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.
The second annual conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood, organized in partnership with 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.
|EXCL. VAT||INCL. VAT|
|Chatham House Major Corporate Members and ICG President's Council Members|
|Chatham House Corporate Members and ICG International Advisory Council Members|
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|NGOs and academics||£510||£612|
Monday 14 November
08:00 – 09:00 Registration and refreshments
Welcome and chair’s opening remarks
Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House
Session One | The Challenges Facing Europe Today
09:10 - 10:30
Europe’s complex, overlapping problems seem intractable. Conflicts in its divergent neighbourhoods, the refugee crisis, economic anxieties, rising populism, the spectre of terrorism, uncertainty surrounding the US presidential elections, a resurgent Russia, legacies from Iraq and Libya, and political tensions within Turkey, all conspire to suggest a weak continent, vulnerable to centrifugal forces and increasingly inward-looking, emphasised by the result of the UK referendum on its EU membership. In this context this opening discussion will consider key questions, including:
- How accurate is this picture?
- How do people in Europe’s neighbourhood view Europe and its institutions? What are their expectations of the EU as a contributor to stabilisation in the region?
- 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?
Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House
Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
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
Session Two | Navigating the Southern Mediterranean
10:30 - 11:45
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?
Professor Emad Shahin, Distinguished Visiting Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Issandr El Amrani, Project Director, North Africa, International Crisis Group
Intissar Kherigi, Programmes Director, Jasmine Foundation
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?
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 Attache, 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
Virginia Comolli, Senior Fellow for Security and Development, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
Dr 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
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
Post-Lunch Breakout Discussions
Discussion C | The New UN Secretary-General’s In-Tray: Where to Start?
14:30 - 16:00
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? To what extent, beyond rhetoric, is the UN important to Europe?
Richard Gowan, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
Mark Malloch-Brown, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (2006)
Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004-08)
Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association UK
Joseph Bahout, Visiting Scholar Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Discussion D | Europe and Turkey and a Collapsing Regional Order
14:30 - 16:00
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 rather than progress dominate the narrative. Is Turkey an ever more volatile partner? What will the failed coup mean for Turkey’s future direction, foreign relations and regional role? Is the EU imposing unfair demands, particularly as regards Turkey’s security concerns and ability to handle the refugee influx, without accepting its own share of the burden? 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?
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
16:00 – 16:30 Afternoon refreshments
Session Three | Soft Power versus Hard: Does Europe Have the Right Balance?
16:30 - 18:00
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?
- Founded on a basis of economic strength and a commitment to the rule of law, to what extent have recent years squandered the EU’s reputation in these areas, particularly in the context of the UK’s vote to leave the EU?
- As its region changes, how can Europe achieve an effective balance between its reliance on traditional tools of diplomacy and its military capacity? Does the EU have the capacity to achieve a consensus on the use of hard power, and navigate the uncertainties generated by the outcome of the UK referendum on its membership?
Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor, The Times
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO, International Crisis Group
Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General, Royal United Services Institute
Galip Dalay, Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
David Harding, Founder and CEO, Winton
18:00 Close of conference and drinks reception
© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2016
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004-08)
Director of Multilateral Affairs, International Crisis Group
Visiting Scholar Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Founding Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe
Research Fellow for Security and Development, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
Staffan de Mistura
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, United Nations
First Secretary, Press Attache, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to NATO
Issandr El Amrani
Project Director, North Africa, International Crisis Group
Director, Europe and Central Asia, International Crisis Group
Senior Analyst, Turkey, International Crisis Group
Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
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
Defence Editor, The Times
Dr Elisabeth Kendall
Senior Research Fellow in Arabic, Pembroke College 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
Programmes Director, Jasmine Foundation
Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (2006)
Dr Robin Niblett
Director, Chatham House
Head of East Stratcom Task Force, European External Action Service
Executive Director, United Nations Association UK
Professor Emad Shahin
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
Dr Karin von Hippel
Director-General, Royal United Services Institute
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