A distinguished expert on international affairs and security, François Heisbourg, gives a lecture on the euro and the EU Saturday at a pre-lunch meeting 5 April 2014, 11–12, at the University of Iceland, in Oddi House, room O-202. The meeting is held by The Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland and RNH. Born in 1949, Heisbourg graduated from the respected French school for civil servants, École nationale d’administration (ENA). He worked in the French Foreign Ministry from 1978 to 1984, serving for a while as an adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was deputy director of the electronics and defence contractor Thomson-CSF in 1984–87, after its nationalisation by the Mitterand government. He was director of IISS, International Institute for Strategic Studies, in London in 1987–92. Since then, he has worked in various capacities, taught at universities and been an adviser to institutions and committees. Heisbourg has been Chairman of IISS since 2001.
Heisbourg’s book, La Fin du Rêve Européen, The End of the European Dream, published in the autumn of 2013, has provoked much discussion. Heisbourg argues that the European countries have to abandon the euro, if they are to continue cooperating in economic and political affairs. The euro dream is turning into a nightmare, according to him. A strong supporter of European integration, Heisbourg also believes that the monetary union was ill-conceived and untimely. His lecture forms a part of the joint project of RNH and AECR, Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, on “Europe, Iceland and the Future of Capitalism”. Mr. Tomas I. Olrich, former Minister of Culture and Ambassador to France, chairs the meeting. Besides the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland and RNH two grassroot associations sponsor the meeting, Icewise and Heimssyn. An interview with Heisbourg can be watched here on Youtube.