Hybrid Threats and Disinformation

AIES Moderation at the Paris Cyber Summit



Network Meeting and Conference in Paris from 19 to 21 May 2022


Russia's situation and challenges

Discussion in Vienna with Vladimir Milov, former Deputy Energy Minister of Russia


Global Security and Nuclear Weapons

AIES Event with Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei


Is Austria facing a blackout?

AIES Talk with Herbert Saurugg


Visit of the Delegation of the Marmara Group Foundation

Presentation 25. Eurasian Economic Summit


The War in Ukraine and its Consequences

AIES Event In Vienna


Strategic Consequences of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

AIES online panel with Anders Åslund and Martin Sajdik


Ukraine: Under Russian Aggression

AIES Talk with Borys Tarasyuk, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine


Afghanistan – Present situation and Outlook

AIES Talk with Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Afghanistan


The Indo-Pacific: The World‘s New Centre of Gravity

Panel discussion in Vienna


Young Leaders Programme Vienna

Visiting the AIES


Talk with Botschafter Elshad Isgandarov

Visit from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan


Talk with Peter Hefele

Visit from the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies


Strategic Review on Global Hotspots

AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend discussed strategic challenges in global hotspots for 2022 with seven guest speakers.


Celebration of Republic Day of India 2022

Visit at the AIES


Challenges of Europe 2022

AIES Event with Dr. Martin Selmayr


Iran Nuclear Deal: Obstacles and Opportunities

AIES Talk with Dr. Arian Hamidi Faal


Security Challenges at the Horn of Africa

AIES Talk with Zakaria Haji Abdi


Quo Vadis Bosnia und Herzegowina?

Online discussion with UN High Representative Christian Schmidt


The Future of European Security and Defence Policy

25th European Forum of the AIES on November 5, 2021


How does Europe remain an economic power?

AIES Talk with Dr. Christoph Leitl, President of the European Economic Chamber


AIES Talk – The Euro Between Dollar and Renminbi


On October 19, 2021, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend welcomed the Governor of the Austrian Central Bank, Prof. Dr. Robert Holzmann, for a discussion on "The Euro between Dollar and Renminbi". Discussed were the effects of the Covid crisis on the financial market and the economy, the importance of the dollar as a reserve currency was elaborated, but also the increasing significance of the euro. Finally, the Evergrande crisis in China and the impact this may have on Europe were examined, but also what the future of cash and cryptocurrencies looks like.

Watch the talk here.


AUKUS: Resetting the European Thinking on Indo-Pacific?

On October 13, 2021, AIES Director Velina Tchakarova participated in the ISDP Webinar on AUKUS: Resetting the European Thinking on Indo-Pacific?. The webinar aimed at analysing the significance of the AUKUS and its strategic fallout, and draw the future implications for Europe and the region at large.

You can watch the webinar here.


AUKUS: Resetting European Thinking on the Indo-Pacific? Edited by Niklas Swanström Jagannath Panda, Special Paper October 2021, Institue for Security & Development Policy. With a contribution by Velina Tchakarova.



Upheavals in Europe

On October 13 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Dr. Ursula Plassnik, who served as Austria's Foreign Minister from October 2004 to December 2008, to discuss the topic of "Upheavals in Europe." Topics of the discussion included the resignation of Sebastian Kurz as Austrian Chancellor, the possible consequences of this step, as well as the federal elections in Germany and potential government coalitions in Berlin.

Watch the AIES Talk (in German) here.


AIES Talk – Turkey's Great Power Ambitions

On October 6, 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the President of the Foreign Policy Institute, Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Bağcı, to a discussion on "Turkey's Great Power Ambition." Among the topics discussed were Turkish foreign and defense policy, bilateral relations, e.g. with Libya or Russia, the poor economic situation and the military presence in Syria. The AIES Talk can be accessed here (in English).


AIES Talk – Germany before the change?!

On September 22, 2021, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited former President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering to talk about the upcoming federal elections in Germany. Questions concerning the next coalition and the need for reform in Germany were discussed, as well as Germany's position in the EU and its relations with countries such as the USA, Russia and China. A dominant topic of the discussion was the leadership position Germany can take in security and defense policy issues in the EU. The AIES Talk is available here.


AIES Talk – Iran under president Raisi

On September 15, 2021 AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Dr. Arian Hamidi Faal to talk about the political situation in Iran after the election of the new President Raisi. The background and career of the newly elected president Ebrahin Raisi was discussed, the new government and ministers, but also the political isolation of the country, the nuclear deal and the precarious economic situation. The AIES Talk can be accessed here.


