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.
European Political Strategy Centre: TT27 Leadership Academy
© European Commission
Michael Zinkanell, AIES Research Fellow, participated at the TT27 Leadership Academy in Brussels from 19 to 22 of February 2019. Organised by the European Political Strategy Centre, the in-house think tank of the European Commission, the diverse programme aimed to establish a dynamic and EU-wide network of young experts, researchers, and leaders.
In total 27 representatives of European think tanks took part at the Leadership Academy, to jointly identify Europe's most pressing future challenges, resulting in the development of concrete recommendations and possible options for action. In this respect, multiple background discussions and meetings with high-ranking EU decision makers took place, such as with the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Secretary General of the European Commission Martin Selmayr, EU-Commissioner Johannes Hahn, and Deputy Director General of Council of the European Union Jim Cloos amongst others. The final report including the compiled recommendations as well as further information on the Leadership Academy can be found via the following link:
Interdisciplinary Technology Talks
Velina Tchakarova, AIES Institutsleiterin
On 21./22. February 2019, the AIES in close cooperation with the Amt für Rüstung und Wehrtechnik (ARWT) hosted the annual Interdisciplinary Technology Talks where professionals from the defence and military sector presented the most recent technologies developed for ballistic missile defence. The experts discussed the different system capabilities of the United States, Russia, China and Europe.
Georgia, the European Union and NATO
On February 26, 2019, the AIES organized a public event with the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze on 'Georgia, the European Union and NATO' at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien. Mr. Kobakhidze talked about Georgia's challenging regional environment, its domestic development as well as the relations with Russia and the country's aspirations to become a member of the EU and NATO.
The Aircraft Carrier and Global Military Domination in the 21st Century
On 14 February 2019, Dr. Nikolaus Scholik, AIES Senior Advisor, delivered a sophisticated presentation to an interested public as well as professionals from the defence and military sector on the importance of aircraft carriers in the 21st century's struggle for global military dominance at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien.
Dr. Fasslabend, AIES Director, opened the event with a brief introduction on the increasing geopolitical relevance of the Indo-Pacific region, followed by Dr. Scholik, who focused his lecture on comparing the United States' and China's maritime strategy. Analysing military capabilities and scrutinising strategic instruments used for projecting power was at the centre of the presentation, which was rounded off by an in-depth questions and answers session.
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, 2019, the AIES met with H.E. David Dondua, the Ambassador of Georgia. AIES President Werner Fasslabend, Head of Institute Velina Tchakarova and AIES Senior Advisor Nikolaus Scholik discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest with the Georgian Ambassador, and agreed on future cooperation.
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.