2017-11-20 09:30:00 to 2017-11-20 18:00:00


Europe and its Neighbourhood 2017

Conflict prevention and crisis management in the 21st century

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Royal Society of Arts, London

Chatham House, Al Sharq Forum and the International Crisis Group will host the third annual conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood: Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century, focusing on how countries across Europe and in its environs can address issues of common concern – security threats, current and emerging conflicts, migration and societal challenges – amidst a volatile and uncertain global order.

As Europe endures a period of significant transformation, the political climate appears to be characterized by a growing diffusion of power, a revival of geopolitics, uncertainty about previously entrenched alliance structures, heightened nationalism and ideological dogmatism, a sense of economic vulnerability, an increasing propensity for instability and conflict to seep across borders, and the erosion of traditional conflict resolution actors.

This year’s conference will bring together an array of perspectives – in terms of both discipline and national background – to discuss:

  • The nature and gravity of the political, security and societal challenges facing Europe and its neighbourhood;
  • How to address these, in the context of uncertainties and competing national interests;
  • Strengthening Europe’s ability to project, promote and preserve stability in its peripheries;
  • Balancing short-term tactical policy imperatives with long-term strategic goals.

Discussions will explore the premise that Europe’s traditional perceptions of itself – as a broadly homogenous entity and a stability-exerting force – no longer necessarily hold true. Nor too the notion that Europe, and the EU in particular, has the capacity – diplomatic, financial or military – to act alone. Solutions to the challenges facing Europe and its neighbourhood demand understanding the range of perceptions out there about Europe’s role in the world today, and embracing collective efforts to reach sustainable solutions to the benefit of all.

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:



Monday 20 November

Session One | A Europe Distracted? Politics, the Future of the EU and What it Means for Europe’s Neighbourhood

As the raft of national elections in Europe comes to a conclusion and with Brexit negotiations well under way, this session will look at Europe’s capacity to meet common challenges and share the collective burden. Given Europe’s geography and other factors – including the demographics of its neighbourhood – failure to do so risks rebounding on the continent with considerable, and negative, consequences.

Is the sense of crisis that prevailed in previous years still prominent? What is its precise nature? How can European and EU political leadership effectively address a series of foreign policy imperatives – relations with Russia; shoring up long-term stability in its neighbourhood – while being seemingly preoccupied with domestic concerns and showing an inclination towards retrenchment and greater nationalism? And from where will political leadership emerge in a changing Europe?  

Session Two | Europe and Migration

There is potentially no other issue that has done more to highlight the divisions in Europe than migration and how to manage its effects politically, economically and socially. Policy-makers, under considerable domestic pressure, have struggled to formulate strategies that fully contain the perceived security threats of inward migration or address its underlying causes. An effective response to what will likely prove a permanent phenomenon – mass movement northwards – in an atmosphere of immediate crisis is a critical challenge for Europe. With a number of EU initiatives up and running – among them the deal with Ankara and a range of initiatives in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel – this session will examine their effectiveness to date, the cost at which they have been implemented, and the prospects for Europe’s ability to contribute to the global target of safe, orderly and regular migration.

Breakout discussions

Discussion A | Russia and the West

This discussion will focus on the disagreement between Russia and the West, which appears to be irreconcilable as long as the current leadership in the Kremlin remains in power. With the economic and geopolitical pressures on the Kremlin likely to increase over the next five to ten years, what can be done to prepare for a potentially more harmonious post-Putin era in relations between Russia and the West? What connections need to be fostered, individually and institutionally? How will developments in Russia–US relations affect this? And what olive branches should be extended to an eventual successor to Putin?

Discussion B | Power Dynamics in the Middle East: Strategic Relations and Influence in the Region

This discussion will focus on the balance of power between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Iran, with an assessment of the levers of control and influence, in terms of individuals and primary power brokers, as well as the shape of strategic alliances within the region and globally.

Discussion C | North Africa: Egypt and Libya

This discussion will assess security challenges in the Mediterranean basin with a particular focus on Egypt and Libya, two vitally important countries in the region with a challenging local policy and security environment.

Session Four | Europe and a Post-ISIS Levant

At present, Europe is a stuttering force in the Levant. However, once the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reaches a conclusion, Europe’s role in fostering stability and supporting the reconstruction, reconciliation and peacekeeping effort will be key. This session will project beyond the current destruction and crisis in the Levant to explore the challenges that lie ahead in a potential post-ISIS future.