Three Seas Initiative Generation Freedom Conference

AIES Director Velina Tchakarova attended the Three Seas Initiative Generation Freedom Conference in Warsaw and gave a speech on the 3SI Future Scenarios 2050.


20 years 9/11 – Geopolitics form New York to Afghanistan

On September 9, 2021, AIES Director Velina Tchakarova participated in a panel discussion on the topic "20 years 9/11 - Geopolitics from New York to Afghanistan", organized by the Austrian-American Society on the occasion of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the USA. Four experts discussed the 2001 attacks, the subsequent global impact and finally the recent withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan. 9/11 is characterized by an unparalleled media presence and accelerated the fight against terror. The panel discussion is available here (in German).


Special podcast series on US-Europe relations

In cooperation with the US Embassy in Vienna, the AIES launched a special podcast series on US-Europe relations. Throughout this seven-episode series, a range of topics such as US-EU cooperation in the fight against climate change, the future of NATO or the transatlantic efforts to safeguard the liberal international order are discussed with high-level experts from the US. All episodes are available on the AIES Podcast „Politics on Point“ here and on iTunes, Spotify and Youtube.


Advanced Strategic Course on European Security and Defence

Velina Tchakarova, AIES Director, participated in the third module of the Advanced Strategic Course on European Security and Defence in Paris, France. The Course was organised by Bundesakademie fur Sicherheitspolitik - BAKS (Germany), Egmont Institute (Belgium), IHEDN (France), Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID) (Belgium) and the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). It aimed at senior and varied audience, including senior people from industry and academia. In terms of substance, the Advanced Strategic Course addressed the full remit of the EU Global Strategy, of which the CSDP is one of the core policies. The core audience was top senior managers/members (equivalent to brigadier/general (or equivalent ranks), political and security directors, State secretaries etc.) from defence, security, diplomacy, and industry from all EU Member States and from the EU Institutions: those that will make decisions on and implement strategy. In addition, selected academics were invited and their work contributed to the substance and to the image of EU strategy.


Georgia and the challenges in the Black Sea Region

On the 26th of May 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited H.E. the Ambassador Ketevan Tsikhelashvili to the online AIES Talk to discuss Georgia and the challenges in the South Caucasus.

The main points of the discussion were the democratic consolidation of Georgia, its commitment in the fight against corruption and poverty as well as the achievement of the objectives of the Association Agreement with the EU. Moreover, the role of the EU in supporting the economic and political growth of the country as well as its challenges related to security and stability in the South Caucasus region were discussed.


AIES and ESDC organised a course on the topic of "EU Facing 'Hybrid Threat' Challenges"

On June 10th and 11th 2021, the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) in cooperation with the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) organised the digital course EU Facing "Hybrid Threat" Challenges. The course was aimed at preparing over 40 military officers and civil servants from Member States, EU Institutions, and relevant Agencies to effectively develop security policies and strategies in the face of hybrid threat challenges. From cyber-warfare to the spread of disinformation, the multidimensional topic of hybrid threats was holistically and interactively elaborated by our senior-lecturers in a most-excellent fashion.


  • Janne Jokinen, Senior Analyst, COI Hybrid Influence, European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats

  • Alexander Klimburg, Director, Cyber Policy and Resilience Program, Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

  • Sabrina Spieleder, EEAS Policy Officer, Strategic Communications and Information Analysis Division

  • Ruth Gursch-Adam, AIES Senior Advisor, Senior Advisor Cyber and Hybrid Threats/Department for Security Policy in the Austrian MFA

  • Teemu Tammikko, EEAS Policy Officer, SECDEFPOL 1 – Hybrid Threats

  • Khan Jahier, Staff Officer, Enablement and Resilience, Defence Policy and Planning Division, NATO IS

  • Ralph Thiele, President, EuroDefense Germany, Chairman, Political-Military Society, CEO StratByrd Consulting

  • Daniel Fiott, Security and Defence Editor, EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)


What are the main takeaways from the Conference on the Future of Europe?

On the 5th of May 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Dr. Ulrike Guérot, Professor for European Policy and Study of Democracy, to the online AIES Talk, in order to discuss the prospects of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Important aspects of the Talk were the strengths and weaknesses of the European Union as well as the advantages and implications of a European Citizen Card. In addition, the welfare state components of the EU and its overall competitiveness were discussed. Funding concepts for European projects and concrete proposals for a post-pandemic Europe were also addressed.


