For two days, dozens of distinguished leaders and experts presented their opinions on the most touching issues in foreign policy and defence of the Baltic Sea region and beyond.
- Day 1September 28, 2018
- Day 2September 29, 2018
- 13:00 - 14:00REGISTRATION
- 14:00 - 14:20WELCOMING REMARKS BY H.E. MR RAIMONDS VĒJONIS, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LATVIAWelcoming remarks by H.E. Mr Raimonds Vējonis , President of the Republic of Latvia
- 14:20 - 15:451918 - 2018: THE CENTURY FILLED WITH STRATEGIC LESSONS
After WWI countries like Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland, and the Baltic states appeared on Europe’s map. After WWII the Baltic States disappeared from the European map, only to reappear in the 1990s following the breakup of the Soviet Union, together with countries like the Ukraine and Georgia. The security of small states has too often been threatened in the last 100 year. What are the lessons learned from Europe’s violent past and the painful experiences of states struggling for their independence? How can the sovereignty of small states be secured in a hostile environment?
Video address by Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford University, United Kingdom
Dr. Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga , President of the Club de Madrid and former President of the Republic of Latvia
Mr Antoni Macierewicz Former Minister of National Defence, Poland
Moderator: Dr. Vita Matiss , Visiting Professor at the Riga Graduate School of Law, Latvia
- 15:45 - 16:15COFFEE BREAK: UKRAINE’S TWO ELECTIONS: WHAT TO EXPECT
Ukraine faces two crucial elections in 2019, the presidential in March 2019 and parliamentary in late autumn 2019. The high number of undecided voters and the low ratings of all candidates makes predictions ever harder, while makes the elections very competitive. What may these elections bring to the European and Transatlantic integration? Is population still as committed to the strategic directions of the Orange revolution?
Mr Balázs Jarábik , Non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International PeaceModerator: Ms Mary Dejevsky , Columnist for The Guardian, United Kingdom
- 16:15 - 17:45CAN WE COUNT ON NATO FOR NEXT 100 YEARS
The founding of NATO is approaching its 70th anniversary. And in today’s political and military environment it is as relevant as it was in 1949. Enhanced Forward Presence is not only a catalyst for transforming Alliance operational effectiveness and interoperability, but also a tool to build brotherhood among soldiers. Strong solidarity among Allies is crucial, especially when responding to challenges the Alliance faces. What strategic decisions do we need to take now to ensure security in the region and a bright future for NATO?
Mr Raimonds Bergmanis , Minister of Defense of the Republic of Latvia
Mr Raimundas Karoblis, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania
Lt.Gen (Ret.) Frederick Benjamin Hodges , Pershing Chair, CEPA and Partner, Berlin Global Advisors, United States
Prof. Dr Julian Lindley-French, Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, London; Director of Europa Analytica, Netherlands; Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at National Defense University, Washington DC and Fellow at Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Moderator: Dr. Claudia Major, International Security Senior Associate, German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Germany
- 17:45 - 18:15COFFEE BREAK: HAS TRUMP HIJACKED NATO?
While Trump’s request for all NATO member states to bring their defence spending to at least to 2% seems reasonable, his rhetoric and awkward relationship with Putin leaves many in Europe worried. With the rise of populism across the US and Europe are transatlantic relations as we knew them since NATO was founded still relevant?
Dr. Stefanie von Hlatky , associate professor of political studies at Queen’s University and the fellow of the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, CanadaMr Eric Povel , Program Officer, NATO Public Diplomacy DivisionModerator: Mr Mārtiņš Hiršs , Researcher at the Centre for Security and Strategic Research, Latvia
- 18:15 - 19:45MID-TERM ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION
Domestic consumer spending has been the main driver of EU economic recovery from 2013 until 2017. Economic growth is expected to continue in 2018 at a much slower rate. Policymakers should use the momentum of a favourable economic environment to enable future growth and push for needed reforms. However, European economic prospects are challenged by risks related to uncertain outcomes of the Brexit negotiations, the rise of protectionist policies, and global geopolitical tensions. On other hand many experts believe that the EU will have more bargaining power in free-trade talks with third countries, as the US might no longer be considered a first choice partner. What are the economic prospects for the EU and also for the United States?
