“I want to contribute to the democratic anchoring of aid”

As of 1 April, EBA’s Expert Group has three new members, including Katarina Tracz, a security and defence analyst and strategic communications advisor.


Can you tell us a bit more about your background and how you got to where you are today?

I have fifteen years of experience in foreign and security policy analysis, with a particular focus on the Nordic-Baltic region, Ukraine, and transatlantic security. You could say that I have been working in foreign and security policy for my entire professional life.

I grew up with parents who chose to leave an authoritarian country. They instilled in me an awareness of security policy that is perhaps not so widespread in Sweden. I also have a questioning attitude and a belief in good dialogue. Perhaps that’s why, early in my working life, I was entrusted with co-founding the think tank Stockholm Free World Forum, of which I was then director for eight years. We wanted to create a platform for qualified debate on foreign and security policy, and our work was very much about bringing together knowledgeable people with the drive to work for a freer and safer world.

After my time at Stockholm Free World Forum, I started my own business, Solomós Communications, where I also operate at the interface between security policy and communication. I enjoy being self-employed. It gives me a flexibility that allows me to take on assignments such as expert group member in EBA. It also gives me the opportunity to meet and work with a wide range of exciting stakeholders from whom I can learn and whom I can also support with my knowledge. In my work, I am in contact with incredibly knowledgeable people. One of my strengths is to pass on their expertise, a bit like EBA does.


And now you are part of EBA’s Expert Group. What are your thoughts on that?

When I see the depth of expertise of the members and the secretariat, I am humbled to be part of EBA. My first impression is very positive, and I feel welcome!

My profile is somewhat different from previous members. I think this is deliberate, based on the expectation that I can contribute knowledge on how to deal with the harsh and uncertain world we have found ourselves in. Like the war in Ukraine. It is so existential. It’s about survival as a nation and it affects not only Ukraine but our whole part of the world. It is important that we are aware of that.

Here, of course, aid to Ukraine is an important component. Given its scale, it is also extremely important to scrutinise it to ensure that everything is done properly. This also applies to aid in general. It is an important task for EBA to independently scrutinise and disseminate knowledge about the large and important area that is aid. It is a task that is crucial for creating democratic support for aid. I hope to be able to contribute to this.