United Kingdom's Global Review After Brexit

On the 31st of March 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Leigh Turner, British Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna to the online AIES Talk, in order to discuss the United Kingdom's global review after Brexit.

Relevant topics of the talk were the short-term effects of Brexit and its lasting challenges, as well as the future of the Scottish independence movement.

Furthermore, the importance of London as a financial centre and the UK's stance on China and Russia, post-Brexit, was discussed as well.


Arab Spring without Summer?

On the 10th of February 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Dr. Martin Pabst (Colonel ret.), researcher and policy advisor, to the online AIES Talk, in order to discuss the start and development of the Arab Spring.

Relevant topics of the talk included what role the individual states in the region play as well as the origin of the revolution and its development over the past ten years. They also discussed the strategic relevance for Europe and how the EU can engage more in the region.


Geopolitical Consequences of the Covid-19 Crisis

On the 28th of April 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Dr. Walter Feichtinger, President of the Center for Strategic Analysis (CSA), to the online AIES-Talk to analyse the geopolitical consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

The discussion was about where we stand after one and a half years of the pandemic and the different vaccination strategies. They also talked about the global impact of the pandemic and compared the situations in China, America, Russia and Europe. They concluded with a debate about future prospects and how Europe can successfully overcome the crisis.


AIES Talk – Putin's Power Play Against Ukraine

On 21 April 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend hosted Borys Tarasyuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe and former Foreign Minister of Ukraine. During this AIES Talk and in light of Russia's recent military build-up at Ukraine's eastern border, Fasslabend and Tarasyuk discussed tensions between Russia and Ukraine, NATO and the EU, but also the situation in Belarus and the Caucasus and its implications for Ukraine.


Conference on the Future or Europe

The AIES is excited to have the opportunity to participate at The Conference on the Future of Europe - platform.

By sharing our ideas for a better Europe in short videos, organizing discussions and creating further relevant content like various polls to enable the people to be heard, we are trying to shape the European Union positively. We aim to support the achieving of a better EU for all of us. If you are interested, check out the platform and our contributions at:


Biden's first 100 days

On the 14th of April 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Stanley R. Sloan to the online AIES Talk to discuss President Biden's first 100 days in office.

A relevant topic of the talk was Biden's approach to domestic policy, specifically the role of the former president Donald Trump as a key figure. Foreign policy was another important aspect, covering the Euro-Atlantic relationship as well as the US strategy towards Russia and China. They also discussed the situation in the Pacific area and the role India plays in this context. Eventually, they covered the security policy approach to the Middle East and reviewed recent developments in Afghanistan.


Will Afghanistan fall to the Taliban?

On April 7th 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Dr. Markus Gauster, research associate at the Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management (IFK), to talk about Afghanistan and the influence of the Taliban.

The main topic of the talk was the strategic role of Afghanistan. During a historical review, the failure of the occupying powers was discussed as well. Moreover, it was explained who the Taliban are, what role they play, and how dangerous they are. Finally, they focused on the question of whether there could be a disintegration of Afghanistan.


Any Chance for the Iran Nuclear Deal?

On the 24th of February 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Ambassador Ali Soltanieh, former ambassador to Iran within the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and Dr. Heinz Gärtner, Austrian think tank director and professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna, to the online AIES Talk, to discuss the prospects of an Iranian nuclear deal, OSCE achievements, opportunities as well as challenges, and future aspects.

Relevant topics of the talk were the challenges and achievements in the negotiating process thus far, what can be done to bring the major actors back to the negotiations, and whether the Abraham Accord changed Tehran's position. Moreover, they looked at the impact of the Coronavirus on the likelihood of reaching a solution.


Crisis in Belarus

On march 16th 2021 AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend and AIES Director Velina Tchakarova, M.A., hosted Valery Kavaleuski, the Representative of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's Cabinet on international affairs, to discuss the Belarus crisis. Current developments in Belarus, with special attention to the protests, as well as possible prospects for the future were covered.


Myanmar: Crisis and Perspectives

On 3 March 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend hosted Kristina Kironska, Researcher at the Palacký University Olomouc, and Alfred Gerstl, President at the Central European Institute of Asian Studies, at the AIES Talks and discussed the political developments and perspectives in Myanmar.

