Konferenz: "Europe's Strategic Choices 2018" zusammen mit Chatham House


Europe’s Strategic Choices ist ein strategischer Dialog, veranstaltet vom Institut für Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Kiel in Kooperation mit Chatham House.

Die diesjährige Konferenz wird am 8. und 9. November 2018 im Ritz-Carlton in Berlin stattfinden.



Zu den vergangenen Konferenzen: ESC 2017 ESC 2016 ESC 2015 ESC 2014


Über Europe’s Strategic Choices  ↑ 

Die Europe’s Strategic Choices-Konferenz ist als strategischer Dialog vom ISPK und Chatham House 2014 ins Leben gerufen worden um eine Debatte über Europas Rolle in der Welt und die zukünftigen Herausforderungen für seinen Wohlstand zu führen. Hierzu kommen bis zu 250 Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aus Politik, Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft aus über 20 europäischen Staaten und Nordamerika im Ritz-Carlton Berlin zusammen. 


Agenda  ↑ 

Die Konferenz Europe’s Strategic Choices wird am 8. und 9. November im Ritz-Carlton Berlin stattfinden. 







Redner  ↑ 

Die Rednerinnen und Redner der Europe’s Strategic Choices 2018 werden in Kürze bekannt gegeben. 




Plenary Session One | Liberalism Undone? Europe, Democracy and Globalization  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 0930 – 1045

Within Europe, while the economy has improved and the political effects of Brexit have largely been contained, there are concerns about democratic norms in some member states, as well as high levels of support for anti-establishment and radical parties across the continent.  Internationally, Europe faces the threat of rising protectionism, uncertainty over the growing influence of China and the declining political leadership of the United States. Concerns about the stability of the so-called ‘liberal order’ – and the collection of norms, institutions and alliances which have formed its bedrock – are now widespread.

  • Does the whole of Europe share a view on the benefits of global economic liberalization?
  • How can countries which are champions of economic globalization ensure that it works for citizens?
  • Amid the rhetoric of ‘America First’ and disputes over the benefits of trade, could globalization go into reverse? What are the risks of a significant rift in transatlantic relations?
  • Is the EU in a position to defend and advance its interests internationally?
  • How can democratic processes be protected from subversion, particularly in relation to personal data being utilized by private actors and companies to influence electoral outcomes?


Session A | Britain and the EU after the Divorce: Alignment or Divergence?  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1115 – 1245

As Britain negotiates the terms of its withdrawal from the EU, the challenges and trade-offs inherent in Brexit are becoming ever clearer. With the clock counting down to Britain’s departure, there remain many difficult issues to be resolved, not least the final terms of transition and the shape of any future relationship. The politics of Britain remain deeply divided. Meanwhile, despite the unity of phase 1, the EU will also face difficult challenges in the months ahead to stay united.

  • Will the UK and the EU be able to agree a new positive relationship for the future?
  • To what extent can and will the UK and EU cooperate on foreign and security policy?
  • Is there a risk of the UK and EU diverging in important areas of policy in the future?
  • How will Britain’s withdrawal change the balance of power and interests within the EU?


Session B | Maritime Security   ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1115 – 1245

European navies (as well as the defence industrial and intellectual complexes) are increasingly tasked with diverse challenges ranging from counter-piracy and humanitarian assistance on the low end, to anti-submarine warfare and power projection on the high end. Navies (and coast guards, to a lesser degree) must be both a tool for foreign policy and the ‘Swiss Army knife’ facing a multitude of missions. At the same time, the seas are ever gaining in importance for economic reasons, from cargo ships passing through choke points to undersea cables, from ports to seabed resources. This panel will take a geographical look at maritime focus areas, from the Baltic Sea to the High North to the Mediterranean and beyond Europe’s neighbouring seas, to answer questions about the future of cooperation with the US in NATO and the significance of the rise of new naval powers such as China.


Session C | How Should Europe Approach the Belt and Road Initiative?  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1115 – 1245

China’s flagship Belt and Road initiative represents a grand ambition to boost trade and economic growth across Eurasia through investment in infrastructure across land and sea. While some companies see significant opportunities, the proposals have generated some confusion over the details, and scepticism about whose interests it will serve.  

