Editorial Newsletter December 2016

EU-Russia relations: time for a reset?

One of the external threats the EU is confronted with concerns the relationship with Russia. The annexation of Crimea, the interference in Eastern Ukraine and Russia’s bombardments in Syria are examples of Russian activities having a serious impact on security in Europe. As a side effect another frozen conflict – in the Donbas region – has been added to the number of frozen conflicts already existing.

Because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its involvement in Eastern Ukraine, the EU has issued several restrictive measures. They concern, respectively, measures at the diplomatic level, sanctions against individuals and entities (such as rebel groups in Donbas), specific restrictions for Crimea (such as prohibitions for EU investments in that area), measures targeting sectoral cooperation (such as limited access for Russian state-owned financial institutions to the European capital markets) and suspension of new financial cooperation programs in which the European Investment Bank, for example, is involved. In return Russia proclaimed an import ban for agricultural and food products originating from the EU (plus USA, Canada, Australia and Norway).

Certainly, the EU should not (in fact never) recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea. It was an act clearly violating fundamental international law principles such as independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. That being said, most sanctions of the EU concern primarily Russia’s involvement in Eastern Ukraine. They can only be lifted once the so-called Minsk Agreements will be implemented correctly by all parties concerned, Russia included.

In the meantime NATO and also the EU are engaged in reinforcing their defense capabilities. NATO has also developed a new Black Sea Strategy, and the EU ministers of foreign affairs agreed, for example, during their meeting of 14 November 2016 to deepen their defense cooperation in several respects.

Perhaps, however, the moment has come to reflect on the wisdom and feasibility of such a one-sided approach. Instead of putting the focus solely on the building-up of a new military complex we could think at starting, in parallel, a new round of negotiations with Russia in order to find common grounds for new forms of cooperation. In the end Russia is an important neighbor of the EU in several respects: geographically, economically, militarily and politically. The European Union is Russia’s main trading and investment partner, and Russia is the EU’s third. Moreover, the potential for cooperation with that country is huge: the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) of 1997 for example referred to the four common spaces, i.e. i) economy and environment; ii) freedom, security and justice; iii) external security; and iv) research, education and culture.

Moreover, the restrictive measures taken by the EU and Russia mentioned earlier have not blocked all channels of communication and trade. On the contrary, the measures the European Union has issued are specifically targeted and leave, by the way in our own interest as well, sectoral cooperation – energy being an important example – open.

In this context Donald Trump’s election in the US and the designation of ExxonMobil’s boss Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State – the latter has been presented as a personal friend of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – should be taken into account. These are circumstances which we cannot simply ignore.

Overall one thing, however, should be clear. Before making new gestures towards Russia and, for example, abolishing the EU sanctions related to the unrest in Eastern Ukraine, that country has to demonstrate its respect for the Minsk Agreements. Russia should also lift its own agricultural sanctions. As to Crimea, apparently more time is needed to find a way out of that crisis.

Of course one should reflect on the question of what we want to achieve in resetting our relationship with Russia. For a long time the creation of an EU-Russia free trade area, as a means of implementation of the 1997 PCA, has been a topic on the agenda. Since Russia has become a WTO member in 2012, that objective indeed seemed to be a feasible one. However, since the start of the functioning of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in 2015 (apart from the Russian Federation, its member states are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) it looks as if the EU has to deal with the EEU as a contracting partner. A not that attractive perspective because, on the one hand, the EEU is a customs union of its own and, on the other, because one of the EEU member states – Belarus – is not a WTO member.

Nonetheless, something has to be done. In an era full of external threats and challenges we cannot go on by only creating new obstacles in our relationship with Russia. A more constructive vision, albeit a conditional one, seems to be indicated. Such a new approach can only contribute to (more) stability on our continent, in the interest of both European and Russian citizens. In that respect the turmoil of the last years in the Eastern Partnership region – not only in Ukraine, but also in Georgia and Moldova for example – have illustrated that the European Neighborhood Policy could probably have been better developed with the Russian Federation participating right from the start as an equal partner.

 

Jaap de Zwaan, TEPSA Secretary-General

Recent publications from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) – Spring/summer 2016

FIIA

 

Reports

  

Mika Aaltola & Anna Kronlund (eds.), After Rebalance: Visions for the future of US foreign policy and global role beyond 2016

The publication can be downloaded here.

Katri Pynnöniemi & András Rácz, Fog of Falsehood: Russian strategy of deception and the conflict in Ukraine

The publication can be downloaded here.

Briefing Papers

 

Michael Haltzel, Sticking to the Rules: The United States view on strengthening the OSCE

The publication can be downloaded here.

David Cadier, Detour or Direction? The Europeanisation of France’s policies towards Russia

The publication can be downloaded here.

Katri Pynnöniemi & Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Security in the Baltic Sea Region: Activation of risk potential

The publication can be downloaded here.

Marco Siddi, Privileged Partners? Italy should use its leverage for constructive policies towards Russia

The publication can be downloaded here.

Toni Alaranta, The problematic EU-Turkey refugee deal: The EU downplays its structural foreign policy in order to secure internal unity

The publication can be downloaded here.

Niklas Helwig, Will Angela Merkel cope with the populist challenge? The German chancellor faces opposition to her migration policies in Europe and at home

The publication can be downloaded here.

Katja Creutz & Marco Siddi, Committing to humanity? The World Humanitarian Summit offered a glimmer of hope among all the crises

The publication can be downloaded here.

Past events at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) – Spring/summer 2016

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“Nordic-Baltic Cooperation. A Region in Transition”
25 May 2016

 

In the event, organized on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Nordic-Baltic cooperation and in cooperation with The Nordic Council of Minister’s Office in Latvia, the experts Veiko Spolītis and Didzis Kļaviņš discussed challenges and opportunities for Nordic-Baltic cooperation and tried to provide a future roadmap. The event also featured distinguished speakers such as H.E. Olli Kantanen (Ambassador of Finland to Latvia) and Dr. Johan Strang (University of Helsinki) and was moderated by Ilvija Bruģe (Researcher in the Latvian Institute of International Affairs).

