december, 2019

10dec09:3017:30Europe and Its Neighbourhood 2019Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century


Event Description

The 5th annual conference on Europe and its Neighbourhood: Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century, hosted by Sharq Forum, Chatham House, and International Crisis Group, will focus on how Europe and its leaders can respond to the challenges of conflict management and prevention. At a time of uncertainty for Europe’s political ideals and its vision for a common future, its ability to shape and influence developments in its neighbouring regions is a more open question than at any time in the recent past.

This year’s discussions will bring together perspectives from across Europe and neighbouring regions to discuss:

  • Europe’s leadership and policy direction amid increased geopolitical rivalry and competition for influence
  • Conflict prevention and responses to current and potential conflicts in neighbouring regions
  • Spotlight on regional developments and implications for European leaders

In partnership with:

The Chatham House Rule
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.


(Tuesday) 09:30 - 17:30


Chatham House

10 St James's Square SW1Y 4LE UK


    • Day 1
    • 10 December 2019
    • 08:00 Registration and refreshments08:00 - 09:00 Registration

    • 09:00 Welcome and chair’s opening remarks09:00 - 09:15Welcome and chair’s opening remarks

    • 09:15 Session One | Europe’s Influence in a Competitive Global Order
09:15 - 10:30The reawakening of great power competition and the limitations of the current, rules-based international order are a challenge to Europe’s role and influence in the world. Europe’s internal politics can to an extent be characterized as a battle of wills between pro-Europeans and anti-Europeans, and the EU’s standing as an exemplar of effective multilateralism stands in contrast to the level of support for its institutions among the populations of many of its member states. In this context, and with a resolution to the Brexit conundrum potentially on the horizon, this session will assess what the future holds for Europe’s role and influence in its neighbourhood and globally.
      • How is Europe’s relationship with its neighbourhood changing, and how much will it change over the coming decade, due to the rise of populism throughout the continent and beyond?
      • What is the vision of the EU’s new leadership for Europe’s relationships with its neighbourhood?
      • The EU is arguably the world’s leading rules-maker, but how can it operate effectively in an environment less conducive to rules-based understandings of international politics?
      • What does the experience of recent years suggest about the limitations of the EU and its institutions, in the context of member states’ interests and their wish to retain control over foreign and security policy?

    • 10:30 Session Two | Economic Engagement and Trade between Europe and its Neighbourhood
10:30 - 11:15This discussion will focus on common economic interests and ways to maintain significant trade flows between Europe and its neighbouring regions. How has the rise of geopolitics affected Europe’s economic engagement with its neighbours? How can Europe use trade and investment tools to counter the regional influence of other heavyweight powers? What do the conflicts in Europe’s neighbourhood mean for trade and economic stability in Europe?

    • 11:15 Refreshments11:15 - 11:45Refreshments

    • 11:45 Session Three | Conflicts in Europe’s Wider Neighbourhood: Prevention and Response
11:45 - 13:00Amid ongoing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the potential for new or further escalation of armed conflicts in other regions such as the Western Balkans, the Black Sea, North Africa and the Gulf has increased. Europe faces the possibility of having to respond simultaneously to numerous crises along its peripheries, testing its political, diplomatic, military and crisis response capabilities.
      • Given the lack of consensus in Europe on neighbourhood policy, what are the risks of new wars and armed conflicts in Europe’s neighbourhood?
      • What are the most likely scenarios for the evolution of current conflicts? Is Europe capable of dealing with further escalations in its neighbourhood?
      • What approaches and capacities for conflict prevention does Europe currently possess? What will it take to amass the necessary political will to meaningfully address the sources of conflict?
      • How will the current state of transatlantic relations with the US affect Europe’s ability to project regional influence in its neighbourhood?

    • 13:00 Lunch13:00 - 14:00Lunch

    • 14:00 Breakout discussions - participants can choose to attend one from among the two sessions below
14:00 - 15:15Discussion A | Entrenched Regimes in MENA: Reforming the Unreformable?

