Discover our agenda

Thursday 08 October

  • TURKEY’S ROLE IN REGIONAL AND GLOBAL SECURITY

    In recent memory, it is hard to identify a time that was filled with as many global challenges as of today. Climate crisis, mass migration, the return of great power competition, the resurgence of the geopolitical contest, Covid-19 pandemic defy all actors as well as the rules-based international order. In this complex world of multiple crises, Turkey, a NATO and G20 member as well as an EU candidate, identified its foreign policy as enterprising and humanitarian and emerged as a pivotal anchor in a volatile neighbourhood. Where does Turkey see NATO’s role evolving against the backdrop of the NATO 2030 agenda? How can Turkey and EU member states pursue an honest dialogue to overcome differences and return to a robust membership course? How can the full potential of Turkish-EU cooperation be unleashed? 

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • VISEGRAD COOPERATION, A PLEDGE FOR NEXT DECADE

    9th June 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the International Visegrad Fund, set up to promote regional cooperation in Central Europe and between the V4 and other countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of positive neighbourhood and cross-border relations, with Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Austria working together by choice as much as by necessity. Can this close cooperation maintain its momentum and strengthen Visegrad cooperation in long-term? In what ways can the V4 countries cooperate to ensure that the post-pandemic recovery period benefits the region in monetary as well as structural areas? And what needs to be done to firmly embed the V4 perspective into policymaking on the EU level, on European and global matters?

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • THE COMING CONVERGENCE: TECHNOLOGICAL CONNECTIVITY AND SECURITY ADVANTAGES

    Emerging technological innovations within today’s most cutting-edge research and development programs are changing the landscape of warfare. New avenues to wage war, in-theatre and online, through quantum computing and an arsenal of super-weapons are altering the distribution of military power and the subsequent ordering of international relations. Consequently, the impact of this convergence on soldiers, strategies, policies, procurement, industry, as well as operations cannot be understated. As operational domains and their accompanying challenges continue to evolve, building standardized rules of engagement and credible de-escalation mechanisms will be imperative for avoiding mutually assured destruction and ensuring a stable security architecture. How should international governance structures approach the regulation and oversight of new technologies per the existing international Laws of Armed Conflict? What role will supercomputers like IBM’s Summit play in developing vaccines during a pandemic or AI-targeted algorithms during a conflict? What risks to stability are posed by the monopolization of certain super-technologies like nanotechnology? What will update de-escalation mechanisms to ensure strategic stability in the event of a tit for tat escalation?

    Habsburg
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • A Stronger Europe in the World – one of the top priorities of the Von der Leyen Commission. How will this agenda play out after the COVID-19 crisis? The Commission’s manifesto also pledged to promote “responsible global leadership” – a duty that seems to be widely ignored by other influencers of the rules-based international order, including the US and China. Has the time come for Europe to become a truly global leader? For some time now, the EU has worked to expand its influence beyond European borders. Despite the EU’s lofty goals and continued efforts, it is often criticized for being slow, ineffective, and compromised with regard to its international actions. Will this change as the EU faces the largest crisis since its creation? What are the building blocks of the European way of leadership? What will be the legacy of the German Council presidency, and how might this contribute to the EU’s growing international role? Will the EU live up to the expectations of global onlookers and address the far-reaching risks that have been created and exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • FINDING A TREATMENT FOR OUR AILING GLOBAL ECONOMY

    After a decade of arduous economic recovery, the global economy has been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting global value chains and paralyzing trade. There were plenty of warning signs prior to the pandemic. In the domestic arena, corporate and sovereign debt levels soared while manufacturing stagnated. On the international level, protectionism, trade wars, unresolved WTO disputes, and a worldwide inward turn to nationalism posed serious risks and demonstrated the potential for reversing decades of progress. The pandemic did not merely shutter businesses, paralyze supply chains, and stall trade. It also exacerbated pre-existing weaknesses, setting the stage for one of the worst economic collapses in modern history. While policymakers have responded swiftly, including taking radical measures to help prevent the total crumbling of the global economy, their efforts can only be sustained for so long and also give rise to a host of new challenges. What can be done to re-energize the global economy, including managing skyrocketing debt levels? What lessons does the pandemic offer for future preparedness and resilience of the global economy, and how does it inform the design of international supply chains? In times when turning inwards and the notion of strategic sovereignty have gained prominence as risk-mitigating strategies, how can free trade become a part of the solution again?

    Habsburg
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • A CONVERSATION WITH H.E STEVO PENDAROVSKI, PRESIDENT OF NORTH MACEDONIA

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • Opening the EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia while many European countries remained in lockdown exhibited positive messaging on two fronts: it appeased the effected countries and demonstrated to the world that the EU did not pause completely, even during unprecedented times of adversity. The crisis underlined the region’s vulnerability to influence from other global powers and exposed the fragility of regional political systems. For Ukraine, which has been resisting military aggression from the Russian Federation (including the occupation of Crimea) while simultaneously enduring difficult a domestic transformation, the threat of the novel coronavirus has proven extremely challenging. Could this crisis be used by the Ukrainian national government to regain citizens’ trust, or will it further deepen political polarization? How can the EU contribute to strengthening the region’s resilience, and what regional measures are necessary in order to meet the EU halfway?