Main aspects of the talk included a general introduction to Myanmar followed by an analysis of its strategic importance with a special regard to China. Moreover, Myanmar's time under the military regime and the origin of the democratic movement as well as the role of Aung San Suu Kyi were examined. Lastly, the perspectives of the country and the role of the European Union for peace and security in Myanmar were discussed.


The Balkan, its crises, conflicts and perspectives

On 17 February 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Christian Wehrschütz, Journalist and Balkan expert, to the online AIES Talk to discuss the political developments and perspectives for the Balkan region.

Main aspects of the discussion included the consequences of the elections on February 14th, the relation between Serbia and Kosovo and the reliability of the European Union regarding the membership application of the western Balkan states.


Strategic Review on Global Hotspots

On the 28th of January 2021, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend discussed strategic challenges in global hotspots for 2021 with seven guest speakers. The event was opened by the Director of the Diplomatische Akademie Wien, Dr. Emil Brix. Afterwards, experts Martin Sajdik, Wolfgang Pusztai, Walter Feichtinger, Herbert Traxl, Nikolaus Scholik, Alfred Gerstl, and Ralph Thiele shared their insights on strategic trends in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Space.

Among other things, the experts highlighted that in Eastern Europe, countries are still struggling with the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Besides, in Africa and the Mediterranean, countries are facing key challenges regarding demographic development, corruption, environmental degradation, and economic collapse. Furthermore, in the Middle East, Israel is no longer the number one threat, but Iran is. Meanwhile, the Indo-Pacific, including the South China Sea, has become a crucial region when it comes to global economic and political affairs, in which China, India, the US, and Southeast Asian countries play a vital role. Finally, space is increasingly becoming a domain of competition and conflict, in which Russia and China have made rapid technological improvements in their security and defence systems, while the EU and NATO countries have to level up their innovation.


The EU's Geopolitical Role 2021

Vienna (APA) - EU Commission representative Martin Selmayr pointed out that Europe must first and foremost re-establish a good transatlantic relationship with the US under President Joe Biden in order to play a role geopolitically. Second priority, he said, must be a clear and serious relationship with China, and third ought to be a stable neighbourhood, with countries such as Britain, Turkey and Russia.

On Monday, January 25th 2021, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited EU Commission Representative Dr. Martin Selmayr to a digital conversation. During this conversation, Dr. Selmayr not only stated that the European Union bears considerable influence due to its economic power and thus sets standards worldwide, but also that under President Biden it must reconnect with the US as a self-confident and responsible partner. For the future direction of Europe, Dr. Selmayr noted that a realpolitik approach must be chosen in order to find a "modus vivendi" even with difficult countries such as India, or Turkey.


EU-SAARC Think Tank Summit – Building Cooperation between European and South Asian Think Tanks

On January 20th, 2021, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend participated in the opening plenary of the EU-SAARC Think Tank Summit. Organized jointly by the Kathmandu-based Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and the Brussels-based South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), this two-day virtual conference primarily addressed the multiple challenges but also benefits in inter-regional cooperation between the EU and South Asia. Among other things, President Fasslabend especially highlighted the reciprocal value that deeper relations between Europe and South Asia had, as Europe possessed over enormous experience when it comes to political integration whereas South Asian nations were highly adept in navigating the India-China relationship, which would both be critical aspects in the establishment of a future regional order. He furthermore stressed the geopolitical significance of South Asia, as it was located at the "center of the central region" in world politics of the 21st century, which is the Indo-Pacific.


The US and Europe under President Biden

On the 9th of December 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Johannes Pollak, Rector of the Webster University in Vienna, to talk about the US and Europe under incoming US-President Biden.

Together, they discussed the increasing polarization within the US, Biden's political priorities, as well as the potential future of the transatlantic relationship. The also touched upon likely future focus of the United States on the Indo-Pacific region, and the role of Europe as actor in the international system.


Transnistria conflict and current developments in the region

On the 2nd of December, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Ambassador and OSCE Special Representative, Thomas Mayr-Harting, to discuss the Conflict in Transnistria and current developments in the region.

Relevant topics of the talk were the origins of the conflict, the current situation in Transnistria, as well as potential solutions to solve the conflict. The role of the EU and Russia in this regard was discussed as well. In the end, Mr. Mayr-Harting also talked about the relevance of the EU Eastern Partnership, as well as the potential influence of China on the region and Transnistria and Moldova specifically.


