AIES 23rd European Forum
The AIES 23rd European Forum took place on November 8, 2019 at the Vienna School of International Studies and was organised together with the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and the Political Academy of the Austrian People's Party. The event was supported by the Vienna School of International Studies, the State of Lower Austria, the Federal Ministry for Defence, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs as well as the European Security and Defence College. The topic of the European Forum was "Europe's Role in the Face of Increasing Global Power Shifts" and the hall was fully occupied by more than 150 guests.
AIES-President Dr. Werner Fasslabend and the Director of the Vienna School of International Studies Ambassador Dr. Emil Brix pointed in their welcoming speeches towards the challenges of European security and invited the visitors to join the debate and develop new ideas about Europe's role in the international system.
The Federal Minister of Defence Thomas Starlinger provided an insistent warning about hybrid threats towards Austria and the EU, which can only be repelled comprehensively and within a system of international cooperation and coordination. Therefore, it is essential for Austria to engage more closely within the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the EU in order to ensure European prosperity and sovereignty together with EU-partners. As a result, an increase in military spending is essential and inevitable for Austria.
Karoline Edtstadler, Member of the European Parliament, condemned the rise of extremism and anti-Semitism in Europe and praised the increasing public interest in EU-politics. She demanded a return to basic European values and more reciprocal understanding between Europeans. The former speaker of the European Parliament and Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Dr. Hans-Gert Pöttering was pleased by the Austrian engagement in the CSDP and by its support for the accession of central and eastern European countries to the EU. The EU-Ambassador to Austria and former Secretary-General of the European Commission Dr. Martin Selmayr gave deep insights into the decision-making processes of the EU: over the last five years the EU has developed into a serious geopolitical actor, and Europe's main capabilities in foreign policy rely on the attractiveness of the European project and its internal coherence.
In the following panel Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, former EU Ambassador to China, Jamie Shea, Professor of Strategic Studies and former NATO Director, Jolyon Howorth, Visiting Professor Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center and Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director at Wilfried Martens Centre, discussed the EU strategy towards China and Russia as well as the future of the CSDP and NATO.
The Foreign Policy of the U.S. Administration under Donald Trump
Peter Rough, a political expert at the Hudson Institute, elaborated on November 21 on the invitation of the U.S. Embassy Vienna in front of a full audience on the Foreign Policy of the U.S. Administration under Donald Trump, with a special focus on the Middle East. AIES head Velina Tchakarova moderated the public event.
The Current State of EU-Russia Relations in Various Policy Areas
On 29 November 2019, the 3rd AIES-KFIBS Junior Conference for European and Security Policy researchers took place in Vienna. This year, the conference was held in cooperation with the office of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Vienna under the title 'The EU-Russia Relations in Various Policy Areas'. The speakers examined a variety of topics, including the economic relations between the EU and Russia, the security relations in the Arctic region and an overview of European expertise on Russia.
Since 2017, the AIES in cooperation with the Cologne Forum for International Relations and Security Policy (KFIBS e.V.), has been organizing annual conferences on current European policy topics, primarily aimed at young academics. This initiative has been led by AIES Research Fellow Sofia M. Satanakis.
AIES presentations during the International Security Policy Summit 2019
AIES Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova and AIES Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell held two lectures during the International Security Policy Summit 2019 in Vienna, organised by the World Youth Academy. While Velina Tchakarova presented global systems transformation, Michael Zinkanell focussed on the developments and challenges of the political EU-integration. After the presentations, the participating 25 young academics from various European countries and the United States had the opportunity to engage in an interactive debate with both AIES experts.
The AIES organised an ESDC-Training in cooperation with the AIT
Acting as a partner institute of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), the AIES organised an ESDC-Training together with the Austrian Institute for Technology (AIT) with the title "Infrastructures in the Context of Digitalisation". AIES Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell and AIES Senior Advisor Ruth Gursch-Adam attended the three-day training course. Developing preventive and reactive measures to enhance the security of critical infrastructures against cyber-attacks was the key topic during the interactive training course.
Annual EuroDefense Network-Meeting in Bucharest
AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend and Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell attended the annual EuroDefense Network-Meeting, which took place in Bucharest, Romania. The AIES acts as the Austrian partner institute of the EuroDefense-Network, represented by Dr. Fasslabend and Mr. Zinkanell who hold the Board positions. The EuroDefense-Network was founded in 1994 as a pan-European initiative to promote and enhance the public discourse on the European security and defence. The current developments in the field of the Common Security and Defence Policy as well as new security challenges posed by cyber-security were discussed during this year's network-meeting. The AIES will host the upcoming annual meeting, which will take place during the second half of 2020 in Vienna.
