Meeting with Professor Li from Nanjing University
On the occasion of researching the structure and composition of Austrian Think Tanks, Professor Gang Li, Director of the Center of Chinese Think Tank Studies and Evolution at Nanjing University, visited the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy on 11 February 2019.
Dr. Fasslabend, Dr. Scholik, and Mr Zinkanell welcomed Professor Li at the AIES and together they engaged in a profound and constructive conversation on the Think Tank scenes in China and Austria and the role Think Tanks play in advising political processes.
22nd Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul
On 6 and 7 February 2019, the 22nd Eurasian Economic Summit, featuring high ranking officials from nearly 40 countries as well as representatives from various international organisations, took place in Istanbul. AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend participated at the conference and held a presentation on the current situation in the Middle East.
Vienna Process 2019: Russia and the EU
Organised by the International Centre for Advanced and Comparative EU-Russia Research Vienna (ICEUR) and the International Institute for Peace (IIP), the Vienna Process took place for the eighth time on 4 and 5 February 2019. Under the theme of "Russia and the EU: Dialogue through Business and Civil Society Channels" the chances and prospects of enhancing the EU-Russia relations through constructive dialogues were discussed. AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend and Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell joined the conference.
The annual 3C conference took place once again at the Peace Castle Schlaining on the subject of "Peace, Security, and Development" on 30 and 31 January 2019. Organised by the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, and the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution a fruitful discussion was enabled between the governmental representatives, civil society think-tanks, as well as non-governmental organisations in the field of development cooperation and peace building. Based on the 3C concept (coordination, complementarity, and coherence) topics such as the results of Austria's EU Council Presidency, the implementation of SDG 16, the relations between the EU and African countries, and projects in the area of peace and security were discussed in a whole-of-nation approach. The AIES was represented by Michael Zinkanell who attended the conference.
On the 12th of January 2019, Ponto - the Grassroots Think Tank on European and Foreign Policy – organized a workshop entitled 'Reviving Europe - young perspectives on EU-Policies'. In the context of this event the following topics were analyzed and discussed: EU foreign policy, digitalization as well as environment and climate policy. The primary aim was to draw up a catalogue of demands for each of these topics in order to make the expectations of young people visible in the European political discourse. AIES research fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis, M.E.S. took part as an expert for EU Foreign Policy.
Europe and Georgia
On January 29, AIES and the Georgian Ambassador David Dondua had an excellent meeting. AIES President Werner Fasslabend, Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova and AIES Senior Adviser Nikolaus Scholik discussed wide range of issues of mutual interest and agreed on future cooperation with the Georgian Ambassador.
Raisina Dialogue 2019
For the fourth time, the Raisina Dialogue was organised in New Delhi by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation in January 2019. The multilateral conference is committed to addressing the challenges posed by current and emerging global geo-political trends.
The president of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, Dr. Werner Fasslabend, participated in the Raisina Dialogue that featured international representatives from politics, businesses, as well as the media and civil society. For more Information about the Dialogue please visit the following website, where videos of the discussions and presentations can also be found:
The Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation at the AIES
On the 15th of January 2019, a group of young scholarship holders from the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation visited the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy as part of a three-day educational trip. The president of the Institute, Mr. Werner Fasslabend and AIES Research Fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis, M.E.S. talked about 'Security Policy in Europe: Current questions on national, supranational and international level' as well as the Austrian EU-Presidency 2018.
Training Course in cooperation with the World Youth Academy
Four Cases of EU's policies towards Security and Defense, Migration, the Southern and Eastern European Neighborhood
With this course AIES offered an insight and delivers an overview over the current and forthcoming processes and structures regarding the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and examines the EU's approach towards migration as well as towards its Southern (MENA Region) as well as Eastern Neighborhood (Eastern Europe).