Terrorism in Europa

On 18.11.2020 AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend, invited terrorism expert Mag. Dr. Nicolas Stockhammer to talk about terror in Europe. During the conversation, Mag. Dr. Stockhammer addressed the recent terrorist attack in the center of Vienna on 02.11.2020. He emphasized that Vienna offers an international arena due to the numerous international state-connecting organizations, which are established in the capital, and thus comes into the focus of terrorist groups. The timing of the attack was by no means random; the resources of Austrian security agencies were tied up by the Covid-19 pandemic and the priority to fight it. In addition, the attack could have the consequence that conflicts from the Middle East begin to spill over into the heartland of Europe. In order to prevent future terrorist attacks, Dr. Stockhammer sees a need for reform in the cooperation between the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and counterterrorism.


US-Election 2020 – Pre-Night Debate

On November 2, the Vienna Hub of the Young Transatlantic Initiative together with the Think-Tank Shabka and the Austrian Chapter of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) organized a Pre-Night Debate regarding the US-Election.

AIES Research Fellow Sofia Maria Satanakis took part and spoke about the transatlantic relations under President Donald Trump and the security policy implications of the upcoming US presidential election.


Salon Shabka – European Security and Defence: A story of progressing integration and the Space Race 2.0

On October 9th, 2020, AIES Research Fellows Sofia Maria Satanakis and Christoph Schwarz were invited by the Viennese Think & Do Tank "Shabka", to share their insights about the latest developments in the Common Security and Defence Policy of the EU (CSDP) and linkages to recent trends of an increasingly militarized space domain, as elaborated in the recent AIES Fokus Paper "Space Race 2.0".

Although ample progress in the past decade has been made in the area of CSDP, the message was, further integration and coordination among EU member states is essential for the EU to become a respected and capable actor in global affairs. Regarding space, the bottom line was that while Europe needs to better protect its own space assets from hostile interference, it is of utmost importance for the EU to advocate for and establish new treaties governing the peaceful use of outer space in the 21st century.


Migration Workshop Greece 2020

Sofia Maria Satanakis, AIES Research Fellow, participated in a two-day workshop on migration in Thessaloniki.

The Multilateral Dialogue KAS office in Vienna organized for the second time an expert workshop on migration and border security on October 19 and 20. Among other things, current migration developments, third-country agreements and external border protection as well as the asylum and migration pact proposed by the EU Commission were discussed. Furthermore, the most important challenges were pointed out and potential solutions were explained.


Will Joe Biden be the next US President?

On the 13th of October 2020, Velina Tchakarova invited Stanley R. Sloan, Founding Director of the "Atlantic Community Initiative", to discuss if former Vice-President Joe Biden could become the next US president.

They acknowledged that, according to the polls, Biden was leading in all key states. The polls also suggested that Biden had a winning margin in both, the popular vote as well as the electoral college. They further discussed the likely positive impact of a Biden win on the transatlantic relationship and NATO, as well as his handling of other emerging actors, such as China.


Will Joe Biden be the next US President?

On the 13th of October 2020, Velina Tchakarova invited Stanley R. Sloan, Founding Director of the "Atlantic Community Initiative", to discuss if former Vice-President Joe Biden could become the next US president.

They acknowledged that, according to the polls, Biden was leading in all key states. The polls also suggested that Biden had a winning margin in both, the popular vote as well as the electoral college. They further discussed the likely positive impact of a Biden win on the transatlantic relationship and NATO, as well as his handling of other emerging actors, such as China.


Why can Trump still win the Elections?

On October 5th, 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Jan Surotchak, Senior Director at the "International Republican Institute", to explore why Trump could still win the US elections.

One of the key messages of the conversation was that the political party systems that have formed across the transatlantic region and the European continent over the last 70 years are slowly breaking down. This phenomenon is characteristic of all societies. The election of Trump as president 4 years ago, reflected the dissatisfaction of the American people with the political and economic situation at that time. Jan Surotchak predicts that due to the large core electorate President Trump will be re-elected in the upcoming presidential election.


Korea-Europe Next Generation Policy Expert Network

Michael Zinkanell, AIES Research Fellow, participated at a three-day online conference elaborating the EU-Korea relations. For the fourth year, the renowned Think Tank Chatham House and the Korea Foundation organised the "Korea-Europe Next Generation Policy Expert Network". Against the background of the political implications of the COVID-19 crisis and the growing rise of nationalism, the theme of the 2020 forum emphasised sustainable international cooperation.

