Past event at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs: “EU as a Balancing Power in Central Asia?”

FIIAok 18 February 2016

Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Kruunuvuorenkatu 4, Helsinki

Central Asia is characterised best by strong sovereignty, a lack of regional governance structures, and external power political interests. Domestic civil societies and democratic structures are, in many places, under pressure. The US initiative under the banner of the New Silk Road, the question of China’s growing presence in the area with its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, and the complex relationship between the countries in the region and Russia all combine to make the situation challenging and possibly tense. The area, rich in natural resources and with potential for the establishment of fruitful infrastructure between East and West, is thus relevant for many actors with considerable power. In this context the seminar will deal with the question of EU presence in Central Asia. Could the EU be seen as a balancing power? What possibilities are there for the EU to bind together the disparate forces at work in the area? What are the key priorities and tools of the EU’s Central Asia strategy?

Opening words: Teija TIILIKAINEN, Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Speaker: Peter BURIAN, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, the European Commission

Comments: Neil MELVIN, Director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Niklas LINDQVIST, Roving Ambassador for Central Asia, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Chair: Juha JOKELA, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

More information can be found here.