At the end of the training course, participants will be able to identify the main features of the CSDP in the context of the recent developments in that field. Furthermore, they will be able to describe and demonstrate knowledge on the EU's approach towards migration. The participants will also be able to distinguish between and compare two different policy approaches of the EU in regional terms – in the Southern and Eastern European neighborhood. Finally, and most importantly, the participants will be able to evaluate critically the current trends and developments in the field of European foreign and security policy on the basis of the four blocs.
This seminar is suited for all those who are interested in entry-level basis of knowledge and expertise in the field of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, Common Security and Defence Policy, the EU's approach toward migration as well as the EU's policy towards the Southern and Eastern Neighborhood. Students of political science, international relations, European affairs, (military) history, (military) sociology, cultural- and social anthropology, and all others interested in the civil-military dimension of the topics. Neither technical knowledge, nor any other prior knowledge is necessary to participate in this training course.
Unity and disunity in wider Europe
On the initiative of the Austrian French Centre, several Austrian organizations, including the AIES, organized a public discussion (on October 29) and an expert workshop on the next day under the title: "Unity and disunity in wider Europe". In the public discussion with special attention to the EU policy in relation to the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership countries we tried to look at the disunity or rather disunities inside the EU and their effect on external policy. The focus was put on the importance of the countries of the Eastern Partnership (and the Western Balkans) for the EU.
The Neutrality of Austria and Switzerland
On 19 November 2018, the Embassy of Switzerland organized a panel discussion on 'The Neutrality of Austria and Switzerland' at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien. Among the invited speakers was also AIES Research Fellow Sofia M. Satanakis. The participants spoke about the relevance of neutrality in the age of globalization, the differences between Austria and Switzerland and a possible redefinition of the concept.
Understanding the Civil-Military Dimension of Cyberattacks
The "Understanding the Civil-Military Dimension of Cyberattacks" was hosted by the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), as a part of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union program, and took place in Vienna on 17-18 November 2018. The training was a pilot activity under the European Security and Defense College's education, training, evaluation and exercise (ETEE) platform. As such, the activity was under the official patronage of Her Excellency HR Frederica Mogherini.
Prior to the training, the participants had to complete two online modules and then be evaluated on their understanding of the studied materials in order to receive a certificate by the ESDC.
This Cyber Security Training Course analysed current and forthcoming cyber challenges and examined the preventive and consequential management measures currently being taken by the international community to minimize the impact of cyber challenges. It specifically focused on the civil-military dimension of cyber warfare.
The course was led by Shaun Riordan and Dr. Joris Van Bladel who focused on the role of diplomacy, the weaponization of knowledge, and the different national and organizational approaches in cyber space. A lot of emphasis was put on the role of this 5th domain and how it affects war, conflict and security. The future implications of Big Data collection, Machine Learning and AI were also discussed.
The EU as a leading actor for security and defence
On the 9th of November the AIES organized the 22nd European Forum at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien, together with the Political Academy as well as the Wilfried Martens Centre. The topic of this year's event was "The EU as a leading actor for security and defence".
The AIES president Dr. Werner Fasslabend opened the conference together with Ambassador Emil Brix, the Director of the Vienna School of International Studies. Following these introductory speeches, the floor was given to the former Federal Chancellor of Austria: Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel.
Dr. Schüssel reflected on the words of President Macron and Chancellor Merkel, who pointed out that the EU is facing one challenge with three heads: the US, China and Russia. In his opinion the world will experience multiple centres of power in the upcoming years, creating the need for the EU to create a credible and effective strategy. This will be necessary to ensure the core values of Europe: welfare, the pursuit of happiness, freedom and peace and stability.
General Major Johann Frank of the Ministry of Defence pointed out the security and defence policy priorities of the Austrian presidency. The importance was put on keeping the momentum of previous presidencies and to focus on the security of the European borders but also the Western Balkans. Gen. Frank elaborated on the risk of a failed security strategy and a Europe that cannot act.
After these two keynote speeches the first panel of the day started. Titled "New Dynamics for the EU Common Security and Defence Policy" Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, General Lt. Esa Pulkkinen, Director General of the European Union Military Staff as well as Geoffrey Van Orden, the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Special Committee on Terrorism gave their speeches and answered questions.