“Latvia and the United States: Building Bridges across a Changing Landscape”
26 May 2016

 

liia4The event, which took place on the occasion of the presentation of the new Latvian Institute of International Affairs publication Latvia and the United States: Revisiting a Strategic Partnership in a Transforming Environment, was opened by Andris Sprūds (Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs), Valdis Zatlers (Former President of the Republic of Latvia), Andrejs Pildegovičs (State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia) and Edvīns Bērziņš (Chairman of the Board and President of the Latvian Railroad).

The discussion took place in two panels. The first one focused on Latvia-US security and defence cooperation, and the other on Latvia-US economic cooperation. The project was carried out in cooperation with SJSC Latvian Railway, the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the United States of America and SIA Pata AB, the European Crabbing Association, and American Latvian Association.

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“From Wales to Warsaw: NATO – Back to the Origins?”
16 June 2016

 

liia2In the public discussion organized by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and supported by NATO, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Riga, experts from Latvia, Poland, Germany, Russia and other countries discussed the role of NATO in the changing geopolitical environment in the light of the upcoming Warsaw summit.

The event was opened by Andris Sprūds (Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs), Elisabeth Bauer (Director of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Baltic/Nordic States) and Ewa Dębska (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to the Republic of Latvia). Among the speakers was Tacan Ildem (NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy).

 

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Past events at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) – Spring 2016

LIIA

High-level International Conference on the EU Global Strategy and Central Asia
1 April, 2016, Riga

 

LIIA1On April 1, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organized a high-level international conference “EU Global Strategy and Central Asia: Vision and Instruments”.

With a view towards the new EU Global Strategy, the role of the EU in Central Asia was discussed in three panels – from the point of view of the EU, Central Asia and other countries.

LIIA2The conference was opened by Andris Spruds, the Director of LIIA. Edgars Rinkevics, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, and Roman Vassilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, delivered keynote speeches. One of the speakers of the conference was Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia. Among the speakers were representatives from four Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), as well as from the EU, the United States, Russia and China. The full program is available here.

Public discussion with the Members of the Latvian Parliament on the foreign affairs
29 April 2016, Latvia University of Agriculture, Jelgava (Latvia)

 

The Latvian Institute of International Affairs as part of the Latvian Foreign and Security Policy Yearbook 2016 and Latvian foreign Policy Centenary Project throughout the year will organise five discussions where members of the political parties represented in Parliament (Saeima) will meet with the general public. Four of these discussions will take place in Latvia’s four regions, while the fifth will be held in Riga in early January. The first discussion took place on 29 April, at the Latvia University of Agriculture, Jelgava. The event was dedicated to Latvia’s foreign policy achievements in the last 25 years, and discussed the country’s contemporary challenges and opportunities in the realm of global international affairs.

Expert round table and public discussion: “Riga Dialogue 2016: Building Bridges for Euro-Atlantic Security”
17 May 2016, Riga

 

On 17 May 2016, LIIA organised the annual Riga Dialogue. The event was supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Nuclear Threat Initiative, German Marshal Fund’s Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, and European Leadership Network, and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Riga Dialogue 2016: Building Bridges for Euro-Atlantic Security” featured a closed expert roundtable discussion and a public event, which took place on the same day at the joint-stock company “Development Finance Institution Altum”, 4 Dome Square, Riga.

For more information regarding this event, please follow LIIA website.

Past events at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) – Spring 2016

Norwegian Institure for Intl Affairs
The Horn of Africa: Its strategic importance for Europe, the Gulf States and beyond
19 April 2016, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

In this seminar, Alexander Rondos addressed the challenges facing the region and the Horn’s strategic importance Europe, the Gulf states and other actors. A key question is: how these challenges can be converted into a joint effort that will allow for the integration of the Horn of Africa into a platform of security and economic cooperation?

The diversity of geography, history, population, politics, and culture has made the Horn of Africa prone to conflict within its societies and between its countries. And it is those differences that have allowed outsiders to play proxy politics with the region.

The core of this region, comprising the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia—with Kenya and Uganda very closely associated—has attracted once again in its history the attention of greater powers.

Several issues are affecting the Horn of Africa today: Terrorism, realignment of loyalties because of confrontation with the Muslim world, the security of trade through the Red Sea and the global migration crisis, to mention some. In geopolitical terms, the Horn is the fragile neighborhood of Europe’s very fractured southern neighborhood.

Programme:
Welcome by Jon Harald Sande Lie, Senior Research Fellow, NUPI
Introduction of Alexander Rondos by Jens-Petter Kjemperud, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Presentation by Alexander Rondos
Comments, NUPI
Q & A
Chair: Jon Harald Sande Lie, Senior Research Fellow, NUPI

More information can be found here.

Morocco, challenges in the region and its cooperation with the EU
21 April 2016, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

In this seminar, Mohammed Tawfik Mouline, gave a presentation on Morocco’s major achievements at the political, economic and social levels.

This seminar is part of NUPI’s seminar series “Norway meets Europe”

More information can be found here.

Nordic Security under Pressure
10 May 2016, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

 

The third and last seminar in the seminar series on NATO focused on Nordic security.

How is Sweden and Finland’s relationship to NATO evolving, in terms of partnership and cooperation as well as public opinion regarding future membership? What would the implications be for security in the North, in particular consequences for Norway, if Sweden and/or Finland were to join the Alliance?

The seminar series was organised in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

More information can be found here.

Past events at the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at University of Iceland – Winter 2015/16

IIA Iceland

Open seminars hosted by the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland 

The Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland has organized a number of open seminars on various topics in the beginning of the year. The seminars include:

19 February 2016. The Role of Non-Arctic States in Emerging Polar Security.
Marc Lanteigne, Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) in Oslo and an Affiliated Researcher at the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík.

18 February 2016. The 2015 Human Development Report.
Dr. Selim Jahan, Editor-in-Chief of the 2015 Human Development Report: Work for Human Development and Director of the UNDP Human Development Report Office.