A total of 15 European policy experts participated at the interactive workshops and discussions and seized the opportunity to discuss future means of cooperation and to deepen their knowledge on EU – East Asia relations in general and EU – South Korea relations in particular. Amongst the senior experts and lecturers was the former EU Ambassador to South Korea Michael Reiterer.


Will the USA remain the global number one? AIES Talk with Roland Freudenstein

On July 2, 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the director of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Roland Freudenstein, to the digital AIES Talk to discuss the future of the USA.

Relevant topics of the AIES Talk included the main characteristics of the USA as a superpower as well as the conflict with China and its further development after the presidential election in November 2020. The strengths and weaknesses of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and their respective chances of winning the election were discussed as well. In this context, the factor of disinformation in the election campaign and the corona pandemic was also addressed.


Security after COVID-19

Sofia Maria Satanakis and Michael Zinkanell discussed the Covid-19 security implication with Lukas Wank, co-director of the Think Tank Shabka. Relevant topics of the discussion included the relationship between the European Union and NATO and its future prospects. The second central topic concerned the challenge of cybersecurity on international and national level as well as the security impacts of disinformation campaigns and fake news.


­Deceive and Disrupt: Disinformation as an Emerging Cybersecurity Challenge

AIES Research Fellow Michael Zinkanell, MA. invited Arthur Liederkerke, MA. to a digital conversation on cyber security on 07/07/2020. Mr. Liederkerke, MA. emphasized that the targeted dissemination of disinformation has become a powerful tool to significantly influence individuals as well as organizations due to increasing digitalization. The mass of information disseminated through digital networks makes it difficult to control what is published and to distinguish correct information from disinformation. Threat actors use this to their advantage and therefore increasingly employ disinformation campaigns. For this reason, combating disinformation campaigns plays a central role in digital security.

This talk was based on the AIES study:
Deceive and Disrupt: Disinformation as an Emerging Cybersecurity Challenge


Can Germany lead Europe out of the crisis?

On 25.06.2020 AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited former Federal Minister Head of the Office Multilateral Dialogue of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Vienna Dipl. Ing. Claudia Crawford to a digital conversation about Germany's role in crisis management. Dipl. Ing. Crawford emphasized that Germany, among others, plays an important role in the EU through its Council Presidency and, in order to be able to cope with the crisis, must rely on a pan-European strategy that strengthens the cohesion of the member states. In addition, the Brexit deal plays a central role in crisis management, as it will have a significant impact on future cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom, including in the area of security policy.


AIES Talk with Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Badelt

On June 18th 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the director of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) Univ. Prof. Dr. Christoph Badelt via video conference to the digital AIES Talk to discuss the economic crisis after Covid-19.

We are in middle of the most difficult situation since the Second World War - in a unique, new kind of crisis that has never hit us in this form before. Due to its size, coverage and cause, we cannot rely on historical facts and data, we cannot determine when we will experience an economic recovery. The measures taken by the Austrian Government, as well as by the European Union were discussed; both speakers came to the same conclusion: a single nation state cannot cope with an economic crisis of this dimension. Christoph Badelt criticised the lack of European solidarity in this respect, looked at past political decisions and explained how an economic future could look like after Covid-19.


Strategic Partnership China and Russia – AIES Talk with Dr. Walter Feichtinger

On June 10, 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the President of the Center for Strategic Analysis (CSA) Brigadier General (retd.) Dr. Walter Feichtinger to discuss the strategic partnership between China and Russia, which plays a crucial role in the field of security policy.
The partnership between Beijing and Moscow is built upon a shared rejection of the US-led global system. On the one hand, the cooperation between the two countries has, in recent years, gained not only in intensity, but also in diversity. On the other hand, structural tensions have emerged in the Sino-Russian relationship. In particular, Russia fears that it might lose influence on Central Asia to China.


AIES Talk – German Security Policy

On May 28th, 2020, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend hosted the member of the German Bundestag and former Federal Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) for an interview to discuss European security policy from a German perspective. One of his key messages related to the need for Germany to assume a greater leadership role in Europe in terms of security policy. He also sees an increasing convergence of German and French positions in this area. Another important task is to strengthen the European pillar within NATO and to prepare NATO politically for future scenarios. Increased EU engagement would be needed above all in the Balkans and in Africa, because Europe would otherwise run the risk of leaving the field to other players.