Jorge Domecq elaborated on the European issue of spending too much on personnel and not enough on innovation. As a consequence, the defence market in the EU is forced to turn to other markets. With the EU's Global Strategy steps were taken to enhance cooperation and create mechanism of funding.
GenLt Pulkkinen pointed out that the biggest concern of EU citizens is a perceived lack of security. As a result, the EU needs to strengthen its military capabilities as a whole, but it also needs to be understood that not all problems can be solved through military means. Regions like Africa will be of concern for the EU in the future and needs respective funding in order to be stabilized.
Geoffrey Van Orden made clear that BREXIT was a decision by the British people, which will be fulfilled by the UK government. Being critical of current developments in European Defence, he pointed out that Europe is already being defended successfully by NATO. Therefore, one must ask the question, why new instruments are needed. PESCO and similar initiatives will only create duplication and division.
The next keynote speech was held by H.E. Seyed Kamal Kharazi, the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations. Speaking about the EU, the US and the current sanctions of president Trump, he reflected on the changes in US policy, which sees globalization as a threat, the EU as a rival and targets the Iranian people with its new sanctions. H.E. Kharazi considers the Middle East as another challenge for the EU. When it comes to the US, he pointed out that formal meetings can only occur after the US administration has returned to the JCPOA.
The last panel discussion of the day was called "Southeastern Europe and its role for the EU stability". Radmila Shekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Macedonia, Igor Crnadak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Jadranka Joksimovic, Minister of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia followed the invitation of the AIES to speak on the matter.
Deputy Prime Minister Radmila Shekerinska talked about the Balkans as a region of conflicts and as such it must not be underestimated, when it comes to crises there. Adding to this, progress is not a given. Since stability is the root of success, democracy and market economy should go hand in hand. The Republic of Macedonia was able to make progress in terms of media freedom and also with neighbouring countries. In international matters NATO delivered more than the EU.
The capacity of the Balkans to produce trouble was also the topic of Minister Igor Crnadak's speech. After talking about the political difficulties and divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he pointed out that more sincerity and openness is needed, when it comes to regional cooperation, but also the EU. Clear criteria for the integration process are necessary and need to be applied accordingly. A uniting factor in BiH is becoming an EU member state.
Minister Jadranka Joksimovic made clear that the EU is quite capable of generating problems when it comes to the Balkans. A failure of the CSDP is the lacking enforcement of the agreements from the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. Since peace is crucial for the region and also the way to prosperity, Serbia needs to know it has credible and reliable partners. Serbian citizens are in favour of joining the EU and the country itself is doing better financially than some EU member states.
This year's 22nd European Forum attracted close to 200 people, with even more following online. You can watch the recordings of the conference online.
The Future of Transatlantic Relations
On October 1, 2018, AIES organised a public talk with AIES Associate Fellow Stanley Sloan on „The Future of Transatlantic Relations under the Trump Administration Implications for the EU and NATO“ at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien. Stanley Sloan talked about the US relations with the EU after Trump came to power as well as the consequences for the transatlantic relations.
Austria and the CSDP – External Border and Crisis Management in Europe’s Vicinity
On 27 June 2018, the AIES together with the Federal Ministry of Defence organized the inaugural event for the Austrian EU-Presidency entitled 'Austria and the CSDP – External border and crisis management in Europe's vicinity' in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
Wolfgang BAUMANN, Ivan KRASTEV, Markus TSCHANK, Sylvia HARTLEIF, Gertraud AUER BOREA D'OLMO, Caspar EINEM, Gudrun KRAMER, Wolfgang WOSOLSOBE and Werner FASSLABEND talked among others about the development and dynamic of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSDP) and its added value for Austria, the political development within the EU and the priorities of the Austrian EU-Presidency 2018.