8 February 2016. The EEA Agreement and Iceland’s obligations.
Páll Þórhallsson, Chair of the Committee for the Report on the Implementation of the EEA Agreement.
Claude Maerten, Head of Division, European External Action Service.

22 January 2016. Europe’s Refugee Crisis.
Hugo Brady, Adviser to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

12 January 2016. The Rise of ISIS: What does it mean?
Dr. Magnús Þorkell Bernharðsson, Professor of Middle Eastern History at Williams College.

Past events at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) – Autumn 2015

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“Security in the Heart of Asia” Central Asia- NATO partnership: Challenges and Opportunities”
23 November 2015

111The discussion on contemporary security challenges in Central- Asia was opened with a keynote speeches by Lolita Čigāne, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Parliament; Latvia and Igors Apokins, Ambassador- at- large; Latvia. The speakers were featured from the EU and Central- Asian states and consisted of Nargis Kassenova (KIMEP University: Kazakhstan), Nazokat Kasymova (Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies/ UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Central- Asia; Uzbekistan), Neil John Melvin (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; Sweden), Józef Lang (Centre for Eastern Studies, Poland) and Māris Andžāns (Resarch Fellow in the Latvian Institute of International Affairs), and was moderated by Andris Sprūds (Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs).2222

The topics covered included the stability of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO forces, radicalization of the society and terrorism, organised crime and drug trafficking, border management. The event was organised with the support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

More information and pictures can be found here.

ENURC event: “Eastern Neighbourhood Economies between the EU and Russia”
22 October 2015

The public discussion was aimed at providing an expert assessment, and discussing with the society how the EU and Russia affect the economic situation in the Eastern Partnership states and assessing the social and political implications of this influence. The goal was to identify the available legal and strategic tools that could be applied by the2 EU in order to more substantially impact policies of the Eastern Neighbourhood states.

The discussion was set in two panels. One of them focused on the European Union and its aims and influence in the Eastern Neighbourhood, however the other touched upon economic aspirations and external influences from the perspective of the Eastern Neighbourhood states.

Experts from the EU and the Eastern Partnership states were featured:  Andris Sprūds (Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs), Juris Poikāns, Latvian Ambassador-at-Large for Eastern Partnership, David Cadier (London School of Economics and Political Science, UK), Guillaume Van der Loo (Centre for European Policy Studies, Ghent European Law Institute, Belgium), Aldis Austers (LIIA, Latvia), Gunilla Herolf (Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences), Cornel1 Ciurea (Institute for Development and Social Initiatives “Viitorul”, Moldova), Stepan Grigoryan (Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, Armenia), andAndrei Yeliseyeu (Belarussian Institute for Strategic Studies).

The event was part of the TEPSA project “Eastern Neighbours and Russia: Close links with EU citizens – ENURC and was organised with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the Europe for Citizens programme of the European Union, and The Black Sea Trust, a project of the GMF.

“Preventing Nuclear War in Northern Europe”
20 October 2015

In the roundtable discussion, organised in a close cooperation with the Institute for National Defence and Security Policy Studies at the Swedish Defence University and the Stimson Center (USA), participants discussed two nuclear war scenarios in the Baltic region and their prevention possibilities. The discussion also focused on the option to establish a Baltic Nuclear Weapons Free zone and its realistic viability.

The event featured experts from the United States, Latvia and the Northern Europe: Lars Hedström (Executive Director, Institute for National Defence and Security Policy Studies), Ulrika Kumlien (Research Assistant, Institute for National Defence and Security Policy Studies), Barry Blechman (Co-founder, Stimson Center), Ira Lechner (Founder, Project High Hopes), Jānis Kažociņš (State Secretary’s Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia), Veiko Spolītis (Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia and others).

The roundtable was moderated by Andris Sprūds (Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs).

Past events at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) – Summer 2014

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CUSPP Summer Session
August 2014

The Center for US Politics and Power (CUSPP) at FIIA organized the very first Summer Session on the topic of Nordic-Baltic Security and US Role in the Region after Ukraine in Helsinki and Tallinn in August, 2014.

The aim of the Summer Session was to provide a platform to discuss the topic from different perspectives and it gathered researchers and experts from Europe and the US. The themes included in the programme were US global rebalancing and its impact to the region, transatlantic relations and US politics, dependencies and cooperation (military and trade), regional military cooperation, NATO, cyber and flows, Arctic and the sce¬narios of insecurity. The forthcoming FIIA report on the issue will fur¬ther continue on the themes of the Summer Session.

The Summer Session is part of the agenda of the CUSPP that aims to provide a platform for the research on the US global role and US foreign and domestic policy in Finland and to strengthen CUSPP networks internationally. The Center’s visiting scholar programme not only invites scholars from the US to contribute the research focuses of the Center but also provides possibilities for its own researchers to visit the US.

Eurasian Union project

The EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia Research Programme has conducted a research project on the prospects of Eurasian integration.

The project concluded that the Eurasian Economic Union has, on paper, the potential to transform economic relations in the region and to offer an alternative ot the EU in the post-Soviet space. However, weak institutions and large asym¬metry between member states are continuing to hinder closer ties and the crisis in Ukraine has led to an increasingly hostile international environment. Hence, the union faces an uphill struggle to maintain momentum and deliver the results member states desire.

Kultaranta Talks, 8-9 June 2014, Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)

The Kultaranta Talks, a foreign policy discussion event, gathered around one hundred foreign policy experts and debaters at the President of the Republic’s summer residence at Kultaranta in Naantali on 8-9 June 2014. Among the main themes were Russia, Europe, cyber security and defence capability. The Kultaranta Talks are aimed at creating a new kind of national debating event based on open and critical consideration of Finnish for­eign and security policy. The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland organised the Talks in cooperation with FIIA.