NATO at 70: Old Dilemmas, New Security Challenges
On the 22nd of October 2019, the International Affairs and Foreign Policy Institute, INCIPE in collaboration with the Economic Forum and with the sponsorship of the Spanish Ministry of Defence organized an international conference on 'NATO at 70: Old Dilemmas, New Security Challenges' in Madrid, Spain. The AIES was represented by Sofia Maria Satanakis who talked about Europe as the backbone of NATO.
Thinkers Night: Vienna and the Silk Road – a threat or a blessing?
Fotos: Fachhochschule des BFI Wien
What impact will the mega-project New Silk Road have on the Austrian? How is China influencing the Austrian economy and logistics through its infrastructure initiative?
These and more questions were discussed with top-ranking panelists at the last big Thinkers Night of this year.
- Keynote: Florian Krendl, Co-Founder of "Europe goes Silk Road
- Moderation: Bernd Vasari (Wiener Zeitung)
On the podium:
- Prof. Dr. Andreas Breinbauer, Rector of the FH of the BFI Vienna and Head of the Logistics and Transportation Management course at the FH of the BFI Vienna
- Thomas Kargl, Member of the Board, ÖBB Rail Cargo Austria
- Mag.a Marlies Stubits, MBA, MSc, Special Representative for International Financial Institutions, Austrian National Bank
- Velina Tchakarova, M.A., Director of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy
Discussion with students from Nanjing
The Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution Schaining (ASPR) recently organised an interactive discussion with Austrian experts and Chinese students from the University of Nanjing, in which Michael Zinkanell (AIES Research Fellow) participated.
During the academic exchange, the Austrian experts debated relevant topics of international politics and economy together with the students who came from the fields of political science, economics, and international relations. The strategic partnership between Austria and China as well as the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU were at the core of the discussions.
"Rethinking Security and Defence
Fotos & Text: LVAk / Ref Medien
On October 17, a panel discussion on "Rethinking Security and Defence" took place at the National Defence Academy on the occasion of the anniversary celebration "20 Years of the Institute for Peacebuilding and Conflict Management" (IFK). Moderated by Brigadier Walter Feichtinger, the panel discussion included Brigadier Philipp Eder, Head of the Military Strategy Department, Christoph Fälbl, cabaret artist and actor, Stefanie Haring, IFK-Alumna, journalist Friedrich Orter and Velina Tchakarova, Head of the Austria Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), who discussed current security issues and threats. The main topics were the subjective perception of security, the involvement of civil society in security-related issues, the interconnectedness of the international community, as well as the perception of wars and climate change.
AIES Fact-Finding-Mission China: Part III Shanghai
During their stay in Shanghai, the last destination of the 11-day long Fact-Finding-Mission to China, the academic exchange with universities was of main importance to Dr. Werner Fasslabend and Michael Zinkanell. During extensive discussions, with experts from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the Fudan University, and the Shanghai Institute for European Studies amongst others, special emphasis was put on the characteristics of the EU-China relations as well as the role of China in current geopolitical developments. Additionally, the delegation visited the mouth of the Yangtze river, which flows into the East China Sea in the north of Shanghai's centre, giving the city its particular geostrategic location.
Alpbach dialogue in Vienna
As part of the Alpbach Dialogues, AIES Institute Director Velina Tchakarova and Austrian military Brigadier Walter Feichtinger discussed possible future scenarios for Europe in a multi polar world between Russia, China and the United States. The debate was moderated by the editor of "The Diplomat", Franz Stefan Gady in a hall filled to the last chair in the Vienna Konzerthaus. Feichtinger outlined the military-technical and strategic trends of this decade and Tchakarova focused on the "real political" decision-making basis and different geopolitical perspectives. Both pleaded for strengthening the lately toothless Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
iSCAN Kick-Off Event
On October 15, 2019 the official launch of the International Security and Conflict Analysis Network (iSCAN) took place in Vienna.
AIES Research Fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis, introduced iSCAN as a new partner of the institute and Billy Batware and his team talked in depth about the origins and objectives of iSCAN.
Lecture on the Indo-Pacific Region
Dr. Nikolaus Scholik, Ullrich Tiedt, Regionalkreisvorsitzende der Clausewitz-Gesellschaft
Dr. Nikolaus Scholik, AIES Senior Advisor, presented the current geopolitical maritime developments with focus on the Asian region at the Clausewitz-Gesellschaft Hamburg.
The lecture entitled "The Indo-Pacific Region – The Hotspot of the 21st Century" encompassed the increasing geostrategic relevance of the maritime area spreading from the Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific and analysed the emerging political actors in the region. Questions concerning the leadership in the Indo-Pacific and the strategic interests of single stakeholders – all topics of great importance and actuality for global security – were scrutinised against this backdrop.
Visit to China: Part II Nanjing
Fotos © Peter Buchas
During the second research destination in China, the AIES team, consisting of Werner Fasslabend and Michael Zinkanell, led in-depth discussions in Nanjing with representatives from the University, including experts from the Institute of Global Governance. The main emphasis was laid on the current EU-China relations, in order to elaborating the complex political tensions as well as stressing the great potential for economic cooperation. As a result, the Chinese 17+1 Initiative and the Belt and Road Initiative were at the centre of the dialogues. Furthermore, the institutional background and academic expertise of the AIES were presented, focussing on the Think Tank structure, the analytical research activities, and the international network of the Institute.
ETNC Meeting in Den Haag
AIES Director Velina Tchakarova and AIES Associate Fellow Adam Urosevic participated in the European Think Tank Network on China's (ETNC) semi-annual meeting from 30.09 to 01.10 at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague, Netherlands.
The key focus of the two-day meeting were discussions on the upcoming 5th annual ETNC report. ETNC has published an annual report since 2015, reviewing the state of Europe-China relations focusing on one specific topic each year. Coinciding with the People's Republic of China's 70th anniversary, discussions ranged from Hong Kong and the social credit systems to EU member states' China strategies (or lack thereof) and national 5G debates.
Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia
AIES Associate Fellow Adam Urosevic attended the Bled Strategic Forum from the 30 August to 3 September 2019 in Ljubljana/Bled, Slovenia.
Lively discussions were held amongst participants and notable speakers primarily on the return of Geopolitics, though also on topics such as democratisation, the advancement of human rights, sustainable development, women's empowerment, counter-terrorism and addressing climate change. The "fireside chat" on governance issues in the Amazon rainforest with H.E. Ms María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, were widely considered a highlight of the Forum.
Adam Urosevic was further invited to moderate a working group that aimed at formulating policy recommendations on Cyber Security education, which were then presented to H.E. Dr. Jernej Pikalo, Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport.
Balkans Summer University in North Macedonia
AIES Associate Fellow Adam Urosevic was invited by the Centre International de Formation Europeenne (CIFE) to lecture at their Balkans Summer University, held from 9 to 14 September 2019 at the University St Kliment Ohridski in North Macedonia. The programme was attended by approximately 20 students from eight different European states.
Adam Urosevic held lectures on the challenges the European Commission faces in the Western Balkans' rule of law reforms as well as on the development of regional cooperation in the region. He further provided workshops for students on writing job applications and conducted their final exams. Other lectures covered topics such as multilateral economic and environmental governance and the role of technology in the Western Balkans' insurance market.
Visit to China
At the beginning of September 2019, AIES-President Dr. Werner Fasslabend and AIES Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell visited the People's Republic of China to conduct a fact-finding mission. There were several main objectives of the visit: to experience the rapid economical, political, military and social developments and to analyse China's international role as well as the EUChina relations. The visit was accompanied by Dr. Walter Feichtinger, director of the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management (IFK) at the National Defence Academy in Vienna, and by Chinaexpert Peter Buchas. During the eleven days trip to the three cities of Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai, the delegation met more than 55 persons in several discussion, workshops and presentations.
In Beijing a meeting with representatives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) took place to debate the backgrounds of political defined roles in international relations and impending sources of conflict in Central-Asia. Additionally, potential common projects were discussed. Furthermore, there were several intensive exchanges with Chinese think tanks, the Chinese National Defence University as well as a meeting with the Austrian Ambassador Friedrich Stift.
EU Training on CSDP in Ottawa, Canada
On the 24th of September, the EU Policy and Outreach Partnership in Canada organized a training on 'EU Security and Defense' at Global Affairs Canada HQ in Ottawa. AIES Research Fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis talked about the security policy architecture in Europe, the current state of affairs and the relations with NATO. The training was attended by GAC employees, officials from the Department of National Defence, Public Safety Canada, and the RCMP.
Why Fiscal and Monetary Policy are at a Dead End
On September 23rd, the AIES organized a public event with the title "No Exit: Why Fiscal and Monetary Policy are at a Dead End as Markets Hang in the Balance Implications for Europe" with the financial expert and bestseller-author James Rickards at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend emphasized the ongoing securitisation of financial and monetary policy in international relations. Jim Rickards offered an impressive analysis of the potential fatal flaws of our current global financial system and highlighted the crucial role of gold for the future. The event concluded with a Q&A-session moderated by AIES Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova and a reception and a book sales of Jim Rickards latest bestseller.
he Future of Transatlantic Relations
On September 20th 2019, the Austria Institute for European and Security Policy organized a public event on "The Future of Transatlantic Relations – Implications for the EU and NATO" in cooperation with Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies in Warsaw at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. The speakers on the panel were Mr. Stanley Sloan (Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States and Senior Fellow at AIES), Dorota Kafara (Regional Programme Manager, Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies in Warsaw, Poland) and Mr. Krševan Antun Dujmović (Research Fellow, Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb, Croatia). The panel was moderated by Dr. Werner Fasslabend (AIES President and Former Defense Minister of Austria).
The main issues debated on the event were the deepening gap between the transatlantic partners and possible approaches to solve those concerns. The role of the Trump administration was discussed as well as the commitment of the European allies. Additionally, Mr. Sloan presented several future scenarios on the future of NATO and a broad threat analysis to discuss several models of USleadership in the 21st century.
Eastern Partnership Summer School in Minsk
AIES Associate Fellow Adam Urosevic participated in the 2nd Eastern Partnership Summer School in Minsk, Belarus. Co-organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung's Belarus office and the Belarus National Academy of Sciences' History Institute, the Summer School brought 24 young professionals from the EaP states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) as well as from five EU member states (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and Poland) together.
From the 19th until the 23rd of August, the young professionals, along with prominent diplomats and Belarusian researchers, intensively discussed not only the mixed results of the first 10 years of the Eastern Partnership initiative, but also its future. Though agreement on the need and importance of the initiative prevailed, lively discussions were held on the tensions between a transformative value-based approach and a pragmatic security-based approach. Further thought was given to whether greater flexibility would come at the detriment of some EaP states (e.g. splitting the countries into an "EaP 3+3"). An entire day was dedicated to the "elephant in the room", Russia's relations to both the EU and the six EaP states. It was particularly interesting to note that debates frequently centered around China as much as Russia.
The EaP Summer School culminated in participants proposing concrete projects, which they had developed over the past four days, to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. These included proposals to increase EaP visibility in southern EU member states; launch an EaP strategic communication campaign centered around virtual personalities on social media; and the creation of a regional research network to foster independent China expertise.
How Europe works
In mid-September 2019 the Robert Schuman Institute together with the Robert Schuman Foundation and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung organized an Introductory Seminar on 'How Europe works' for young professionals in Priština, Kosovo.
AIES research fellow Sofia M. Satanakis, M.E.S. talked about the foreign and security policy architecture in Europe and the EU Accession and Enlargement Process.
The Belt and Road Initiative – Impacts on Southeast Asia and Central Eastern Europe
On 5 September, researchers from the Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS), the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) and Sinophone Borderlands - Interaction at the Edges (Research Project of the Palacký University Olomouc) met with a delegation from Zhejiang University, a top 3 ranked university in China. The meeting took place at the AIES in Vienna. Discussed were the impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Southeast Asia and Central Eastern Europe and possible cooperation between the institutions.
AIES’ contribution to the workshop “A New Player in International Peace Operations: China”
The AIES contributed to a workshop organised by the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management (IFK) titled "A New Player in International Peace Operations: China". The workshop, which took place at the National Defence Academy in Vienna in July, was organised as an initiative of the IFK Head of Institute Dr. Walter Feichtinger.
AIES Senior Advisor Dr. Nikolaus Scholik und AIES Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell presented their remarks focussing on the maritime security in the South China Sea and the European perspectives regarding China's contribution to international peace operations. Besides representatives from the Austrian Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, the interdisciplinary workshop was also attended by private research institutions and experts from academia. The discussion focused on how actors such as the UN, NATO, US, and the EU perceive China's increased involvement in peace operations and on China's overall strategy in this regard.
Budapest European Agora
AIES is exchanging thoughts and ideas on the future of Europe
In mid July 2019, AIES Researchers Michael Zinkanell and Adam Urosevic participated in the Budapest European Agora, a gathering where 130 young Europeans had the opportunity to exchange ideas and engage with European leaders.
Highlights from the four day Agora included a panel with former President of the European Commission and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, discussing the challenges and opportunities facing the European Union, as well as a workshop with Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Arancha Gonzalez, confronting the challenges of Europe's democratic future.
Other topics addressed within the Agora's many workshops, panels and debates included the future of data protection and energy policy in the EU, the challenges of diversity within the union, the shaping of a European public narrative, and economic inequalities within the European social model.
Youth discussions – European Climate and Security Policy
On 9 April 2019, Ponto, the Grassroots Think Tank on European and Foreign Policy, together with Vienna's International Debating Society organized a workshop for young Europeans at the Permanent Representation of the European Commission in Austria.
In the morning session the students had the opportunity to follow keynote speeches from AIES Research Fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis on European Security Policy and from Adriana Bascone and Ansgar Fellendorf on Climate Policy.
In the afternoon, the students were able to apply the newly acquired knowledge during a training session.
Meeting in Vienna
Velina Tchakarova, Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Vladimir Norov, Sherzod Asadov
In the beginning of July, Sherzod Asadov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Austria and Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) visited Dr. Werner Fasslabend at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy in Vienna. Together they discussed possibilities for cooperation between Europe, Central Asia and China on the issues of security and connectivity.
EU-India relations and the security situation in South Asia
On 2 July 2019, the AIES organized a public discussion about 'EU-India relations and the security situation in South Asia' with Britta Petersen (Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation) at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien. Ms. Petersen spoke, among other things, about the current government and India's ambitions, the most important milestones in its relationship with Europe as well as India's attitude towards China and Russia.
The Role of EU Law: Insights from Israel, Morocco and the Russian Federation
On the 26th of June 2019, the AIES together with the Vienna School of International Studies organized a panel discussion on 'The role of EU Law in shaping external relations and projecting normative power'.
The invited experts, Patrick Müller, professor of European Studies at the Vienna School of International Studies, Charles Anthony Shamas, Senior partner and co-founder of the MATTIN Group, and AIES Senior Advisor Nikolaus Scholik allowed an interesting debate on the role of EU law as a normative power, particularly reflecting on the policy of conditionality of the EU and whether the Union's normative power could counterbalance its lack of "hard power" compared to other global actors.
Europe Goes Silk Road
On the 3rd of June 2019, the AIES in collaboration with the University of Vienna, Department of History organized a panel discussion aiming to introduce the project «Europe goes Silk Road». More details under: https://www.europegoessilkroad.eu
As an honored guest, Bruno Maçães, former Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, delivered an interactive speech on the Eurasian concept, the effects of China's Belt and Road initiative for Europe and the importance of multicultural awareness.
International Security Policy Summit 2019
From 30 May to 1 June 2019, the World Youth Academy in cooperation with the AIES organized this year's International Security Policy Summit in Vienna.
AIES Research Fellows Sofia Maria Satanakis and Michael Zinkanell as well as Associate Fellow Lawrence Kettle held presentations regarding the various challenges for EU integration, including the current state of CSDP, European responses to cyber security and the ongoing Brexit debate.
ETNC Network Meeting in Greece
On the 13th and 14th of May 2019, the ETNC Network members were hosted by IIER (the Institute of International Economic Relations) in Athens for their half-year meeting to discuss the upcoming 5th annual report of the network. On May 15, ETNC members met the management of the Piraeus Port Authority and had a guided tour around the facilities. AIES was invited to present its candidacy for a membership and participated in all meetings.
EU and Eastern Europe
On May 8, 2019 the AIES organized an Expert-Workshop on the Eastern Partnership titled 'The Strategic Realignment of the EU policy towards Eastern Europe. The Association Agreements with Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.'