Talking Europe: Austria's Role in Europe
On June 18, 2018, the Shabka Think Tank, in cooperation with the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy organized a three-part panel discussion "Talking Europe: Konferenz & Diskussion zur regionalen Rolle Österreichs in Europa" which took place at the Bruno Kreisky Forum in Vienna. The participants discussed the future of Austria's foreign policy with regard to Austria's EU Council Presidency and it's regional role in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Focus was laid on the topic of migration as well as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Conference has clearly shown that Austria will have to deal with various challenges during its Council Presidency.
Iran and the EU after the new US sanctions
On June 21, 2018, AIES organised a public talk with the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economy of Iran, H.E. Mohammad Khazaee, on „Iran and the EU after the new US sanctions - Consequences and Perspectives" at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.
Mohammad Khazaee talked about the relations with the EU after the US withdrawal from the Iran Deal as well as the possible consequences. He urged the EU to be more proactive, take an independent look on Iran despite the US sanctions and help to re-establish the trust and credibility of the international community so that Iran can meet its commitments.
Pakistan's New Role Between China and Europe
From left to right: Oberstleutnant Rai Kashif Amin, military secretary to President Sardar Masood Khan, Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Former Minister of Defence, President of the AIES, S.E. Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Kashmir, Brigadier Dr. Walter Feichtinger, Ambassador Dr. Herbert Traxl.
On May 30, AIES organized a round table with H.E. Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Kashmir on "Pakistan's New Role Between China and Europe. Opportunities and Challenges of China's Silk Road Projects" at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.
In combination with the public event Pakistan's New Role Between China and Europe the day before, a number of researchers and military officials were given the opportunity to discuss certain matters with his excellency Sardar Masood Khan. The topics ranged from Pakistan's neighbourhood in South Asia to the changing international Security Landscape. The guest speaker talked about the current developments and challenges regarding China's Belt and Road Initiative as well as the implications for Europe.
The Europe-China relationship
On May 28, AIES organized together with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) an international Expert-Workshop on "The new developments of the Europe-China relationship and tripartite cooperation in 16+1 Cooperation" in Vienna.
Dr. Werner FASSLABEND, Former Minister of Defence, President of the AIES, Dr. YANG Jian, Vice President, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) und Prof. XU Mingqi, President of Shanghai Institute of European Studies (SIES) talked about the recent developments in the bilateral relations between the EU and China as well as between China and the European countries that are part of the 16+1 Initiative. The participants also discussed the Austrian and the Western Balkans perspective, whereas experts from Austria and the region elaborated on the prospects and challenges in the bilateral relations.
Russia 'not trying to split EU', says Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking ahead of a visit to Austria, has said he does not want to divide the European Union. Statement by AIES Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova.
Watch the video here, statement starts at 1:00 min.
Prospects for European security autonomy
On 17 May 2018, the AIES together with the University Center for Peace Research organized an international symposium entitled 'Prospects for European security autonomy' in Vienna.
Prof. Gary Bittner, Bgdr Dr. Walter Feichtinger, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Vienna, Nerys Jones and AIES president Dr. Werner Fasslabend talked about Donald Trump's relations with Europe and Russia, the development of European Defense Policy and the expectations from the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) as well as the implications from Brexit.
Towards A New EU Defense Identity
Yordan Bozhilov (Sofia Security Forum), Anu Anguelov (former Minister of Defense, Bulgaria), Werner Fasslabend (former Minister of Defense, Austria, AIES), Ursula Von der Leyen (Minister of Defense of Germany), Lt General Esa Pulkkinen (EUMS), Thorsten Geissler (KAS). Photos: Sofia Security Forum.