Mr Valdis Dombrovskis , Vice – President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
Ms Dana Reizniece-Ozola , Minister of Finance of the Republic of Latvia
Mr Christian Whiton , Senior Vice President at Banner Public Affairs, United States of America
Prof. Dr. Michael Eilfort, Director of the Market Economy Foundation
Moderator: Ms Jill Dougherty , Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Affairs Council, United States
- 19:45 - 21:15OPENING DINNER
- 19:45 - 20:30COFFEE BREAK: SOCIAL MEDIA SETTING FOUNDATION FOR THE NEXT CENTURY
Is there a reason to think that traditional concept of state as we know it is to change? The decisions and political ideas that now travel far beyond the borders as we know them and based on digital technologies can (and do so) group people not based on geography, but rather around the shared idea, interest or values. Will we see the emergence of a new concept of a state that is no longer bound by borders, but rather ideas, values, and social contract – all fully digital? Can your group on your favourite social media account become your like-minded fellow citizens? Will this space still be a democracy of a kind?It is time to revisit the traditional concept of the nation state. Given the unprecedented speed and intensity of digital networks, political decisions and ideas can have repercussions far beyond state borders. Identity groups now form more easily around shared ideas, interests, or values, rather than being determined by geography. Will we see the emergence of a new concept of “statehood” that is no longer bounded by borders, but rather ideas, values, and social contract – all fully digital? And how will this, in turn, challenge our understanding of citizenship and democracy?
Mr Jānis Sārts , Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, LatviaMs Beata Jonite , Social Media Influencer, LatviaModerator: Mr Christophe Ginisty , Digital Strategist and Online Reputation Expert, Belgium
- 21:30 - 23:00NIGHT OWL SESSION: KREMLIN'S STRATEGY FOR RUSSIA
Sessions are held under "Chatham House Rule" and will not be broadcasted
It is evident that a demand for change is growing in different social groups in Russia including political and business elites. There have been calls for reforms especially in the areas of economic and social welfare. Entrepreneurs require a more fertile business environment and the government has to adjust its policies to ensure the stability of the country. The narrative of Russia as a besieged fortress and the rhetoric of moral instruction is gradually losing appeal among the Russian public. It is high time for the Kremlin to change its tune. But can Russia reconcile the myth of Russia’s omnipotence with pressures arising from economic marginalization? What are the expectations of the people, and what are possible changes in Russia we might observe in the near future? What is the Kremlin’s strategy for Russia now?
Dr. Pavel E. Felgenhauer , Defense Analyst and Columnist in "Novaya Gazeta", Russia
Mr Arkady Moshes , Program Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)
Dr. James Sherr, Associate Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House, United Kingdom
Moderator: Ms Kadri Liik , Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
- 21:30 - 23:00NIGHT OWL SESSION: THE NEXT “CORDON SANITAIRE”?
Sessions are held under "Chatham House Rule" and will not be broadcasted
The metaphor of "cordon sanitaire" was coined by French Prime Minister George Clemenceau after WWI to describe a set of buffer states to contain Germany and the USSR. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a vision of “Europe Whole and Free” was implemented in the decade of historic enlargements of NATO and the European Union. Today Eastern European countries are caught in between frozen military conflicts, political dead-ends and international no-go situations. The breach of the Helsinki Final Act principles and violations of international law in the Eastern Neighbourhood cannot be accepted by the international community. The current state of affairs risks creating an area of buffer states in the Eastern Neighbourhood. What strategies and policy actions might prevent this development?
Dr. Hanna Hopko , Head of Committee on Foreign Affairs, Parliament of UkraineMr. George Sharvashidze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of GeorgiaMr Tevan Poghosyan , Adviser to the President, ArmeniaMr Andris Pelšs , State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of LatviaMr Yauheni Preiherman , Head of Minsk Dialogue, BelarusModerator: Mr Linas Kojala , Director of Eastern Europe Studies Center, Lithuania
- 21:30 - 23:00NIGHT OWL SESSION: WE CANNOT AFFORD A TRADE WAR
Sessions are held under "Chatham House Rule" and will not be broadcasted
Trade wars are never a good idea. When a nation imposes tariffs on imports and other countries then retaliate with protectionist policies, this reduces international trade, costs jobs, slows down economic growth, and increases the prices of imported goods. The US Administration’s initiative to impose tariffs on China or the EU will create adverse effects for consumers worldwide. It will also have negative consequences for Americans. What strategies should world-leaders follow to prevent or reverse such an economic showdown, which destabilizes global trade, and has a negative impact on economic growth and real income?
Mr Mitsunari Okamoto, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, JapanDr. Roberts Zīle , Member of European Parliament, LatviaMr Mehdi Jomaa, former Prime Minister of TunisiaAmb. Terry Miller, Director of Center for International Trade and Economics and Mark A. Kolokotrones Fellow in Economic Freedom, The Heritage Foundation, United StatesModerator: Mr Steven J. Erlanger , Bureau Chief for The New York Times, Belgium
- 21:30 - 23:00NIGHT OWL SESSION: FOURTH ESTATE 2.0
Sessions are held under "Chatham House Rule" and will not be broadcasted
Independent journalism is essential for maintaining a healthy democracy. The freedom of expression, thought, and conscience is exercised through the free press. It strengthens demands for accountability of governments and provides a pluralistic platform for public debate. But how can the fourth estate remain relevant, trusted, and strong in the era of social media, voter manipulation and fact resistance? It seems that trust in the free press is eroding, audiences inhabit increasingly polarized bubbles, and even the highest public officials refer to mainstream media as “fake news”. Does the fourth estate need a reboot? What key features should the fourth estate 2.0 have?
Mr Ulrik Haagerup , Founder and CEO of Constructive Institute, DenmarkMr Nils Muižnieks , Human Rights Activist and Political Scientist, LatviaMr Joop J. Daalmeijer , Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Free Press Unlimited,The NetherlandsMr Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, former President of MongoliaModerator: Ms Rita Ruduša , Journalist and Editor, Latvia
- 09:30 - 10:00MORNING COFFEE
- 10:00 - 11:30THE WORLD ACCORDING TO RUSSIANS
Most Russians consider Joseph Stalin the “most outstanding person” in world history, surpassing even President Vladimir Putin who ranks second according to a Levada Center public opinion poll. The poll also suggested that famous Russians like Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gagarin or Mendeleev are considered less influential than these political leaders. Is it really the majority of Russians who believe this? In our analyses there is a tendency to conflate Putin’s Russia and Russia itself, the state and society, the political regime and its people. What ideology and values do Russian citizens believe in? Do their views overlap or contradict with those of political and business elites? How do Russians perceive the world? And why should the rest of the world care?
Mr Vladimir Kara-Murza , Russian Opposition PoliticianMr Mikhail Fishman , Commentator at TV Rain, RussiaMr Andrei Kolesnikov , Senior Fellow and the Chair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, RussiaDr. Vladislav Inozemtsev, Director, Centre for Post-Industrial Studies, RussiaModerator: Mr Artemy Troitsky , Journalist, Russia
- 11:30 - 12:00COFFEE BREAK: RAIL BALTICA – WHAT IT OFFERS TO THE SECURITY IN THE REGION?Rail Baltica is probably the most complex and investment-demanding transportation project undertaken by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. While very few would argue the necessity of integrated transportation system with the rest of the Europe, what does this project offer for the security of the region?
Mr Aivar Jaeski , Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ, Estonia Branch DirectorModerator: Dr. Sandis Šrāders, Board member of Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, Director of Sales and Strategic Projects at Radio of Latvia
- 12:00 - 13:30GERMANY AT THE CENTRE OF A CHANGING EUROPE
American political retreat, the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and persisting European disunity have pushed Germany to take a leading role in the European Union. French president Emanuel Macron has an ambition to reform the Union. This can be done only by aligning the EU members, including Germany. A French-German motor has frequently been the driving force behind reform plans in the past. What role is Germany willing to play now? What are other European countries expecting from Germany given its strong economic position in the heart of Europe?