    Maria Theresia
    -


    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • Our personal data is being mined for economic gain by private companies, which raises questions about who owns it and what they can do with it. Simultaneously, data is increasingly being viewed as a resource for states seeking an economic and strategic advantage over their rivals. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently asserted that it is time for Europe to wrestle control of European data from their US and Asian counterparts. German Minister, Peter Altmaier, is spearheading GAIA-X as a way to counterbalance what he views as strategic and economic advantages derived from Chinese and US companies owning the most considerable portion of cloud services in the world. As data enters the great power competition domain, how can we balance a state’s legitimate economic and security concerns without sacrificing the free flow of cross-border data channels? What impact will the new scramble for data have on existing trade and geo-economic conflicts? Should Europe’s ambitions go beyond data sovereignty towards AI sovereignty*?

    * AI sovereignty = access to the most advanced AI-enabling technologies and data on a global level, applied according to European rules and values, without being dependent on foreign actors

    Habsburg
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • DEMOCRATIC TRANSFORMATION OF BELARUS

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • THE POST-PANDEMIC GLOBAL (DIS)ORDER - ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF POWER PLAYERS

    At present there appear to be at least two competing global systems that threaten to split the world in two: the rules-based liberal order and the state-led capitalist model put forth by China. This split revealed itself in the lack of a coordinated global response to COVID-19. Rather than harness the power of international cooperation, nation-states have used the crisis to further their geopolitical ambitions causing a further divide among global powers. The distribution of global power and the way it is projected has long changed. Will the U.S. power continue to decline? How does China manifest its global ambition and how will it change the world? Can the EU develop a power centre that is distinct from both the U.S. and China? What role can other countries play?  What responsibilities come with global power?

    Habsburg
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • The role and strength of cities in the 21st century not only relates to economic opportunity and prosperity but, increasingly, these issues are an expression of democratic values. The attitudes and voting preferences of those living in modern cities prove the trend. According GLOBSEC research, people in the capitals of Czechia, Hungary, and Slovakia prefer liberal democracy to autocracy more than in other regions. In December 2019, the V4 Mayors, all elected as advocates for progressive politics and liberal democracy principles, formed a progressive value-based Pact of Free Cities. Among other goals, this alliance argues for more direct funding for cities to increase efficiency and progress in climate action and innovation, policy areas that often remain stuck amid debates within national governments. What are the goals and objectives of the Free Cities Pact, and how will they be accomplished? Can they pave the way for more robust national policies? Will the ‘value gap’ between urban and rural areas continue to persist? How can mayors capitalize on support from citizens for climate action and environmental protection?

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • ALL HANDS ON DECK: MAXIMIZING SECURITY COOPERATION BETWEEN NATO AND EU

    No matter the will or resources of a single national government, managing challenges of today’s international landscape is a task best served through allies and partnerships. A combination of traditional and non-traditional security threats is forcing nations to reconsider existing military doctrine and emergency protocols to overcome these threats to ensure future security and prosperity. From offsetting the damages of climate change to capturing the potential of revolutionary technology and creating new arms control regimes to ensuring superior resiliency in the face of health challenges, multinational inputs and multilateral frameworks is the solution to safeguard democratic societies and preserve global stability.  How can NATO and the EU work together better to maximize their respective competitive advantages? What steps need to be taken inside the Berlaymont to establish a credible military Schengen zone?  What role or in what platform can Washington play in bridging the technological gap between North American and Europe? What is the appetite of leaders to create a transatlantic climate security task force to build early-warning systems and emergency response mechanisms?

    Maria Theresia
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken to protect citizens have intensified the growing trend of “my country first,” multilateralism second. While border closures and restrictive security measures have quickly become the priority over joint solutions and coordinated action, governments enjoy increased trust from citizens. In democracies with vulnerable institutions or in those that displayed illiberal tendencies prior to the crisis, such power intensification can be an easy accelerator on the path towards further estrangement from the very founding principles of liberal democracy – notably the rule of law and equal protection of rights and freedoms. At the same time, the trend of de-liberalisation should be recognised as voters keep repeatedly choosing the conservative, nationalist, or populist leaders. Is this trend a natural expression of a need for change or a threat to democracy as we know it? How should international institutions react to such developments in their member states? Will this have any effect on transatlantic cooperation? What impact will social media have on democracy?

    Habsburg
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    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast
  • CLOSING REMARKS

    Maria Theresia
    -


    Grand Hotel River Park
    Live broadcast