On 4 May 2018, the AIES in close cooperation with the Sofia Security Forum, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies organized an international conference entitled 'Towards A New EU Defense Identity' in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The distinguished guests included the Minister of Defense of Germany, Ursula VON DER LEYEN, former Minister of Defense of Bulgaria, Anu ANGUELOV, the Director General of the EU Military Staff (EUMS), Lt. General Esa PULKKINEN, Ambassador Philip REEKER from the U.S. State Department, Deputy Chief of Defense in Bulgaria, Vice Admiral Emil EFTIMOV, the Minister of Defence of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Radmila SHEKERINSKA, Daniel FIOTT from the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), Sven BISCOP from the Egmont - Royal Institute for International Relations, Alessandro MARRONE from the Instituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Dick ZANDEE from Clingendael – the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, Professor Jolyon HOWORTH and the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, H.E. Rose GOTTEMOELLER.
Alessandro Marrone (IAI), H.E. Atanas Zapryanov (deputy Minister of Defense, Bulgaria), Dick Zandee (Clingendael), Sven Biscop (Egmont), Joris Van Bladel (AIES)
Botschafter Philip Reeker (US State Department), Vizeadmiral Emil Eftomov (deputy Chief of Defense, Bulgaria), Radmila Shekerinska (Minister of Defense, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Prof. Jolyon Howorth, Daniel Fiott (EUISS), Sofia Maria Satanakis (AIES)
During the conference many topics and issues were discussed, including the current state of European Defense, the expectations from the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the EU-NATO relationship and Europe's path towards 'strategic autonomy' as well as the future of the Western Balkan countries and their relationship with the European Union.
EU and Eastern Partnership
On 7 May 2018, the AIES hosted together with the Georgian Embassy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, a round table with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Vakhtang Makharoblishvili on 'EU and Eastern Partnership: Going Beyond Association?'.
H.E. Vakhtang Makharoblishvili talked about the development of Georgia, the relations with the European Union regarding the Association Agreement and DCFTA as well as future expectations for the region.
ASEAN: The Strategic and Economic Importance of South East Asia
On 17 April 2018, the AIES hosted together with the Political Academy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, a panel discussion on 'ASEAN: The Strategic and Economic Importance of South East Asia'.
H.E. Songsak Saicheua, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand and H.E. Ganeson Sivagurunathan, Ambassador of Malaysia, together with Professor Alfred Gerstl, Klaus Wölfer (Austrian Ambassador to Indonesia 2007-2011) and Gabriele Meon-Tschürtz (Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Head of Asia and Pacific Division) talked about the development of ASEAN, the relations with China, the US and the European Union as well as future expectations for the region.
Bulgaria's priorities during the EU-Presidency 2018
On 16 March 2018, the AIES hosted together with the Sofia Security Forum and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, a talk with H.E. Lilyana Pavlova, minister of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, on 'Bulgaria's priorities during the EU-Presidency 2018'.
Lilyana Pavlova talked among others about the need for more security and stability in a strong and united Europe as well as ensuring a better future for the European youth. She also identified the digital economy as a key priority for Bulgaria along with assuring a European perspective for the Western Balkan countries.
Donald Trump and the New Politics of Class
On 12 March 2018, the AIES together with the US Embassy in Vienna hosted a discussion with Michael Lind, Visiting Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, on "Donald Trump and the New Politics of Class".
The election of Donald Trump is an illustration of a political realignment taking part in both the United States and Europe. The underlying causes are economic--the polarization of the post-industrial workforce--and demographic--the combination of low native fertility with high levels of immigration. The result is a new politics of class in which the traditional left-right divide has lost its meaning, replaced by new divisions: populism versus elitism and nationalism versus globalism.
Training in Brussels
Together with the European Security and Defene College (ESDC), the AIES conducted a pre-deployment training for future CSDP missions and operations personnel in Brussels.
Syria and the Middle East
Together with the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management (IFK) from the National Defence Academy Vienna, the Diplomatic Academy Vienna as well as the Political Academy, the AIES jointly organized an Expert Talk to Syria and the Middle East on the 1 March 2018.
Dr. Gudrun Harrer (derStandard), Dr. Arian Faal (Wiener Zeitung), Bgd Dr. Walter Feichtinger and Mag. Jasmina Rupp (both from the IFK) discussed the current situation in Syria on a joint panel under the moderation of Dr. Fasslabend (AIES). Whereas Ms Harrer and Mr. Faal focused on the political dimension of the conflict, Bgdr Feichtinger and Ms Rupp explained the military aspects.