  • What does Beijing hope to achieve through the Belt and Road initiative and over what timescale?
  • Does the initiative represent a strategic challenge to Europe?
  • What opportunities could Belt and Road create for the EU and European companies, and how might these be exploited?
  • Does the growing centralization of political power in China make Beijing a more difficult partner for Europe?
  • Do diplomatic efforts like the 16+1 process indicate a Chinese strategy to divide Europeans? Given China’s economic weight, how successful might this approach be?


Plenary Session Two | Europe’s Productivity Challenge   ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1345 – 1445

Mature economies around the world have experienced stabilization in productivity growth. In Europe, productivity performance has slowed since the financial crisis and the continent faces an uncertain economic future. Political factors including the fallout from Brexit, the looming prospect of a transatlantic trade war and an energy system vulnerable to supply disruptions are compounded by economic factors such as an underdeveloped capital market (in comparison with the US) and a labour market that faces disruption due to digitization and automation.  What are the policy and industry responses that should be pursued in this climate of uncertainty and disruption?

  • To what extent do European policy-makers need to rethink trade, investment and industrial strategies, in ways that address concerns about the future of jobs and living standards?
  • How can European labour markets maximize the benefits of technological innovation, given the different degrees to which digitization drives sectors and industries in European economies?
  • How are European policies related to the management, use and cross-border movement of data affecting productivity growth?
  • In the event of a tariff war, what would be the implications for global growth? How will the trade debate be affected by advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) over the next decade?


Session A | Developing Europe’s Ability to Act Strategically  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1515 – 1645

President Macron’s push to reform the European project and the new German government’s commitment to a European renewal coincides with the departure of the United Kingdom as a strategic actor. At the same time, the EU’s political landscape has changed since the heyday of Franco-German leadership, not least with the proposed counter-model to the tandem’s vision for the EU’s future by the Visegrad group.

  • How can Europe develop an ability to act strategically after Brexit?
  • What format will guarantee the inclusion of the UK into a (new) strategic centre in Europe?


Session B | Migration to Europe  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1515 – 1645

While the number of migrants and refugees has come down from its peak, there are still significant flows of people seeking safety and opportunity in Europe, and risking their lives in the process. Meanwhile, the pressures on some frontline states remain intense, and immigration remains a top concern among European publics. Over the longer term, immigration pressures are only likely to increase given the pace of economic and demographic change, particularly in Africa.

  • Is a European-wide consensus on this issue possible? What could a wider political bargain on migration and refugee policy look like?
  • How should European leaders address public fears about immigration?
  • Does the EU have the right provisions on asylum?
  • How can European states and the EU work with source countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, to provide security and opportunity to their citizens?
  • What are the risks associated with outsourcing aspects of immigration and asylum to third countries?


Session C | Shifting Sands – Europe’s Strategic Options in a Changing Middle East  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1515 – 1645

The Middle East is witnessing a level of regional-power rivalry unseen since the end of the Cold War. Not only are competing interests fuelling the civil wars in the region; the direct involvement of Russia, the US and other NATO countries has made the scenario of a direct military confrontation a possibility again. On the political side, the state of the countries of the region varies between grand political ambitions of reform and reorganization, stagnation and disintegration.

  • What is the future of the Iran nuclear deal and what is the US policy towards the broader region?
  • What will the future regional order look like and what are Europe’s options for strategic engagement?
  • How can Europe help to deconflict the situation and what influence does it still have on the key actors?
  • Who are Europe’s partners in the region?


Plenary Session Three | The Future of European Defence Cooperation: New Milestones but the Same Old Problems?  ↑ 

Donnerstag 8. November, 1700 – 1815

The debate over the future of the military dimension of the European Union’s security policy has been re-energized by the decision on a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). While presented as a milestone and designed to be complementary to NATO, Europe’s new ambition will have to confront the scepticism and reservations of partners in Europe and beyond. In addition to the question of who is willing and who is able to work together, diverging narratives and disparate perceptions among Europe’s states regarding past performances, current abilities and future contributions will also need to be addressed.

  • How can the different national preferences and interests be reconciled in order to achieve a deepening of industrial cooperation in the defence sectors?
  • After successive efforts of establishing a common European defence approach, what can PESCO substantively change?