Dr. Daniela Schwarzer , Director, German Council on Foreign Relations, GermanyDr. Artis Pabriks , Member of European ParliamentMr Steven J. Erlanger , Bureau Chief for The New York Times, BelgiumMs Elisabeth Bauer , Head of the KAS Office for the Baltic States and Nordic CountriesModerator: Mr Peter Sparding, Transatlantic Fellow, Europe Program, German Marshall Fund of the United States
- 13:30 - 15:00LUNCH BREAK: ARCTIC
The Arctic is experiencing a profound moment of transformation. Climate change has set a stage for the region to become an integral part of global affairs. It comes with both, great deal of opportunities, but with challenges as well. We have a promise of a positive economic benefit, but it should be sustainable and not endangering global climate. Today we see a genuine cooperation among the Arctic nations, but there are no clear cut international borders that will determine maritime, corporate and security patterns of the region. We have a common existential interest to protect the Arctic environment from deterioration, but processes perhaps are much deeper than ones associated with a human activity. In this very diverse mosaic of interests are we able to find a consensus on how to secure a change in the Arctic that is sustainable and friendly?
Amb. Andris Razāns , Ambassador – Director of the Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, LatviaMr Niklas Granholm , Deputy Head of Studies, Swedish Defence Research Agency, SwedenMs Elisabeth Bauer , Head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Office for the Baltic States and Nordic Countries, GermanyModerator: Amb. Jānis Eichmanis , former Ambassador to Permanent Representation to NATO of the Republic of Latvia
- 15:00 - 16:30CHALLENGES IN THE BALTIC SEA REGION
For more than two decades The Baltic Sea Region was an example of the successful removal of mental and physical borders and the creation of cooperative networks among communities, businesses, and states. Since 2014 the region has been challenged by geopolitical shifts, fragmentation tendencies, and increased military activities. What is the image of the Baltic Sea Region in these turbulent times? How is the region perceived from the European and Transatlantic perspectives? Which countries are ”in-siders” and which are “out-siders” of the region? What role can regional organizations play in balancing diverse interests of the stakeholders? Can the Baltic Sea Region expand beyond its geographical borders, embracing countries interested in closer cooperation with regional players?
Dr. Zanda Kalniņa – Lukaševica , Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, LatviaAmb. Ms Maira Mora , Director General of the Council of the Baltic Sea States SecretariatDr. Pavel K. Baev , Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), NorwayAmb. Philip Reeker, U.S. European Command Civilian Deputy and Political AdvisorDr. Kęstutis Paulauskas , Staff Officer at Defence Policy and Planning Division, NATOModerator: Dr. Žaneta Ozoliņa , Vice Chairman of Latvian Transatlantic Organisation, Professor of the Department of Political Science, University of Latvia
- 16:30 - 17:00COFFEE BREAK: CAN EU KEEP UP WITH THE WORLD PACE
While former global leaders are pushed to the second row, the European Union is facing its own tectonic power shifts. While dealing with Brexit, drafting of the next multiannual budget and dealing with other issues on the agenda, can the EU keep its place in the world power thermometer and still be as competitive as ever?
Dr. Daniela Schwarzer , Director, German Council on Foreign Relations, GermanyDr. Balkan Devlen , Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen, DenmarkModerator: Mr Vlad Vernygora , Lecturer at the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
- 17:00 - 18:30DETERRENCE BY RESILIENCE – ARE DEMOCRACIES PROACTIVE ENOUGH IN PROTECTING WESTERN VALUES?
Russia is investing heavily in developing its military capabilities. At the same time, Kremlin-sponsored campaigns are trying to influence and undermine democratic processes by exploiting vulnerabilities of Western democratic societies. How can democracies respond to these challenges and protect themselves without sacrificing values of freedom of speech and expression? Do Western societies believe strongly enough in their value system and are they willing to protect it? How should democratic governments balance military and non-military means to ensure deterrence by resilience?
Mr Jānis Garisons, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of LatviaThe Rt Hon Earl Howe, Minister of State for Defence, United KingdomMr Juri Luik , Minister of Defense of the Republic of EstoniaDr. Michael Waller , Vice President, Center for Security Policy, United StatesModerator: Prof. Dr Julian Lindley-French , Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft, London; Director of Europa Analytica, Netherlands; Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at National Defense University, Washington DC and Fellow at Canadian Global Affairs InstituteConcluding remarks: Mr Raimonds Bergmanis, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia
- 19:00 - 21:00GALA RECEPTIONHosted by Ms Elisabeth Bauer, Head of the KAS Office for the Baltic States and Nordic Countries.
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