Past events at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) – Spring 2014

LIIASeminar on the current security issues in Eurasia, 29 April 2014, LIIA, Riga 

The Latvian Institute of International Affairs, with the support of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and in cooperation with the European Leadership Network, organized a public discussion on April 29, 2014. The speakers were Ian Kearns (European Leadership Network), Sergey Utkin (Centre for Situation Analysis, Russian Academy of Sciences), Slawomir Debski (Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding) and Samuel Charap (International Institute for Strategic Studies); the event was moderated by Andris Sprūds, the director of the LIIA.

Institute of International Relations, Prague: Seminar on “The Perspectives of Security: The Czech Republic and Central Europe in the Second Decade of the 21st Century”, 21 June 2012

The Institute of International Relations is organizing the seminar under the patronage of the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic Milan Štěch. The seminar will deal with the profound changes of Central European security that stem from the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty, and Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidential office.

Elcano Royal Institute: Conference and Round table on “International Security. NATO: A Modern, Flexible and Global Security Alliance”, 7 May 2012

This conference was organized by the Embassy of the United States in Spain and the Elcano Royal Institute. With Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
More information: NATO: A Modern, Flexible and Global Security Alliance.

European Parliament’s study on Space and Security : The Use of Space in the Context of the CSDP, November 2011

Cover website space and securitySpace applications are best suited for dealing with an increasingly expanding concept of security. If, on the one hand, traditional customers are military users, on the other, a wider security and civilian community benefits from space services which are being developed in Europe in line with the evolution of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) civilian and military missions. The study includes a twofold analysis. First, an analysis of CSDP missions and their operational context to be matched with the main space-based applications. Of course, the EU flagship programmes GMES and Galileo are taken into consideration. Second, an overview of the state-of-the-art of the different space programmes in Europe based on their compatibility with CSDP missions is provided. Building on this analysis, conclusions on the use of space in the context CSDP are drawn, focusing on strengths and weaknesses emerged. Finally, some recommendations addressed to the European Parliament are provided.

Authors: Jean-Pierre Darnis and Anna Veclani, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)

European Parliament’s Study on the Galileo Programme : Management and Financial Lessons Learned for Future Space Systems Paid Out of the EU Budget, October 2011

Cover website Galileo programmeGalileo is the first large space programme and system managed and owned by the European Union (EU). Its strategic value rests on the political, operational, industrial and technological independence that it will guarantee in the field of global navigation and positioning. Although Galileo represents a priority for the European space policy, more than ten years on the declaration of its feasibility, the programme is still far from completion. Galileo has experienced a slow and problematic development due to concurrent and different factors, among which the failure of the envisaged public-private partnership (PPP) approach to financing, the ever increasing costs, the diverging opinions among EU Member States (MS) and within EU institutions, governance problems, and complex international negotiations still ongoing. Given the new shared competence of the EU in space matters established by the Treaty of Lisbon, which paves the way for new EU space activities, the purpose of the study is first to examine specific and characterizing issues related to the management and financing of the Galileo programme, then to draw lessons learnt for future space systems funded out of the budget of the EU.

Authors: Anna C. Veclani, Jean-Pierre Darnis and Valérie V. Miranda

European Parliament’s Study on the impact of the financial crisis on European defence, May 2011

Cover website the impact of the financial crisis on the European defenceThe financial crisis may pose a risk as well as offer an opportunity for the European defence sector: on the one hand, it sounds plausible that shrinking budgets increase the pressure on member states to cooperate and thus overcome the EU’s problems related to capability development and restructuring of the defence industries and markets. On the other hand, national prerogatives still dominate despite a decade of rhetoric and initiatives for more cooperation and less state in EU defence. If this national focus continues to dominate under current financial circumstances, EU member states run the risk to implement cuts in their Armed Forces in an uncoordinated way. As a result, member states might end up with potentially even bigger capability gaps than they have today and hence even less opportunities to implement the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This study provides a comprehensive and detailed overview on the ongoing impact of the financial crisis on EU Member States defence spending. In addition, it examines the potential of overcoming the need to cut defence spending by greater cooperation in the framework of the European Union and by drawing upon the innovations in the Lisbon Treaty. The study highlights the need to address the challenges of the economic crisis, a growing number of initiatives by various EU countries as well as the opportunities the Lisbon Treaty offers for pursuing an effective defence sector strategy that goes beyond the current incremental approach. The study has been requested to provide Members of the European Parliament, broader defence policy community and European public a first comprehensive overview of the impact of the financial crisis on European defence and at the EU level, as well as its wider impact on the future of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). It includes recommendations to be developed by the European Parliament and decision makers at the national and EU level in order to address the economic crisis whilst ensuring Europe retains defence capabilities to respond to future security challenges.

Authors: Christian Mölling and Sophie-Charlotte Brune, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik – German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Germany

European Parliament’s Study on Cybersecurity and Cyberpower: Concepts, Conditions and Capabilities for Cooperation for Action within the EU, April 2011

Cover website Cybersecurity and Cyber powerThe study analyses policy options for strengthening cybersecurity within the EU and examining potential points-of-entry, including within the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The study provides an overview of the principle concepts and definitions of cyber security and cyber war, drawing attention to the complexity and cross-jurisdictional nature of the field. In addition to examining current cyber threats to the EU, the study also analyses the capacity of the EU to address more sophisticated cyber-attacks within a common framework. In this respect the study offers important insights into the political, operational and structural challenges that need to be addressed in order to protect the EU and its citizens as well and to exercise “cyberpower” on the international stage. The study takes-stock of the existing NATO and EU capabilities related to cyber security and highlights the added value of the EU in applying a diverse range of policies that can help enable it to comprehensively tackle the increasing range of cyber threats. The study has been requested to introduce Members of the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Security and Defence (SEDE) to the current issues in cyber security and cyber warfare, as well as to provide a selection of policy recommendations, including within the CSDP context. The study also provides innovative conceptual understanding on what might constitute EU “cyberpower”.