After additional remarks of Dr. Fasslabend the audience had the opportunity to ask questions to the experts on the panel.
Interdisciplinary Technology Talks 2018
On the 22./23.02.2018 the AIES organized the Interdisciplinary Technology Talks, in close cooperation with the Amt für Rüstung und Wehrtechnik (ARWT). This was the third time the Institute was part of this setting.
During this informal talks European experts, researchers and representatives of the military could exchange their knowledge about current issues regarding global geopolitics and technology. The topics touched North Korea, the current US-Administration under Donald Trump as well as the MENA Region.
The European Union, the Eastern partner countries and Russia
On 7 February 2018, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna – Vienna School of International Studies, the European Commission Representation in Austria as well as the AIES, hosted a panel discussion on "The European Union, the Eastern partner countries and Russia". Ambassador Markus Ederer, Head of the EU-Delegation in Russia, Ambassador Janos Herman, Head of the EU-Delegation in Georgia, and Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU-Delegation in Ukraine, analysed the actual developments as well as challenges and perspectives for the relationship between the EU, the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. The event was moderated by Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting, Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at the European External Action Service in Brussels.
Afghanistan’s future and developments within the wider region
On 11 January 2018, the AIES hosted together with the Political Academy, the Wilfried Martens Centre and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna a talk with H.E. Hamid Karzai, former President of Afghanistan, on 'Afghanistan's future and developments within the wider region'.
Hamid Karzai talked about Afghanistan's geopolitical position, the relations with the United States, Russia and Pakistan, as well as migration and the threat of extremism. He urged Europe to be more proactive, take an independent look on Afghanistan and help to re-establish peace within the country.
Towards a European Security and Defence Union
On 10 November 2017 the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) hosted its 21st European Forum entitled "Towards a European Security and Defence Union" at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna which was chaired by AIES President and former Austrian Minister of Defence, Werner Fasslabend.
The Forum was opened by the Austrian Vice-Chancellor Wolfgang Brandstetter who stressed the need for common European solutions to the current set of challenges the EU and its member states are facing.
David McAllister, Chairman of AFET in the EP, underlined that the developments of CSDP during the last 13-14 months have been more significant than in all the years before. He welcomed the decision on the European Defence Fund which will help EU member states to cooperate within CSDP and on the signing of PESCO at the week to come.
Michèle Alliot-Marie, MEP and former French Foreign and Defence Minister, pointed out that the EU is at the beginning of a new stage in the field of security and defence, but stressed also the complementarity between EU and NATO.
The Slovak Secretary of State for Defence, Ròbert Ondrejcsak, stressed that the EU must become autonomous in the field of defence but should cooperate with NATO whenever possible. A strengthening of European defence is not only benefiting the members, but also Europe's partners.
The former Foreign Minister and now President of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations of Iran, Seyyed Kamal Kharrazi addressed in his remarks Iran's role in the Middle East and highlighted the need for close and good relations with the EU.
In the forefront of the EU-Africa Summit, the Representative of the AU to the EU, Ambassador Bramdeo stressed that security in Africa and Europe is interdependent, but the lenses that are used do differ. He pointed out that most threats in Africa arise from poverty, poor governance, climate change and violent conflicts, resulting in migration.
The Forum was attended by more than 180 participants.
The Situation in South Sudan
On 25 August 2017, Right Reverend Edward Hiiboro Kussala, Catholic bishop of Tombura-Yambio diocese in South Sudan and President of the Joint Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference spoke about the actual situation and developments in South Sudan in general and the role of the catholic church in particular. He underlined the good relations with Austria and asked for continuing the Austrian efforts to help to overcome the difficult situation in his country.
A Visit from Shanghai
On 8 June, the AIES hosted a delegation of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), led by President Dongxiao CHEN, to discuss current issues in Europe and China and to also identify possibilities of enhanced cooperation among the institutes.
