Europe and its Neighbourhood
Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century
Europe’s ability to manage and contribute to the peaceful resolution of a number of crises in its southern and eastern neighbourhoods has been an increasingly urgent concern since the outbreak of the Arab uprisings in 2011. Security worries alongside alarm at rising trends in irregular (and other) migration have fused notions of what constitutes foreign policy on the one hand, and domestic on the other. Further complicating already volatile dynamics is an environment in which European countries are increasingly mired in preoccupying internal debates. In that regard, the referendum decision by the UK to leave the EU heralds a prolonged period of uncertainty, exposing fault lines on co-operation and raising questions about institutional legitimacy. This looks set to be compounded as a consequence of the US presidential election victory of Donald Trump, even as the full implications have yet to emerge, testing both trans-Atlantic relations and cooperation on security and international diplomacy.
The second annual conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood, organized in partnership by Chatham House, International Crisis Group and Al Sharq Forum, will assess the effectiveness and external perceptions of Europe’s collective and national-level responses to the crises in its neighbourhood. It will also consider how Europe can use its political and social capacity to manage the current crisis environment.
The Chatham House Rule
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.
Suggested hashtag: #CHEurope
In partnership with:
For any questions about which rate applies to you, please call +44 (0)20 7957 5727.
|Chatham House Major Corporate Members and ICG President's Council Members|
|Chatham House Standard Corporate Members and ICG International Advisory Council Members|
|NGOs and academics||£460|
|NGOs and academics||£510|
Monday 14 November
08:00 Registration and refreshments
09:00 Welcome and chair’s opening remarks
Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House
Session One | The Challenges Facing Europe Today
09:10 - 10:30
Europe faces multiple, overlapping problems, exacerbated by political uncertainties and national anxieties. The unresolved conflict in Syria and the resulting humanitarian crisis, the spectre of violent extremism, a resurgent Russia, legacies from Iraq and Libya, political tensions within Turkey, combined with economic concerns and rising populism within Europe, all conspire to suggest a weak continent, vulnerable to centrifugal forces and increasingly inward-looking. In this context this opening discussion will consider key questions, including:
- How do people in Europe’s neighbourhood view Europe and its institutions? What are their expectations of Europe as a contributor to regional stability?
- What are the next steps that European institutions can take to resolve ongoing conflicts and their humanitarian consequences?
- How can Europe, and the EU, co-ordinate more effectively to address common challenges?
- What effect might Brexit have on Europe’s collective approach to its own, and its neighbourhood’s, security?
- How can Europe manage changes in its external relations? Is there a need to reset relationships between Europe and its allies? How will the Trump presidency affect transatlantic relations between the US and its European allies?
Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House
Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, United Nations
Wadah Khanfar, President, Al Sharq Forum
Elizabeth Collett, Founding Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe
Sylvie Bermann, Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of France
Mary Kaldor, Professor of Global Governance, London School of Economics
Questions and discussion
Session Two | The New UN Secretary-General’s In-Tray: Where to Start?
10:30 - 11:45
The incoming Secretary-General faces a daunting security agenda: protracted conflicts in Africa and the Middle East; growing humanitarian tragedies; a peacekeeping system under stress; fraying international norms; and a Security Council increasingly riven – most glaringly over Syria – by geopolitical and regional tensions. In a job where reality and pursuit of the ideal rarely make for comfortable bedfellows, what room does the new Secretary-General have to address these challenges decisively? And to what extent, beyond rhetoric, is the UN important to Europe?
Richard Gowan, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations; Senior Fellow, Consulting Analyst, International Crisis Group
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (2006)
Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004-08)
Mehdi Eker, Vice President and Chairman of Foreign Affairs Commission, AK Party, Turkey
Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association UK
Questions and discussion
11:45 – 12:15 Refreshments
Pre-Lunch Breakout Discussions
Discussion A | Europe, Russia and the Spaces in Between
12:15 - 13:30
Dealing with Moscow’s interests and strategies in the neighbourhood it shares with Europe is critical for a better overall and long-term relationship. With the regime in its present mood and Western political will on the wane, this is easier said than done. The war in Ukraine, disenchantment in the Caucasus, future potential hotspots in Belarus and Moldova, the prospect of instability in Central Asia – all require careful yet innovative policies to even begin to resolve fundamental areas of disagreement. Can the EU’s Eastern Partnership help or is a new construction needed? What are the limits of the possible with the current regime in Moscow and what might be possible under a different leadership?
Quentin Peel, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Giles Portman, Head of East Stratcom Task Force, European External Action Service
Magdalena Frichova-Grono, Director Europe and Central Asia, International Crisis Group
Colonel General Ihor Smeshko, Advisor to the President of Ukraine
Elena Donova, First Secretary, Press Attaché, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to NATO
Discussion B | Intelligent and Effective Countering of Violent Extremism
12:15 - 13:30
Countering – or preventing – violent extremism has become a new security imperative, both domestic and foreign. Identifying tactics and strategies to effectively address violent extremism that poses a genuine threat remains crucial for both Europe and its neighbourhood. To what extent do current approaches serve as a useful means of preventing and resolving conflict? Do movements like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda drive conflict themselves or are they taking advantage of already existing wars? Are there dangers for countries in using an extremism lens to define threats to their stability? What are the challenges for discerning the difference between real violent extremism threats and the use of the extremism rhetoric to punish and silence opponents?
Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Richard Atwood, Director of Multilateral Affairs, International Crisis Group
Elisabeth Kendall, Senior Research Fellow in Arabic, Pembroke College, Oxford
Shadi Hamid, Senior Fellow, US Relations with the Islamic World, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution
David Hearst, Editor, Middle East Eye
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
Post-Lunch Breakout Discussions
Discussion C | Navigating the Southern Mediterranean
14:30 - 15:45
In North Africa the underlying societal, political and economic tensions that led to the Arab uprisings remain, in some cases complicated by subsequent events. Tunisia is making delicate progress towards a more democratic system. In Egypt, polarization and a repressive leadership have created an exclusionary new order. Libya’s deterioration threatens more violent conflict with potential regional spill over. In Algeria and Morocco, cautionary lessons from the region’s tragedies have bought time for their leaders, but how the authorities make use of it is now what matters. How can Europe, with its considerable stake in the political stability of the southern Mediterranean, assert a positive influence in the region?
Issandr El Amrani, Project Director, North Africa, International Crisis Group
Emad Shahin, Distinguished Visiting Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Nicola Pedde, Director, Institute for Global Studies
Walter Posch, Senior Fellow, National Defense Academy, Austria
Ellen Lust, Founding Director of the Programs on Governance and Local Development, Yale University and University of Gothenburg
Discussion D | Europe and Turkey and a Collapsing Regional Order
14:30 - 15:45
The European Union and Turkey’s mercurial relations have entered particularly febrile times. At odds over how to manage the refugee crisis, and with divergent approaches to the conflict in Syria, relations between Brussels and Ankara have entered a new phase in which problems dominate the narrative. Is Turkey an ever more volatile partner? Is the EU imposing unfair demands, particularly as regards Turkey’s security concerns and ability to handle the refugee influx? How serious are these tensions for the overall health of Euro-Turkish relations? What can be done to overcome these hurdles and place dynamics on a more positive track? What is needed to develop common EU–Turkey positions in response to the failed states and civil wars in neighbouring regions that could lead to new channels for cooperation?
Hugh Pope, Director of Communications & Outreach, International Crisis Group
Fuat Keyman, Director, Istanbul Policy Center, and Professor of International Relations, Sabancı University
Nigar Göksel, Senior Analyst, Turkey, International Crisis Group
Sylke Tempel, Editor in Chief, Internazionale Politik
Simon Mordue, Director for Strategy and Turkey, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
15:45 – 16:15 Afternoon refreshments
Session Three | Soft Power versus Hard: Does Europe Have the Right Balance?
16:15 - 17:45
This closing discussion will assess the right balance for Europe in seeking to both protect its borders and effectively manage conflict abroad, exploring questions including:
- To what extent is the ‘ideal’ of Europe a positive influence on its neighbours?
- Does Europe use its considerable development budget to maximum effect? If not, how might it do so more effectively?
- How can Europe achieve a balance between its reliance on traditional tools of diplomacy and its military capacity? Does Europe, and in particular NATO allies, have the capacity to achieve consensus on common defence interests and the use of hard power?
- What might a Trump administration mean for NATO and US leadership on defence? Are there opportunities in the US election results for Europe to seek a heightened leadership role in international diplomacy and conflict management?
Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor, The Times
General Jean-Paul Paloméros, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO (2012-15)
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President and CEO, International Crisis Group
Galip Dalay, Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
Xenia Wickett, Head, US and the Americas Programme; Dean, The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House
David Harding, Founder and CEO, Winton Capital Management
Questions and discussion
17:45 Close of conference and drinks reception
© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2016
United Nations Special Representative for International Migration
Director of Multilateral Affairs, International Crisis Group
Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of France
Founding Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe
Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
Staffan de Mistura
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, United Nations
First Secretary, Press Attaché, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to NATO
Vice President and Chairman of Foreign Affairs Commission, AK Party, Turkey
Issandr El Amrani
Project Director, North Africa, International Crisis Group
Program Director, Europe & Central Asia, International Crisis Group
Senior Analyst, Turkey, International Crisis Group
Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations; Senior Fellow, Consulting Analyst, International Crisis Group
President & CEO, International Crisis Group
Senior Fellow, US Relations with the Islamic World, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution
Chief Executive Oﬃcer and Founder, Winton Capital Management
Defence Editor, The Times
Editor-in-Chief, Middle East Eye
Professor of Global Governance, London School of Economics
Senior Research Fellow in Arabic, Pembroke College, University of Oxford
Director, Istanbul Policy Center and Professor of International Relations, Sabancı University
President, Al Sharq Forum
Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Founding Director of the Programs on Governance and Local Development, Yale University and University of Gothenburg
Lord Mark Malloch-Brown
Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (2006), and Co-Chair, International Crisis Group
Director for Strategy and Turkey, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
Dr Robin Niblett CMG
Director, Chatham House
General Jean-Paul Paloméros
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO (2012-15)
Director, Institute for Global Studies
Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Director of Communications & Outreach, International Crisis Group
Head of East Stratcom Task Force, European External Action Service
Senior Fellow, National Defense Academy, Austria
Executive Director, United Nations Association UK
Distinguished Visiting Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Colonel General Ihor Smeshko
Advisor to the President of Ukraine
Editor in Chief, Internazionale Politik
Head, US and the Americas Programme; Dean, The Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact Kamil Hussain on
+44 (0)20 7314 2783.
If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact Amy Smith on
+44 (0)20 7957 5755.
Royal Society of Arts
8 John Adam Street
Due to refurbishment works at Chatham House in the summer, please note that this conference will not be held at Chatham House and will take place at the above venue.
Although we cannot book accommodation for delegates, we have arranged a reduced rate at some nearby hotels, where you can book your own accommodation. Please inform the hotel that you will be attending a Chatham House conference to qualify for the Institute's reduced rate.
Please note all rates are subject to availability.
Half Moon Street
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