Authors: Alexander Klimburg (Austrian Institute for International Afffairs – OIIP, Austria) and Heli Tirmaa-Klaar (Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, Estonia)

European Parliament’s Study on the Role of Private Security Companies (PSCs) in CSDP Missions and Operations, April 2011

Cover website the role of private security companiesWhile the hiring of Private Security Companies (PSCs) such as Blackwater by the United States (US) has been the most widely reported and debated, the European Union (EU) and its member states are increasingly relying on private contractors in multilateral operations. Among others, the EU has employed private security guards to protect the EUPOL headquarters in Afghanistan, to secure the premises of the EULEX mission in Kosovo and to guard the EUPOL mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). Due to the growing roles of PSCs in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations, the EU and its member states urgently need to consider the possible impact that armed and unarmed security contractors can have on missions and the achievement of mission objectives. This report demonstrates that potential negative effects range from decreased democratic accountability and governmental control to the perceptions of contractor impunity and insecurity among the civilian populations of host states. There is no catch-all solution to these problems, and for many governments the advantages of hiring private security contractors, such as the ability to fill urgent capability and personnel gaps, cost-efficiency and specialist expertise, outweigh the disadvantages. Given the current financial and personnel constraints in Europe, it is likely that the use of PSCs will further increase. It is therefore imperative to develop appropriate mechanisms to address the possible problems of such use before they occur. This report develops five specific recommendations for EU action that would help address risks associated with the increasing use of Private Military and Security Companies.

Authors: Elke Krahmann (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt – PRIF, Germany and University of Bristol, UK) and Cornelius Friesendorf (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main / Peace Research Institute Frankfurt – PRIF/HSFK, Germany)

Seminar on “the Democratic Control of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy”, IAI/TEPSA , Brussels, 15 November 2010

Instituto Affari Internazionali and TEPSA have organized a seminar on the Democratic Control of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy on November 15th. Several TEPSA researchers have examined this issue of democratic control on EU’s foreign and security policy more in depth in three papers that have been presented during the seminar. The seminar has dealt with the following topics: The saliency of the issue of the democratic control of European foreign, security and defence policy; The level of democratic parliamentary control: national, transnational or European?; and The Lisbon Treaty and the powers of the European Parliament in the democratic control of CFSP-CSDP.

The report from the conference is available here: Final report


UI Occasional Paper No 7: The European Security Strategy: Reinvigorate, Revise or Reinvent?

The EU’s European Security Strategy (ESS) offered the first clear expression of the EU’s global security aims. Eight years later, new attention to the ESS is needed and a new ESS may be required. This is the conclusion of a new Occasional Paper published by the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. The paper argues that the timing is right for a discussion on the EU’s global role, against the backdrop of institutional change, shifting geopolitics, and crises in the EU’s neighborhood. Drawing lessons from previous strategic drafting processes, including in the EU and in NATO, the paper argues that a new process should be launched with one of three goals in mind: reinvigorate the existing strategy, revise the ESS, or reinvent a new document with a broader strategic scope. The analysis in this paper offers the foundation for a rigorous debate on the future of the EU’s strategic intentions in the world.

The report is available online here or on the follwing link here.


Past events at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) – Spring 2016

IAI50

 

Beyond the Deadlock: What Future for EU-Russia Relations?”
18 April, Rome.
Conference organised in cooperation with Valdai Discussion Club.

Italian-German Town Hall Meeting”
05 April, Rome
Conference organised within the framework of the “Dialogue on Europe” project. The third European Town Hall Meeting took place with representatives from Italian civil society and the German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth. More than 100 participants followed the invitation of the Berlin-based think tank Das Progressive Zentrum, the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the German Foreign Office, to discuss European challenges and the Italian-German relationship.

Italy and the European Economic Governance”
17 March, Rome
Conference with Pier Carlo Padoan, Italian Minister of Economy and Finance, on an European strategy for growth and stability.


Brexit and the future of the EU: Italy’s Position and Interests”
11 March, Rome
A meeting on Italy’s position and interests concerning Brexit and the future of Europe, with Marco Piantini (Adviser to Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for European Affairs) and Paolo Ponzano (Senior Fellow, Robert Schuman Centre, European University Institute, Florence).

“The EU, the OSCE and the European Security Order”

8 March, Rome
International conference in cooperation with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Dissemination event of the Final Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project.

“The EU and the global development framework. A strategic approach to the 2030 Agenda”
7 March, Rome
In cooperation with EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with the contribution of European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and the strategic partnership of Compagnia di San Paolo. Among the speakers: Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, and Mario Giro, Deputy Minister, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Revising the European Security Strategy: Arguments for Discussion

by Stefano Silvestri, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome, May 2008

 

Past events at the Institute of International Affairs (IIA) of University of Iceland – Autumn 2015

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The Institute of International Affairs (IIA) at the University of Iceland has organized a number of open seminars on various topics this fall semester. The seminars include:

The West and Russia: New Cold War? New Détente? Managing Rivalry?
18 November 2015

This seminar was held by Andrew Cottey, Senior Lecturer, Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration and Head of Department in the Department of Government, University College Cork, Ireland.

Helsinki 40 plus: The OSCE and Small States
13 November 2015

Open OSCE “Helsinki 40 plus” seminar organised by the OSCE Communication and Media Relations Department in collaboration with the University of Iceland’s Institute of International Affairs and the Centre for Small State Studies

A New Era in Cuba?
9 November 2015

This seminar was held by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, Cuban writer, journalist, blogger, editor, photographer and social activist who fled Cuba in 2013 after having been subjected to political oppression in his country of origin.

United Nations and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
28 October 2015

This seminar was held by Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and Denmark’s former Minister for Development Cooperation.

The Science of Disaster Management
19 October 2015

This seminar was held by Robin Grimes, the Chief Scientific Adviser of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland

 

20th Annual Conference on “Security architecture in the CEE: present threats and prospects for cooperation”, Central European Political Science Association, Vilnus, 25-26 September 2015

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On 25-26 September 2015, the Central European Political Science Association in cooperation with the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) and the Lithuanian Political Science Association held a major conference in Vilnius, entitled Security architecture in the CEE: present threats and prospects for cooperation. The conference was organized with the aim to mark the remarkable transition of the Central and Eastern European countries from soviet-type planned economy and Communist dictatorship to market economy and democracy, new arising conditions for a spread of post-modern security challenges and initiatives and how political systems of these countries are able to deal with it despite rather low quality of democracy and governance in the region, fragile political stability and sensitivity to economic breakdowns of these countries.