      During the 2011 Arab uprisings, people in the ‘squares’ demanded drastic change in the way they were governed, and in the way services were being delivered. Eight years later, the region’s surviving and resurgent autocratic regimes have done little to accommodate such demands. Yet the political, economic and social challenges they faced then are still there, and often have been compounded by subsequent developments. This raises the question: Can these regimes reform themselves sufficiently to head off new mass protests and potentially their own collapse? And what could external actors do to nudge them toward reforms that don’t just create further instability and possibly trigger civil war?
      Discussion B | Russia, China and the West
      Current relations between Russia and China counter assumptions many have held until recently about the dynamics between the two countries. Arguably, the Sino-Russian relationship is now more than an ‘Axis of Convenience’. Though the countries are not equal in terms of economic power, they are cooperating more closely than at any time in recent history. In what ways might China–Russia cooperation manifest itself in Europe and its neighbouring regions? And at what point (if at all) – and how – will Western powers counter this transcontinental bloc of influence and power?

    • 15:15 Afternoon refreshments15:15 - 15:45 Afternoon refreshments

    • 15:45 In conversation | Iran, its Neighbourhood and Europe
15:45 - 16:15Relations between Iran and the US have continued to deteriorate following the Trump administration’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the reinstatement of US sanctions. European leaders have remained committed to upholding the deal and have maintained a degree of influence over its terms. However, as Iran breaches these for the first time since the deal was signed in 2015, what does the future hold in terms of Iran’s goals and ambitions regionally? What are the implications of an unravelling deal for its partners in Europe? And what do recent actions suggest about Europe’s influence and ability to navigate US and Iranian interests in the region?

    • 16:15 Session Four | European Security and Defence
16:15 - 17:152019 represents the 20th anniversary of the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU, part of a framework that has helped member states to work together on several defence- and crisis management-related issues. The UK, a key security contributor, will be out of the EU post-Brexit at a time of significant challenges to Europe’s security architecture. The future shape of European security cooperation seems more open, and uncertain, than it has for decades.
      • To what extent is the idea of strategic autonomy in EU security and defence matters likely to gain support, given Brexit uncertainty and US pressure on NATO members to contribute more?
      • Is there enough consensus in Europe on the most significant regional threats and the capabilities needed to counter them?
      • Will current efforts to strengthen EU civilian tools make European security initiatives more effective?
      • What mechanisms for European defence cooperation exist outside of NATO?
      • Where are the key areas of priority for Europe’s security architecture and defence capabilities?

    • 17:15 Close of conference and post-conference reception17:15 - 17:30Close of conference and post-conference reception

Speakers for this event

  • Milica Delevic

    Milica Delevic

    Director, Governance and Political Affairs, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

  • Wadah Khanfar

    Wadah Khanfar

    President of The Al Sharq Forum

    Wadah Khanfar is the President of the Al Sharq Forum and former Director General of the Al Jazeera Network. He is a board member of the International Crisis Group and Global Editors Network (GEN). Khanfar has been named as one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 global thinkers of 2011 as well as one of Fast Company’s ‘Most Creative People in Business’ of the year.

    President of The Al Sharq Forum

  • Marcin Kaczmarski

    Marcin Kaczmarski

    Lecturer in Security Studies, University of Glasgow

  • Nora Muller

    Nora Muller

    Executive Director, Körber-Stiftung International Affairs

    Executive Director, Körber-Stiftung Int...

  • Arturo Varvelli

    Arturo Varvelli

    Co-Head, MENA Centre, Italian Institute for International Political Studies

  • Robert Malley

    Robert Malley

    Vice President for Policy, International Crisis Group

    Vice President for Policy, International...

  • Yu Jie

    Yu Jie

    Senior Research Fellow on China, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

    Senior Research Fellow on China, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

    Senior Research Fellow on China, Asia-Pa...

  • Brad Staples

    Brad Staples

    Chief Executive Officer, APCO Worldwide

    Chief Executive Officer, APCO Worldwide

  • Sanam Vakil

    Sanam Vakil

    Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

    Associate Fellow, Middle East and North ...

  • Lord Mark Malloch-Brown

    Lord Mark Malloch-Brown

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

    Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations...

  • Galip Dalay

    Galip Dalay

    Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Strategic Research

    Research director at Al Sharq Forum and senior associate fellow on Turkey and Kurdish Affairs at Al Jazeera Center for Studies. He previously worked as a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and as a political researcher at SETA Foundation in Ankara. He is a regular contributor to German Marshall Fund of the United States’ on Turkey policy brief series, and a columnist for Middle East Eye.