Plenary Session Four | Anomaly or a New Normal? The US after the Midterm Elections  ↑ 

Freitag 9. November, 0930 – 1045

Two years after the election of Donald Trump as president of the US, his administration will face its first major political test at the ballot box.  The midterms will offer insight into whether Trump’s 2016 election and extraordinary conduct in office represents a unique phenomenon or a deeper underlying shift in America’s politics and economy, as well as its relationship with the world.  The panel will provide an analysis of the midterm elections and their implications for the policies of the US for the next two years, as well as a half-time report on the Trump government’s political course, its achievements, failures and prospects, and in particular consider how the transatlantic relationship will develop.

  • What do the results of the midterm elections indicate about Trump’s prospects for re-election?
  • How should the first two years of the Trump administration be viewed?
  • What should America’s allies in Europe expect from the US over the next two years?
  • Can Trump be influenced by international partners? How might European states seek to nudge his policies in different directions?
  • What are the consequences of Trump’s style of politics for US democracy and global politics in the longer term?


Session A | Cyber Risk and Resilience  ↑ 

Freitag 9. November, 1115 – 1230

Enhancing cyber resilience is one of the principal challenges facing public and private institutions alike. There is a growing consensus that major cyber attacks are now a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. The threats are multiple – from state-associated actors, to terrorists, to criminal networks. This session will focus on developing a better understanding of existing and potential cyber vulnerabilities and systemic risks, and ways to improve preparedness and resilience.

  • As cyber attacks continue to evolve in scale and complexity, how prepared are governments and companies for the current cyber threat landscape?
  • In what ways is pressure on governments to act forcefully on national security issues shaping the cyber policy landscape?
  • How can state and non-state actors work collaboratively on cyber resilience, given the role of the private sector in critical national infrastructure?
  • To tackle cyber crime, how can collaboration on intelligence, methodology and resources between states and businesses be improved?
  • What progress is being made in terms of international cooperation and harmonization of regulatory and legal frameworks?
  • What are the risks of cyber attacks leading to significant escalation in other areas? 


Session B | Monetary Union  ↑ 

Freitag 9. November, 1115 – 1230

The eurozone is enjoying a sustained period of growth, with unemployment falling and inflation down.  While the response to the crisis has improved financial stability, the process of reforming the monetary union is incomplete, and there are still important challenges over the longer term. Proposals to create a eurozone finance minister, budget and parliament, as President Macron has laid out, or even more ambitiously a degree of debt mutualization, will involve difficult compromises across the bloc, where the balance between notions of responsibility and solidarity remain hotly contested.

  • What reforms in the euro area would be needed to improve convergence between economies with very different levels of growth and performance?
  • How much appetite is there for reform across the bloc given competing political challenges?
  • To what extent are German and French visions of monetary union compatible?
  • How much more political integration is necessary to underpin the single currency?
  • How might the goalposts of monetary union shift for those countries committed to join but not yet inside, and for countries hoping to join the EU in the future? How might this reduce the prospect of eurozone expansion in the medium term?


Session C | The Future of Ukraine and Europe’s Role  ↑ 

Freitag 9. November, 1115 – 1230

Since the Euromaidan revolution, the EU has supported a reform process in Ukraine while working to end the conflict in the Donbas. With the elections to be held in 2019, this panel addresses the questions of how Europe can (better) support change in Ukraine, how future coordination with the United States’ policy towards the country can be organized and what the future of the Minsk process will look like.

  • How far has the reform process proceeded?
  • Where do things stand with regard to the conflict in the Donbas? What are the scenarios for dealing with the conflict in the future? What is Russia’s policy towards the conflict? 


Closing Conversation | Designing Europe’s AI Future  ↑ 

Freitag 9. November, 1330 – 1430

Europe is at the threshold of an industrial future that is likely to be driven by artificial intelligence. How this will play out, and the costs of the transition to a new industrial age, are not yet apparent, but policy-makers and societies need to prepare the groundwork now in order to be able to design the future and not be left at the mercy of the forces of technology. In this context, regulation, standards and governance will play a key part. How can this be achieved given the limits of policy-makers’ reach, and the need for cooperation between competing public and private interests?




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