The conference covered broad range of topics such as Economic crisis and its security implications, Populism and Political Radicalism in CEE, Minority politics in Central and Eastern Europe, Challenges of energy security, Military-civil relations in CEE democracies, Russia’s place in European security architecture, NATO beyond 2014, NATO enlargement: possibilities for Ukraine and Georgia, Complexities of informational wars, Cyber security issues in CEE, Co-operation between the EU and NATO in security matters, The presence and challenges for the EU Eastern Partnership policy, Relevance of post-modern security challenges in CEE region, Significance of CEE security studies for international politics, Contribution of CEE political research for general theory and Current issues of normative political theory in CEE.

The mentioned list of sub-themes or/and panels is surely not comprehensive. While participants were especially invited to respond to the conference theme, proposals on other aspects of Central European politics were considered as well. The conference was opened to the researchers from all the countries with the interest in Central European affairs.

The academic program for the conference was organized in the usual format of panels. Each panel comprised four to five papers plus chair. We welcomed individual paper proposals and / or complete panel proposals as well.

More information can be found here.

Past events at the Prague Institute of International Relations – Spring 2015

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Public Lecture on “A Secure Europe in a Better World”, Prague Institute of International Relations, 6 May 2015

The Centre for European Security of the Institute of International Relations cordially held a public discussion on the future of security in Europe with J. Peter Burgess, Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia. The discussion combined the perspectives of a high-profile public intellectual and a distinguished critical scholar, and it was aimed at both a general audience and policy communities. The format of this discussion exemplifies the mission and purpose of the Centre for European Security, which was launched in December 2014, and which seeks to combine cutting-edge scholarship with policy-relevant outputs and public engagement on issues pertaining to European security.

More information can be found here.

Past events at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) – Winter 2014/15

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“Russia: Eurasian and Nationalist Visions for Future Russian Policy”
12 February 2015

The Seminar on “Russia: Eurasian and Nationalist Visions for Future Russian Policy” took place at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) on 12 February 2015. UI organised a discussion on Russian nationalist and Eurasianist visions for the future of the country and its policy. Eurasianism – an ideology that gives Russia a unique position of an Asian as much as a European country – has become an important part of Putin’s foreign policy during his third presidency. At the same time, on the domestic scene a new generation of Russian ethnic nationalists challenges the state system and current Russian policy. How does President Putin respond to the new challenges?

More information can be found here.

“EU as Global Actor”
11 February 2015

The Seminar, “EU as Global Actor” took place at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) on 11 February 2015. The workshop focused on the trends in the development of the European foreign policies, and an assessment of the performance of the EU as a global actor, as the European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2015 is presented.How did the EU as a whole respond to the global and regional challenges in 2014? Has the EU changed its policy course? What role did Sweden play in EU’s common foreign policy?

More information can be found here.

“The World 2015: Challenges to EU Foreign and Security Policy”
22 January 2015

The Seminar, “The World 2015: Challenges to EU Foreign and Security Policy” took place on 22 January 2015.
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) invited a wide audience to a discussion on EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the role of the European External Action Service (EEAS), their current developments and future challenges.

Discussions covered: What is the current state of institutional development in EU foreign and security policy? How will the EEAS manage to respond to the issues it is faced with? What are the most important challenges, and can these be dealt with in the prevailing setting?

More information can be found here.

The full seminar is available on YouTube.

Russia 2015: Key Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges
22 January 2015

The Seminar on Russia 2015: Key Domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges was held at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) on 22 January 2015.

Lilia Shevtsova, associate fellow at Chatham House presented on the substance and key arguments of the new Kremlin Strategy for Russian consolidation and foreign policy. Other issues covered were; what are the mechanisms of the new patriotic mobilization; the survivability of the political regime and the roots of the tension between Russia and the West? What does the Russian society think?

More information can be found here.

The full seminar is available on UI-play.

Presentation “ Riga Dialogues Afterthoughts”, 14 September 2016, Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA)

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14 September 14, 11:00
Hotel Bergs (Elizabetes iela 83/85)

Presentation of the Riga Dialogues Afterthoughts, a collection of articles published as a result of the “Riga Dialogue 2016: Building Bridges for Euro – Atlantic Security”. It will include contributions on security challenges faced by the Euroatlantic community and possible ways forward. For more information on these and other events, please follow www.liia.lv or LIIA’s Twitter & Facebook.

Past events at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) – Winter 2015/16

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Mercator European Dialogue – EU strategic vision workshop
26 February 2016, Rome

Workshop hosted by IAI in the framework of the Mercator European Dialogue project. In an ever more complex and connected world, defining a common strategic vision for the EU as a global actor has become an urgent priority. In this context, the European Council has mandated the High Representative and Vice President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, to draft an EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy. Our workshop provided the chance to explore the content of this strategy review as illustrated by Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director of the IAI and Special Advisor to the HRVP Federica Mogherini, pen-holder of the EU Global Strategy. MPs had the opportunity to discuss priorities and contribute to the debate on the EU’s global role.

