Europe and its Neighbourhood 2017
Conflict prevention and crisis management in the 21st century
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.
Monday 20 November
Welcome and chair's opening remarks
Quentin Peel, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Yanis Varoufakis, Professor of Economic Theory, University of Athens, and Minister of Finance, Greece (2015)
Questions and discussion
Session One | A Europe distracted? Politics, the future of the EU and what it means for Europe’s neighbourhood
09:45 - 11:00
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?
Quentin Peel, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Wadah Khanfar, President, Al Sharq Forum
Brad Staples, Chief Executive Officer, APCO Worldwide
Mark Malloch-Brown, Chairman, Smartmatic, and Chairman, International Crisis Group
Nora Müller, Executive Director, International Affairs, Körber-Stiftung
11:00 - 11:30 Refreshments
Session Two | Europe and migration
11:30 - 13:00
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.
Paolo Magri, Executive Vice President and Director, Italian Institute for International Political Studies
Louise Arbour, United Nations Special Representative for International Migration
Tarik Yousef, Director, Brookings Doha Center
Massimiliano Alvisini, General Manager, Europe and CIS Global Money Transfer, Western Union
Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, Founding President, Middle East Research Institute
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
Concurrent breakout discussions – please select one from the three sessions below
Discussion A | Russia and the West
14:00 - 15:15
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?
James Nixey, Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House
Andrey Sushentsov, Associate Professor, Moscow State Institute of International Relations
Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies
Kirk Bennett, retired US foreign service official
Magdalena Grono, Program Director, Europe & Central Asia, International Crisis Group
Discussion B | Europe and a Post-ISIS Levant
14:00 - 15:15
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.
Ranj Alaaldin, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institute, Doha
Lina Khatib, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Michael Köhler, Director Neighbourhood, DG for Development Cooperation, European Commission
Lorenzo Kamel, Senior Fellow, Istituto Affari Internazionali
Güney Yildiz, Visiting Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
Discussion C | North Africa: Egypt and Libya
14:00 - 15:15
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.
Claire Spencer, Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Lurdes Vidal Bertran, Director of the Arab and Mediterranean World Department, IEMed
Issandr El Amrani, North Africa Project, International Crisis Group
Tim Eaton, Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
15:15 - 15:45 Afternoon refreshments
Session Four | Power dynamics in the Middle East: strategic relations and influence in the region
15:45 - 16:45
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.
Sanam Vakil, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Robert Malley, Vice President for Policy, International Crisis Group
H A Hellyer, Senior Nonresident Fellow, Atlantic Council and the Royal United Services Institute
Ellie Geranmayeh, Senior Policy Fellow (MENA), European Council on Foreign Relations
Galip Dalay, Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
Session Five | Security and foreign policy in the context of Europe and its neighbourhood
16:45 - 18:00
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.
Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent, BBC
Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland (2007-14)
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President and CEO, International Crisis Group
Jana Puglierin, Head of Programme, Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies, German Council on Foreign Relations
David Hearst, Editor-in-Chief, Middle East Eye
18:00 Close of conference and post-conference reception
© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2017
Pricing and booking information
Ways to book:
- Online: Click here to complete the online registration form
- Phone: Call Georgia Dalton on +44 (0)20 7314 2785
- 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|
|Chatham House Standard Corporate Members and ICG International Advisory Council Members|
|NGOs and academics||£460|
|NGOs and academics||£510|
Your delegate pass includes:
- Conference attendance
- 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
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
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.
13 Half Moon Street
London - W1J 7BH
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817
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
Classic Room without breakfast: £205 +VAT
The Stafford London
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ
Tel: 020 7518 1125
Fax: 020 7493 7121
Classic Queen without breakfast: £247 +VAT
Quote Chatham House