The UN Collective Security System
On 1 June 2017, the AIES together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted the Ernst Sucharipa Memorial Lecture. This time, Larry D. Johnson, Former Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs in the United Nations held a speech regarding 'The UN Collective Security System: Wishful thinking?'.
India – the Future of a Giant
On 22 May 2017, the AIES hosted a talk with Samir Saran, Vice-President of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) on the topic „India – the Future of a Giant" at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
European Security Policy
On 5 May 2017, the AIES together with the Diplomatic Academy and the Political Academy hosted the traditional Europa Matinee. This year the focus was on "European Security Policy – Do we need an EU Army?" Representatives of all parties that are elected to the European Parliament debated on the future of CFSP and CSDP.
The future of the European Union
On 5 May 2017, the AIES together with the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, the Austrian-Croatian Society and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted a talk regarding 'The future of the European Union'.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, spoke about the current developments within his country as well as the political tendencies in the remaining EU27 and the future perspectives for the European Union.
The United States, Europe, and the Middle East in the new political era
On 24 April 2017, the AIES together with the American Jewish Committee, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the ÖGAVN organized a talk regarding 'The United States, Europe, and the Middle East in the new political era' in the Diplomatic Academy.
David Harris, the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee talked among others, about the current political developments and trends in the United States and Europe as well as the situation in the Middle East and the relationships between those three.
Security in Europe
At the occasion of the President's Council of the EuroDefense Network, the AIES organised a public event on the topic of "Security in Europe" on 31 March 2017 at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. The event was opened by a key note of Hans-Peter Doskozil, Federal Minister of Defence and Sports. It was followed by a panel discussion on the future of the Common Security and Defence Policy. Panelists included the Secretary of State for European Affairs of Slovakia, Ivan Korcok, the former Polish Minister of Defence, Bogdan Klich, General Jean-Paul Perruche, former DGEUMS as well as Dr. Reinhard Meier-Walser from Hanns-Seidel-Stifung.
On 6 April 2017, the AIES together with the US Embassy in Vienna hosted an event on “The Outlook on Transatlantic Relations” at the America-House in Vienna. Panelists included Stanley R. Sloan, Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United States and Senior Fellow at the AIES, Jan Surotchak, Director of the Europe Programme of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Elisabeth Christen of WIFO Wien.
IECEU: Improving the Effectiveness of EU Capabilities in Conflict Prevention
On 27 March 2017, the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), together with the European Security and Defence College, organised a policy dialogue within the Horizon 2020 project 'Improving the Effectiveness of EU Capabilities in Conflict Prevention' (IECEU) at the premises of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) in Brussels.
The policy dialogue was held in order to test the results of the research conducted and to provide recommendations at the policy level. It focused mainly on the topics of interoperability and civil-military interface. Conclusions aiming at improving the effectiveness of CSDP missions and operations were drawn in those two fields. The stakeholders pointed out that military and civilian personnel involved in CSDP missions and operations do not share the same views on what interoperability should or should not be, and that the proliferation of actors, but especially of tasks expected of the EU, influences the need for interoperability in CSDP.
Potentials for improvement of the civil-military interface were presented on a scale from the most to the least politically feasible options. Stakeholders gave their feedback and opinions especially regarding the viability of potentials for improvement, focusing on the levels of ambition we want to have and the goals we wish to achieve when talking about civil-military interface. A further point of discussion was also pinpointed: do we need an integrated mission, or do we just need an excellent usage of the tools that are provided for the civil-military interface?
Georgia’s Peace Policy Vision: Reconciliation and Engagement
On 14 March 2017, the AIES together with the Embassy of Georgia, the Diplomatic Academy and the Political Academy of the ÖVP hosted a public event with the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia, Mrs. Ketevan TSIKHELASHVILI regarding 'Georgia's Peace Policy Vision: Reconciliation and Engagement'.