Session Five | Security and Foreign Policy in the Context of Europe and its Neighbourhood

The issue of security has been brought into sharper relief by US demands for its NATO partners to contribute more to their own defence and questions over the future of the post-Second World War alliance, as well as the EU’s own approach to its collective security needs. Different conceptions abound as to what a European security and foreign policy might look like – from increased hard-edged capacities, to an expansion of the continent’s soft power.  This session will explore the contours of the debate, paying particular attention to how Europe might best balance the growing resort to kinetic counterterrorism operations with a renewed commitment to normative soft power, and the prospects for the EU and its regional partners, including Turkey, to better coordinate on security-related matters in the region.

1800 End of conference and reception

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2017


Louise Arbour to speak at the Chatham House conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood

Louise Arbour

United Nations Special Representative for International Migration

Kirk Bennett to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood conference

Kirk Bennett

US Foreign Service (retd)

Galip Dalay to speak at Chatham House Europe's Changing Neighbourhood 2015 conference

Galip Dalay

Research Director, Al Sharq Forum

Jean-Marie Guéhenno to speak at Chatham House Europe's Changing Neighbourhood 2015 conference

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

President & CEO, International Crisis Group

Hemin Hawrami to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood 2017 conference

Hemin Hawrami

Member, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and Head of KDP Foreign Relations Office

Wadah Khanfar to speak at Chatham House Europe's Changing Neighbourhood 2015 conference

Wadah Khanfar

President, Al Sharq Forum

Lina Khatib to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood conference

Lina Khatib

Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Ivan Krastev to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood conference

Ivan Krastev

Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies

Mark Malloch-Brown to speak at Chatham House Europe's Changing Neighbourhood 2015 conference

Lord Mark Malloch-Brown

Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations (2006), and Co-Chair, International Crisis Group

Nora Müller to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood 2017 conference

Nora Müller

Executive Director, International Affairs, Körber-Stiftung

Jana Puglierin to speak at the Chatham House Security and Defence 2017 conference

Jana Puglierin

Head of Programme, Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies, German Council on Foreign Relations

Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood conference

Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour

Head, Center for International Research and Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran

Andrey Sushentsov to speak at the Chatham House Europe and its Neighbourhood conference

Andrey Sushentsov

Associate Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Lurdes Vidal Bertran to speak at the Chatham House conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood

Lurdes Vidal Bertran

Director of the Arab and Mediterranean World Department, IEMed

Yanis Varoufakis to speak at the Chatham House conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood

Yanis Varoufakis

Minister of Finance, Greece (2015)

Tarik Yousef to speak at the Chatham House conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood

Tarik Yousef

Director, Brookings Doha Center

Pricing and booking information 

Register by Friday 22 September 2017 to benefit from the early booking rate.

Ways to book:

  1. Online: Click here to complete the online registration form
  2. Phone: Call Georgia Dalton on +44 (0)20 7314 2785
  3. Email / Post: Download a PDF registration form, complete and return to Charlotte Laycock via email or post: Chatham House, 10 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4LE


Chatham House Major Corporate Members and Partners, ICG President's Council Members   
All organizations£495£595
Chatham House Standard Corporate Members and ICG International Advisory Council Members  
Commercial organizations£1,085£1,180
Government departments£620£700
NGOs and academics£380£460
Commercial organizations£1,190£1,295
Government departments£680£750
NGOs and academics£440


Your delegate pass includes:

  • Conference attendance
  • Documentation
  • Lunch and refreshments

Travel and accommodation are not included. View a list of recommended hotels here.


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact
Kamil Hussain on +44 (0) 20 7314 2783

Media partners

Foreign Affairs

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


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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.

Flemings Mayfair
13 Half Moon Street
London - W1J 7BH

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817
[email protected]

Classic Double without breakfast: £195 +VAT

The Cavendish London
81 Jermyn Street
London - SW1Y 6JF

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7930 2111
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7839 2125
[email protected] 

Classic Room without breakfast: £205 +VAT

Book The Cavendish online

The Stafford London 
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ

Tel: 020 7518 1125
Fax: 020 7493 7121
[email protected]

Classic Queen without breakfast: £247 +VAT
Quote Chatham House


Press registration

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists.

Press can request a press pass.