnegie Europe
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