Mrs. Tsikhelashvili addressed the current state of affairs in Georgia and talked about the political priorities of the Georgian government, the relations with the European Union as well as Russia and the frozen conflicts of Abkhazia and South-Ossetia.
Armenia’s Unique Path: Challenges And Opportunities
On 1 March 2017, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Austria and Armenia, the AIES together with the Embassy of Armenia organized a talk in the Austrian Parliament regarding 'Armenia's unique path: Challenges and Opportunities'. Mr. Tevan E. POGHOSYAN, member of the National Assembly of Armenia, talked about Armenia's current political situation as well as the country's relations with the European Union, NATO and Russia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina on the European Path
On 25 January 2017, the AIES co-hosted together with the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the IDM Vienna a talk with H.E. Igor Crnadak, Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the topic “Bosnia and Herzegovina on the European Path - Expectations and Challenges” in which he addressed the current state of affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the perspectives and challenges related to European integration.
Strategies and Balance of Power in the South China Sea
On 18 January 2017 the AIES organised in cooperation with the Diplomatic Academy a panel discussion on the „Strategies and Balance of Power in the South China Sea “. AIES President Werner Fasslabend, Alfred Gerstl and Nikolaus Scholik talked about the global importance of the South China Sea, China’s New Silk Road and its economic and power-political orientation as well as the tensions with India and the China-US relations.
The future of US Foreign Policy under President Trump
On January 11, 2017 the AIES together with the Political Academy organized a public event regarding ‘The future of US Foreign Policy under President Trump’. The panelists Jan Techau (Direcor Richard Holbrooke-Forum, American Academy in Berlin), Jan Surotchak (International Republican Institute), Hans-Peter Manz (former Austrian Ambassador in Washington) und Helene von Damm (former US Ambassador in Austria) among others talked about the personality of Donald Trump and the possible course of action during his term of office. The focus laid particularly on the future relations of the United States with Russia, China and Iran and the possible security implications for Europe as well as the danger of a significant reduction of trust towards the US.
20. European Forum - Strategic Challenges for Europe
On 11 November 2016, the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) organized together with the Political Academy and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the traditional European Forum entitled ‘Strategic Challenges for Europe’ in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
After a brief welcome address by AIES president Werner Fasslabend, the Forum was opened by H.E. Miroslav Lajčák, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Slovakia who talked about the current internal and external challenges for Europe. He was followed by former Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, focusing on the development and problematics of the CSDP and Francois Heisbourg who laid emphasis on the new global strategy of the EU. The Austrian Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Sobotka and President Heinz Fischer focused on migration as a security and political challenge for Europe and the views of Austria regarding European security policy respectively.
In the second part of the Forum Janis Karlsbergs talked about the CSDP future perspectives and Sven Biscop focused on the need for an EU Whitebook on defense. This year’s European Forum came to an end with the President of the Marmara Foundation, Akkan Suver and the former Secretary of Defense of Pakistan, General Yasin Malik Asif who spoke about the current strategic challenges in Europe’s neighborhood.
20 years after the Dayton Peace Agreements
On 27 October 2016, the Austrian Institute together with the Royal Higher Institute of Defense (RHID) of the Ministry of Defence of Belgium co-organised an event on the topic “More than 20 years after the Dayton Peace Agreements - The Political, Institutional, societal and security framework for Bosnia and Herzegovina” at the premises of the RHID in Brussels. The eminent speakers included the former Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, the former Minister of Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selmo Cikotic as well as the Director General of the RHID, Colonel Guido Maene and the President of the AIES, Werner Fasslabend. At this occasion also a Cooperation Agreement between the RHID and the AIES was signed.
Iran after the Agreement: Hopes and Concerns
On 28. September 2016, the AIES together with the Political Academy of the ÖVP and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna were honoured to host H.E. Ali Akbar Salehi, Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran and former Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who spoke about “Iran after the Agreement; hopes and concerns”. Minister Salehi talked about the European perception of Iran, the need to rebuild trust, as well as the implementation of the Nuclear Deal and the relationship with the United States of America.