European Union Institute for Security Studies-IAI joint conference on “Europe & Africa: A strategic approach”
17-18 February 2016, Paris

“Energy Union: from birth to maturity”, round table organized in cooperation with the College of Europe, Bruges
22 January 2016, Bruges

Between power and rules: The geopolitics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership“. Conference organised in cooperation with the Centre for European Reform, London.
18 January 2016, Rome

EU relations with Latin America. From social resilience to global governance“. Conference organised in cooperation with European Union Institute for Security Studies, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, EU Global Strategy and Compagnia di San Paolo.
15 January 2016, Rome

Civili in missione. L’esperienza italiana nelle missioni dell’Unione Europea“. Conference on the civilian missions, in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
17-18 December 2015, Rome

Conference on “A new European Neighbourhood Policy in a changing strategic environment in cooperation with the Polish Embassy in Rome.
9 December 2015, Rome

The Energy Union: towards an effective European energy policy: Conference with Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice President for Energy Union.
4 December 2015, Rome

Quale governo per l’Ue? Presentation of the volume What Form of Government for the European Union and the Eurozone?  edited by Federico Fabbrini, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Han Somsen (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2015), Meeting within the cycle “The future of the European economy” in collaboration with the Center for Studies on Federalism.
4 December 2015, Rome

Italy and the renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership, Conference with Philipp Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, followed by a roundtable with a panel of Italian and British experts.
25 November 2015, Rome

The European Union and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Managing Globalization?“, Conference with Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Notre Europe-Jacque Delors Institute and former Director-General WTO, in collaboration with LUISS-School of Management e German Marshall Fund of the United States.
25 November 2015, Rome

Challenges to European Security: A Transatlantic perspective, Transatlantic Security Symposium (8th edition).
26 October 2015, Rome

China-Europe relations and the role of Italy”, Conference organised in cooperation with T.wai, Turin, and the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), Beijing, and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the China Embassy in Italy.
22-23 October 2015, Rome

“Eurozone: getting back to growth?”; presentation of the book by Alberto Majocchi “Un piano per l’Europa” (Feltrinelli, 2015) in cooperation with Centro Studi sul Federalismo, Turin, and Aiace
20 October 2015, Rome

Conference  with  Mario Monti  (former Italian Prime Minister and chairman of the EU High Level on Own Resources) on Which resources for the European Union and Eurozone budget?. In collaboration with the Center for Studies on Federalism.
19 October 2015, Turin

Past events from the Real Instituto Elcano de Estudios Internacionales y Estratégicos – Autumn 2015

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V International Conference of the Red Iberoamericana de Estudios Internacionales (RIBEI)
1-2 December 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE).

More information can be found here.

Meeting, The EU Internal-External Security Nexus
26 November 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute, EUISS and the Strategic Planning Division of the EEAS in the context of the EU-wide expert outreach and consultation process for the preparation of the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy.

More information can be found here.

Presentation, Informe Elcano 19 – Spain/Morocco Relations
24 November 2015

With the participation of Charles Powell, director at Elcano Royal Institute, Carlos Westendorp, general secretary of Club de Madrid, Miguel Ángel Bastenier, journalist at El País, Bernabé López García, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Haizam Amirah Fernández, Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Conference, Governing Energy: The Atlantic Basin and Global Institutions
19 November 2015

Organised by the Spanish Committee of the World Energy Council and Spanish Energy Club, in collaboration with Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

3rd Elcano Forum on Global Terrorism: the current jihadist mobilization in Western Europe
16 November 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute, in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States and the Swedish Defense University. Directed by Fernando Reinares and co-ordinated by Carola García-Calvo, respectively Senior Analyst and Analyst of the Program on Global Terrorism at Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Seminar, `Spanish Cooperation 2030: The role of Spain in the New Development Agenda´
03 November 2015

Organised by Spain´s Biblioteca Nacional and Elcano Royal Institute, with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, ISGlobal and Oxfam Intermón. Participants agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals and an international agenda for achieving them before 2030.

More information can be found here.

Conference, `NATO and the New Arc of Crisis´
28-29 October 2015

Organised by the NATO´s Public Diplomacy Division and Elcano Royal Institute, with the participation of Istituto Affari Internazionali and Instituto Português de Relações Internacionais (IPRI). Speech by Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, Deputy Secretary General of NATO and Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, President of Elcano Royal Institute.

More information can be found here.

Seminar, `African Women Who Build Peace´
27 October 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Mujeres por África, the event gathered together women activists for women’s rights and experts in peace and security. Among the speakers were María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, President of Fundación Mujeres por África, Oumou Sall Seck, Hibaaq Osman, Nicole Ndongala and Caddy Adzuba.

More information can be found here.

Debate, `How to deepen the eurozone integration?
22 October 2015

Organised by Elcano Royal Institute and Fundación Rafael del Pino. Thomas Westphal, General Director of European Affairs at the German Ministry of Finance, Philippe Martin, Advisor to the French Minister of Economy, Manuel Conthe, Editorial Director at Expansión newspaper.

More information can be found here.

Conference `Alcance de las reformas en México y su impacto en las relaciones con España´
21 September 2015

Organised by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Mexico DF, the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and Elcano Royal Institute, with the sponsorship of Santander Group and the collaboration of Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica.

More information can be found here.

Conference `Transatlantic Conversation: Confronting Common Security Challenges´.
16 September 2015

Organised by the Wilson Center (Washington D.C.)
Experts´ conference on security and transatlantic relations at the Wilson Center. Participants in the conference included: The King of Spain; Jane Harman, director, president and CEO at The Wilson Center; Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, president at Elcano Royal Institute; Bruce Hoffman Director at Center of Security Studies and director of the Programme of Studies on Security, Georgetown University; Charles Powell, Director at Elcano Royal Institute; Fernando Reinares, expert on international terrorism at Real Instituto Elcano; Bruce Riedel, Brookings Institution and former senior adviser for the past four presidents of the US; Catherine Herridge chief intelligence correspondent, Fox News.

More information can be found here.

Past Events at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) – Summer 2014

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Conference on “National and International Security After the Occupation of Crimea”, 29 August 2014, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), Riga

On 29 August, LIIA in cooperation with the Chair of OSCE PA Latvian Delegation Vineta Porina organized the conference “National and International Security After the Occupation of Crimea”, supported by the European Commission. Introduction speeches were delivered by Andris Spruds (Director of LIIA), Vineta Porina (Chair of OSCE PA Latvian delegation), Janis Sarts (State Secretary of Latvian Ministry of Defence), Zbignevs Stankevics (Archbishop of Roman Catholic Church), Jaromir Stetina, MEP, Czech Republic. Panel discussion “Security, Values and the Lessons of Ukraine Crisis” featured professors of the University of Latvia Leons Taivans, Juris Bojars, Zaneta Ozolina and Toms Rostoks, as well as Guntis Kalme (Docent at Luther Academy), Janis Berzins (Executive Director of Centre for Security and Strategic Research at National Defence Academy of Latvia).