The invited experts, Hennadiy Maksak (Head of the Foreign Policy Council 'Ukrainian Prism'), Ukraine, Thornike Gordadze (Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po); French Institute of Higher National Defence Studies), France/Georgia, and Mihai Mogildea (Institute for European Policies and Reforms (IPRE)), Moldova, elaborated on the current developments regarding Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova and made recommendations considering the Association Agreements of the EU with the three countries.
Security related hotspots in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indo-Pacific area
AIES Associate Fellow Dr. Nikolaus Scholik, AIES Präsident Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Bgdr Dr. Walter Feichtinger und MSc Wolfgang Pusztai.
On May 20, 2019 the AIES organized a panel discussion regarding 'Security related hotspots in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indo-Pacific area' at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien.
The invited speakers, Walter Feichtinger, Wolfgang Pusztai and Nikolaus Scholik presented the most important crisis zones in the Middle East, North Africa and the Indo-Pacific area, entered into detailed discussions with the audience and thus provided a better overview of the current situation.
Challenges for Italy and Europe
Fotos: Diplomatische Akademie
On May 17th 2019, the AIES organized a public event with the former Foreign Minister of Italy and former Vice-President of the European Commission, Franco Frattini on the 'Challenges for Italy and Europe' at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien.
Mr. Frattini talked among others about the current political situation as well as the lack of strong leadership within the European Union, the development of the CSDP and Italy's evolvement since the creation of the EU. The migration problem and the rising populist forces in Europe were also mentioned.
AIES discusses the current developments in Sudan
Dr. Werner Fasslabend, AIES President, met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in Vienna, Mr Mirghani Abbaker Altayeb Bakhet, at a discussion organised together with the Austrian-Sudanese Association in April. Possible solutions to a peaceful development and positive future perspectives stood at the centre of the talks. For several years the AIES is intensively dealing with the developments in Sudan and directly participated at peace negotiations in the past.
Meeting with the Ambassador of South Sudan in Turkey
Last week Mr Majok Guandong, Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan in Ankara, visited Dr. Werner Fasslabend at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy in Vienna. Together they discussed the future and the current challenges for South Sudan. Additionally, a potential contribution from the AIES to the inner Sudanese peace process and the post-conflict reconstruction was elaborated.
Trends 2030 – Healthy growth for Europe. Findings from 15 years of eastward enlargement
Fotos © Alois Mock Institut
On April 25, Dr. Werner Fasslabend, AIES President, discussed the European developments of the last 15 years since the EU enlargement at a podium event organized by the Alois Mock Institute.
Werner Fasslabend stated that the EU eastward enlargement is proof that the immediate neighborhood is one of the most important factors for economic success. Even small and medium-sized companies can thrive well in nearby markets. As far as the enlargement policy towards the Western Balkans is concerned, stabilization of the Balkan countries is essential for long-term peace in the entire region. As a prospect for the future, Dr. Fasslabend would like to see more awareness for the situation in the Eastern European countries, which often have only a very short history as independent nation states and are thus faced with different political preconditions.
Populism and European Elections
Das Europäische Parlament in Straßburg. Foto: Pixabay
On 15 March 2019, a public discussion regarding populism and the forthcoming European elections took place at the European Commission Representation in Austria. EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, former vice-president of the European Parliament Ulrike Lunacek, Prof. Karin Priester from the university of Münster, Prof. Karl Aiginger from the Policy Crossover Centre: Vienna – Europe and AIES Research Fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis talked about the European Parliament and its development over the years, the rising populism in certain EU member states as well as the need for a new European strategy to secure the European peace project.
Visit to Pakistan
From March 25 to March 28, 2019 Dr. Werner Fasslabend, AIES President, visited Pakistan on a research trip where he met with several representatives from government, research institutes, and civil society initiatives.
Together with Dr. Walter Feichtinger, Head of the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management and Dr. Peter Haider, Head of the Universal Peace Federation Austria, Dr. Fasslabend was welcomed by local institutes – most notably the Islamabad Policy Research Institute and the Institute for Strategic Studies Islamabad. In addition to various formal and informal discussions in Islamabad, Dr. Fasslabend also visited the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir, where he gained exclusive insights on the local civilian and humanitarian situation.
North Macedonia – the Balkan Success Story
Fotos: Christian Fahrngruber
On March 11, 2019, the AIES together with the Austrian Ministry of Defence organized a panel discussion with H.E. Radmila Shekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia, at the National Defence Academy in Vienna. H.E. Radmila Shekerinska talked among others about the Agreement with Greece, the successful solution of the name dispute and presented important changes in her country over the last two years. She also talked about the regional situation in the Balkans with all its aspects and North Macedonia's accession to NATO.
Italy’s Role for European Security and Stability
On April 1, 2019, the AIES organized a public event with the former Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni, on 'Italy's Role for European Security and Stability' at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien.
Mr. Gentiloni talked among others about the current political situation in Italy, the country's ties with the European Union as well as the challenges the EU is facing nowadays. The migration problem and the upcoming elections for the European Parliament were also mentioned.
European Strategy: Deficits and Election Statements
Gebäude D4 der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien © BOAnet
On the 2nd of April 2019, the Department of Economics of the Vienna University of Economics and Business organized the Department-Café: a meeting of the department members which includes a keynote speech followed by a commentary and subsequent discussion. The idea behind this is a monthly exchange on current economic policy issues. This time, AIES Research Fellow Sofia M. Satanakis, M.E.S. and Prof. Karl Aiginger talked about the "European Strategy: Deficits and Election Statements". The main focus was on the European Parliament elections in May 2019 and how parties want to tackle the current challenges.
Round-Table Discussion with Ahmet Davutoğlu
On March 19th, 2019 the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) held a round-table discussion with Turkey's former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu on the topic of future EU-Turkey relations.
After a keynote speech by Dr. Davutoğlu, the participants exchanged their viewpoints in an open discussion. In addition to representatives from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, experts in the field of foreign and security policy as well as Austrian think tanks took part in the event. Topics such as migration, historical upheavals and their implications for the present, as well as the current political relations between the EU and Turkey, were focussed during the discussion.
Perspectives for Sustainable Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa
Together with the Universal Peace Federation and the permanent mission of Eritrea to the United Nations in Vienna, the AIES organised a conference on March 20, 2019, with the title "Perspectives for Sustainable Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa".
Dr. Werner Fasslabend, AIES President, initiated the discussion and emphasised the significance of the peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia. In addition to the AIES, various other international organisations were represented at the event, such as amongst others: the Horn of Africa Peace Initiative, Awethu Forum to promote African Unity in Diversity, United Nations Correspondents Association Vienna, Women's Federation for World Peace.
© US Embassy Vienna
On March 27, the CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Richard Fontaine discussed the "Transatlantic Partnership in an Era of Great Power Competition" at Amerika Haus. The discussion panel was moderated by AIES Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova and organised with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna. A wide range of issues were addressed such as the Great Powers Competition, the Trump Administration, the Transatlantic Relations and the Future of the Global Order to name a few.
China's Belt and Road Initiative
Sinophone is an academic project that introduces a new approach towards rising China. The approach is grounded in the dialogue between key regions bordering China. Sinophone organized an International Conference 'Economic and Strategic Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on Central Eastern Europe, Central and Southeast Asia: Similarities and Differences' between 20 and 21 of March at the Palacky University Olomouc in Czech Republic. The main aim of this two-day conference is to compare the economic and strategic impacts of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), introduced in 2013, on three different regions: Central Eastern Europe, Central and Southeast Asia. By comparing the Chinese strategies to promote and implement the BRI in these regions, similarities and distinctions of Beijing's BRI strategy towards different world regions will be highlighted. AIES Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova and AIES Research Fellow Livia Benkova take part in the project Sinophone with written contributions and Velina Tchakarova took part in the two-days conference in Olomouc. Following the conference, a public panel on 'China's Belt and Road Initiative – Impacts on Europe and Asia' took place with the participation of AIES President Werner Fasslabend and other high-ranking officials. The launch of a new think tank CEIAS (Central European Institute of Asian Studies) was announced based on the cooperation of three institutional partners – the Department of the Asian Studies at the Palacky University in Olomouc, the Institute of Asian Studies (IAS) in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) in Vienna, Austria.
Research trip to Vietnam
Dr. Werner Fasslabend, AIES President, and Dr. Nikolaus Scholik, AIES Senior Advisor, visited Vietnam as part of a research trip during the beginning of March 2019. The main focus of the trip was on discussing the geostrategic relevance of Vietnam as one central actor in the South China Sea.
Additionally, the trip enhanced the institutional exchange and the scientific cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy. The common ambitions were summarised in a Memorandum of Understanding, to formally establish a framework of future collaboration.