    Senior Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Stra...



    President of Middle East Research Institute (MERI)

    Dlawer Ala’Aldeen is the Founding President of the Middle East Research Institute, a policy research institute and think tank based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region (KR) of Iraq ( Between 2009-2012, he was the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Kurdistan Regional Government, where he lead an ambitious reform program to modernise the higher education system in KR. Prior to this, he was the Professor of Medicine in Nottingham University, UK. He worked in capacity building and nation-building projects in Iraq since 1992 and published extensively on the political dynamics, governance system and democratisation in the Middle East, Iraq and KR.

    President of Middle East Research Instit...

  • Dorothee Schmid

    Dorothee Schmid

    Expert on Mediterranean and Middle East issues

    Dorothee Schmid is an expert on Mediterranean and Middle East issues. Schmid joined IFRI (The French Institute for International Relations) in 2002 in Paris. She has produced extensive analysis on EU and French policies in the region, induced democratization, the political economy and regional balance of powers. She established the Contemporary Turkey Program in 2008 in order to follow in real time the rise of Turkish foreign policy and the transformations of the Turkish regime. The present agenda of IFRI’s Middle East and Turkey department includes the dynamics of political transitions in the post-Arab spring period, the future of the rentier-state culture, rising conflicts, territorial reorganizations and the new competition for influence among powers. Before focusing on academic research, Dorothée Schmid worked as a country-risk analyst for Bank Crédit agricole-Indosuez and as a Euromed attaché for Cités Unies France, a federation of French local authorities. She has carried out various consulting missions for public institutions (the European Commission, French Ministry of Economy, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs), NGOs and private companies. She authored many articles and reports about Turkey and the Middle East and regularly appears in the French and international media.

    Expert on Mediterranean and Middle East ...

  • Fuat Keyman

    Fuat Keyman

    Director of Istanbul Policy Center and a Professor of International Relations at Sabancı University

    Fuat Keyman is the Director of Istanbul Policy Center and a Professor of International Relations at Sabancı University. Keyman is a leading Turkish political scientist and an expert on democratization, globalization, international relations, Turkey – EU relations, Turkish foreign policy, and civil society development. He is a member of the Science Academy. He has worked as a member on the Council of Wise People as part of the Peace Process to the Kurdish issue. He also serves on advisory and editorial boards for a number of respected international and national organizations as well as for academic journals.

    Director of Istanbul Policy Center and a...

  • Ibrahim Turhan

    Ibrahim Turhan

    Member of Turkish Parliament

    Ibrahim Turhan is a member of Turkish Parliament. He previously served as the Chairman and CEO of the İstanbul Stock Exchange, 2012 - 2015. Mr. Turhan was also a member of the Leaders' Circle as well as the Advisory Board of the Global Economic Symposium organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Prior to these roles, Mr. Turhan served in a number of capacities with the Central Bank of Turkey, including Deputy Governor post

    Member of Turkish Parliament

  • Tarik M. Yousef

    Tarik M. Yousef

    Director of Brooking Doha Center and Senior fellow

    Tarik M. Yousef is a Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development program and the Director of the Brookings Doha Center. His career has spanned the academic world at Georgetown University and the Harvard Kennedy School; the public policy arena at the IMF, the World Bank and more recently the NGO space at Silatech. He has a PhD in economics from Harvard University

    Director of Brooking Doha Center and Sen...

  • Kristina Kausch

    Kristina Kausch

    Senior Resident Fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States\' (GMF) Brussels office

    Kristina Kausch is a Senior Resident Fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States' (GMF) Brussels office. Her research focuses on Europe’s relations with the Middle East and North Africa, and political transformations in the Arab world. Prior to joining GMF, she was a non-resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the head of its Middle East program, and research coordinator at FRIDE. She has edited three books and published articles in academic journals.

    Senior Resident Fellow at The German Mar...

  • Richard Gowan

    Richard Gowan

    Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

  • Baroness Ashton of Upholland

    Baroness Ashton of Upholland

    High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, First Vice President of the European Commission (2009-14)

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