More information can be found here.

Public debate on “A Multi-Multipolar World? Contested Leadership in International Relations”, 26 August 2014, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), Riga

On 26 August, LIIA hosted the public debate “A Multi-Multipolar World? Contested Leadership in International Relations” with Dr. Daniel Flemes (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies and State University of Rio de Janeiro). While new powers like Brazil, India and China gained increasing acceptance at the global level, they often face regional contestation. Secondary powers like Argentina, Pakistan and Japan are key players because of their relative power and their potential for extra-regional alliance-building. The strategic options of regional secondary powers depend on varying structural and domestic drivers of contestation. The conflicts over the assertion of regional leadership will impact the future world order.

More information can be found here.

“Reassuring the Baltics: Strategies, Tactics, Own Capabilities and NATO’s Role”
1 July 2014

This public discussion was organized by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs with support of NATO and features experts from Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Germany and NATO. The video recording will be available on our Youtube (Latvian Institute of International Affairs).

Find out more

EU House: European Neighbourhood Instrument 2014-2020: Opportunities, Challenges and Synergies for a Strong Partnership
17 June 2014

The Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Latvian Institute of International Affairs with the support of the European Commission Representation in Latvia and the Embassies of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine organize a seminar on the new European Neighbourhood Instrument 2014-2020 with participation of Latvian, Swedish and Polish Ambassadors at Large for the Eastern Partnership and experts from Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia and the European External Action Service.

The video recording is available here.

Seminar on EU’s funding instruments for the European Neighbourhood, 17 June 2014, LIIA, Riga 

Latvian Institute of International Affairs and numerous partners organized an international seminar on EU’s funding instruments for the European Neighbourhood, which took place on June 17 in Riga.

ENURC conference: “The EU and its Eastern Partners: A Struggle for Stability, Security and Prosperity”, 26 November 2015

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On 26 November 2015 The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) together with the Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA) hosted a conference about the European Union’s Eastern Partnership policy and the prospects for security, stability and prosperity in Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The first panel, entitled “New Challenges and Threats: How to Improve the EU’s Eastern Partnership Policy?” featured keynote speakers from the EEAS, La the Latvian Parliament and the Eastern Partnership Ambassador of Sweden, who all shared insights from their work within the EU and the national decision-making processes.  The second panel, entitled “More Effective Support for the EU’s Eastern Partners: How?” addressed the challenges that Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Belarus have to master. The four invited experts from the respective ENP countries shared their insights into the difficult domestic political conditions, and how these countries relations with the EU are influenced by the external pressures from the Russian government. The Third panel, entitled “The Challenge of Communicating the Eastern Partnership “post-Crimea”” focused on one of the biggest challenges that the EU, the member states, and Eastern neighbours are facing: how to explain to EU citizens, and the citizens of the Eastern partners, what the Eastern partnership is, what the EU does, why and how the member states are engaged in the ”Eastern Partnership”, and what closer relations with the EU will mean for the citizens and for European security, stability and prosperity? The panelists discussed how the EU can make itself understood. It brought together experts closely familiar with the challenges of communicating the Eastern Partnership.

The conference was attended by 118 participants (12 speakers, 1 moderator and 105 people in the audience). Participants had very diverse national backgrounds: Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Romania, Panama, Latvia, Cyprus, Russia, Finland, Japan, Bulgaria, Estonia and Serbia. Among these, 14 EU member states were represented.

The conference was followed by an Expert Roundtable on New Strategic Communication Challenges in Europe: How do we identify, understand and address disinformation? Against the background of growing concerns in Europe about the effects of Russian propaganda in the Eastern neighbourhood and even the EU, the roundtable discussion focused on the challenge of how to respond to disinformation and the abuses of the open information spaces. Participants explored ways and means of identifying and addressing disinformation that is spread by different actors through traditional and new “social” media channels and platforms. Both the conference and the roundtable discussion were moderated by Anke Schmidt-Felzmann, Researcher in UI’s Europe programme.

The full conference programme can be downloaded here. The report of the conference can be found here.

More information about the event can be found on UI’s website.

You can find below the podcasts of the panels:

Panel 1 

Panel 2

Panel 3

ENURC project seminar: “From a ‘Strategic Partnership’ to a Strategic Problem? Whither EU-Russian Relations”, 4 December 2015

FIIA

FIIA1The re-assessment of the overall EU-Russia relationship was the subject of the debate in the final conference of the ENURC project, held in Helsinki on 4 December 2015. The conference started with an opening statement of Prof. Wolfgang Wessels, the Chairperson of TEPSA, who also presented the findings of the pan-European study on citizens’ perceptions on Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia. Dr. Teija Tiilikanen, director of FIIA, opened the conference, underlining the importance of exchanging views within the EU on its relations with its Eastern partners.

The three panels of the conference covered EU-Russia security relations; economic relations and energy relations. In his conclusion on the results of the event, Dr Arkady Moshes stated that, the EU-Russian strategic partnership does not exist anymore, even though this may not be officially acknowledged. The EU-Russian conflict has become the new normal.

In addition to the seminar, the final conference included a dinner debate on 3 December for the speakers hosted by the Director of FIIA. This pre-conference event also aimed to provide an opportunity for the speakers to exchange ideas related to their conference presentation, and it proved to be extremely fruitful for the planning and coordination of the public interventions in the conference.

FIIA2The event attracted 114 participants. Around half of the participants came from Finland (65), but also nationals from 30 other countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, Russia, Morocco, Serbia, Ukraine, South Africa, Egypt, New-Zealand, Indonesia, Palestine, Malaysia, United States, China, Mexico and Belarus. Counting only EU member states, 17 countries were participating to the event.

The full conference programme can be downloaded here.

You can find the report and the podcasts of the conference on the FIIA website.