Turkey and Europe – AIES Talk with Dr. Cengiz Günay

On 4 June 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the Vice-Director of the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (oiip), Dr. Cengiz Günay, via video conference to the sixth digital AIES Talk to discuss Turkey and its relationship with Europe.

Relevant topics of the Talk included the relationship between Turkey and the European Union as well as the future course of the EU accession process. The changes in Turkish foreign policy, the country's domestic political orientation and the current coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the already weakened turkish economy were also discussed.


Geopolitical upheavals and Europe

On 20 May 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the former Austrian Foreign Minister, Dr. Karin Kneissl, via video conference to the digital AIES Talk to discuss the current geopolitical upheavals.

The talk focused on the European Union and its relationship with China, the USA as well as the African continent. In addition, Karin Kneissl made it clear that Europe's relationship with China has changed and that the conflict with the USA will become even more critical. Furthermore, they discussed the role of the European Union in the Middle East and its efforts to be more active at geopolitical level. In summary, Karin Kneissl sees the European Union as a background actor on the world stage and would prefer that the EU clearly defines its common interests and act with a common language in geopolitics.


The crisis in Libya and its consequences for Europe – AIES Talk with Wolfgang Pusztai

On May 14, 2020 Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the "National Council on U.S. Libya Relations" and AIES Senior Advisor, Wolfgang Pusztai, for the third digital AIES Talk to discuss the crisis in Libya and its consequences for Europe. The development of the crisis in Libya is of great importance for the security of South-Eastern Europe, particularly due to the country's geostrategic location.

AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend and AIES Senior Advisor Wolfgang Pusztai

At the centre of the current conflict in Libya lies the historically founded de facto division of the country into an Eastern and Western part. On the one hand there is the internationally recognised government - the Government of National Accord (GNA) - which is supported by militias and on the other hand the Libyan National Army (LNA) under the command of Khalifa Haftar. The conflict has taken on another international dimension through the support that both parties receive from different regional powers, such as Turkey and Russia. Lastly, this digital AIES talk has also touched upon the future role of the EU in Libya's stabilisation process.

Watch the YouTube video


France’s role in the European Union – AIES Talk with Dr. Hans Dieter Schweisgut

On May 7, 2020, Dr. Werner Fasslabend invited Ambassador retd. and Secretary General of the „Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe", Dr. Hans Dieter Schweisgut, via video conference for the second digital AIES Talk, to discuss the role of France in the European Union.

Relevant subjects of the AIES Talk were, among others, the proposals of President Macron for the reorganization of the European Union. According to experts, the implementation of some of Macron's ambitious visions will take up to 10 years. The current crisis requires a revision of the budget allocation and the associated shift in priorities. The Franco-German relationship is currently regaining attention and a central point is security and defense policy, since France is the major military power of the Union – a striking difference to Germany can be seen here.

Watch the YouTube video


The European Union after Covid-19 – AIES Talk with Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr

Foto: Europäische Kommission

On the 28th of April 2020, AIES President Dr. Werner Fasslabend hosted the EU's Permanent Representative to Austria, Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr, in a video conference for the first-ever digital AIES Talk. The topic of discussion was the current state of the European Union in the face of the coronavirus crisis, as well as future prospects for the time beyond.

The central themes were the measures taken by the EU to combat the crisis, as well as the further road map to accomplish the revival of the European economy. Above all, Selmayr praised the excellent cooperation between the EU Member States, which, despite some initial difficulties, have decided to act together in this difficult time. Important issues, such as climate protection, digitization and the advancement of the CFSP/CSDP should not be lost out of sight despite the ongoing health crisis, the former Secretary General of the EU Commission explained. The EU must also ensure stability in the European neighborhood, which is why aid, especially for the African continent, is desperately needed.

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Coping with Coronavirus – Euro-Gulf Perspectives

On 19 March 2020, a conference was held online on "Coping with Coronavirus - Euro-Gulf Perspectives". AIES Institute Director Velina Tchakarova participated as a panelist. Despite the current situation due to the COVID-19 virus, the panelists had a stirring discussion on the global impact of the virus.

"We will probably witness the next great shock to the global system, only comparable to the global financial crisis in 2007/8, if not even worse in terms of implications."
Velina Tchakarova

Read the full report of the conference at:

Further reports on the global impact of Covid-19 and other issues can also be found on Velina Tchakarova's blog, at: