ISPK with Chatham House Conference: "Europe's Strategic Choices" 2016

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ESC 2016

ESC 2016

On December 1 and 2 2016, the ISPK together with Chatham House jointly organized the Europe’s Strategic Choices Conference at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin. Launched in 2014 as a strategic dialogue to reinvigorate the debate about Europe’s current and future strategic challenges and now in its third year, the conference brought together 243 senior politicians, business leaders and thinkers. The format of the conference included keynote speeches, plenary sessions as well as break-out sessions held under the Chatham House Rule to facilitate an open dialogue.

The conference agenda included the following topics:

Thursday 1 December 2016


Opening Remarks With Dr. Dietmar Woidke

Plenary Session One | Challenges To The Union: Europe In Crisis


Brexit; a fragile currency; a refugee crisis; a stagnant economy; rising populism. Europe has a history of advancing through crisis. Can it do so again? 

  • Dr. Markus Ederer, State Secretary, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
  • Dr. Lykke Friis, Prorector, University of Copenhagen; Minister for Climate and Energy, Denmark (2009-11); Minister for Equal Rights, Denmark (2010-11) 
  • Michael Köhler, Director Neighbourhood, Directorate-General for Development Cooperation, European Commission
  • Dr. Alexander Stubb, MP, Parliament of Finland; Minister of Finance, Finland (2015-16); Prime Minister of Finland (2014-15) 
  • Chair: Dr. Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House 


Break-Out Sessions – Group One

A Partner, Friend or Problem? The Future of the European Relationship with Turkey


The relationship between Turkey and the EU is treading on increasingly rocky ground. Accession talks seem to have stalled, Turkey’s economy is far from stable, and from a European viewpoint Turkey seems to be regressing on a number of democratic reforms. But the Turkey- EU refugee deal, however flawed, has brought the importance of the relationship back to the fore. Will Turkey and the EU be able to work together successfully going forward? How can they overcome the sticking points in their relationship?

  • Professor Dr. Hüseyin Bağci, Chairman, Middle East Technical University
  • Dr. Rainer Hermann, Political Editor, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Professor Efraim Inbar, Director, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Dilek Kurban, Marie Curie Fellow, Hertie School of Governance
  • Chair: Thomas Birringer, Head of Team, Africa and Middle East, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung 


B Is Europe’s Approach to Counterterrorism Working?


In the wake of the Syrian conflict and the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the way that European national governments have reacted is highly unequal. While some have taken sweeping measures, others remain more cautious. Europe has struggled to come up with a common answer to the problem. Is there a European approach to Counterterrorism and, if so, is it working? How can cooperation in this area be improved? Have European measures to stop the flow of foreign fighters to conflict zones been effective? What role can prevention and de- radicalization play in countering the emergence of new terrorist networks?

  • Dr. Florence Gaub, Senior Analyst, Middle East and North Africa, European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Dietrich Neumann, Governance Department, Head of Corporate Services, EUROPOL Professor 
  • Dr. Thomas Renard, Senior Research Fellow, Europe in the World Programme, EGMONT – Royal Institute for International Relations 
  • Dr. Karin von Hippel, Director, Royal United Services Institute
  • Chair: Professor Dr. Joachim Krause, Director, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel


C Economic Stability in an Unequal Europe


Inequality in Europe is rising and inclusive growth remains at the heart of the European Commission’s Europe 2020 strategy. What are the consequences of rising inequality for Europe’s social, political and economic stability? Should the EU be doing more to achieve inclusive growth?

  • Etele Baráth, President, Europe 2020 Steering Committee; Minister for European Affairs, Hungary (2004-06)
  • Baroness Falkner of Margravine, Chairman, EU Sub-Committee on Financial Affairs, House of Lords, UK 
  • Professor Dr. Marcel Fratzscher, President, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
  • Dr. Fabrizio Saccomanni, Vice-President, Istituto Affari Internazionali; Minister of Economy and Finances, Italy (2013–14) 
  • Chair: Professor Dr. Henning Klodt, Head Economic Policy Center, Kiel Institute for the World Economy 


Keynote Conversation | Digital Transformation: Adapt Or Die?


Digitalization is both opportunity and threat to the European economy. Established businesses face the challenge of implementing innovations without disruption, while game-changing digital businesses such as Spotify have become local heroes. Is digital transformation the key to unlock accelerated growth across Europe or a red herring? Could access to capital and top-tier talent, as well as the ready availability of developer tools and services in Europe, lead to the development of more "unicorns" on this side of the Atlantic?

  • Joachim Köhler, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Openspace GmbH; Head, Startup Hub Berlin, Commerzbank
  • Elizabeth Linder, Founder and CEO, The Conversational Century; Politics and Government Specialist, Facebook (2011-16) 
  • Philip Sinclair, Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge Larry Stone, President, Group Public and Government Affairs, BT Group
  • Chair: Matthew Karnitschnig, Chief Europe Correspondent, Politico 


Break-Out Sessions – Group Two

A Globalization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Are Europe’s Labour Markets and Educational Systems Ready?


Europe’s comparative advantages make it well placed to lead the fourth industrial revolution. How should it adapt to ensure disruptive technologies such as the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, and energy storage are used most productively? How best can it adapt its energy policies, data legislation and education systems to maximize its competitive potential?

  • Aart Jan de Geus, Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung; Deputy Secretary- General, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2007-11); Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, The Netherlands (2002-07) 
  • Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey, Co-Director and Oxford Martin Citi Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford 
  • Dr. Wolfgang Kowalsky, Policy Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation 
  • Dr. Albrecht Ricken, Senior Director, SAP
  • Chair: Dr. Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House 


B Re-Thinking Deterrence


Deterrence has once again become a hot topic in international security but its applicability has been questioned in light of the changed nature of current threats. How can Europe deter the diverse challenges it faces, from Russia, Iran and ISIS? How can deterrence work in an age of asymmetric, hybrid and cyber threats? How can NATO adapt its concept of deterrence to meet current and future challenges and what role does nuclear deterrence play for the alliance?

  • Lt. Gen. Horst-Heinrich Brauss, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning, NATO 
  • Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King’s College London
  • Omid Nouripour, Member, German Bundestag; Speaker on Foreign Affairs, Alliance ‘90/The Greens; Member, Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Germany 
  • Harald Westermann, Managing Director, Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH
  • Chair: Professor Dr. Joachim Krause, Director, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel 


C Migration and the Challenge of Integration

Although migration into Europe could theoretically provide the labour market with new potential, in practice it will take years to train migrants currently entering Europe to develop the skills that are needed in Europe’s highly developed economies. In the meantime, how can national governments best integrate migrants? How can European countries avoid the pitfalls of coercive integration?

  • Professor Dr. Naika Foroutan, Professor for Integration Studies and Social Policy, Humboldt-University; Co-Director, Berliner Institute für empirische Intergrations- und Migrationsforschung 
  • Solveigh Hieronimus, Partner, McKinsey & Company
  • Gergely Pröhle, Hungarian Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany (2000-02)
  • Chair: Dr. Heather Grabbe, Director, Open Society European Policy Institute, Open Society Foundations 


Keynote Conversation 


  • Dr. Géza Andreas von Geyr, Director General, Security and Defence Policy, Federal Ministry of Defence, Germany
  • Peter Watkins, Director General, Security Policy, Ministry of Defence, UK
  • Chair: Professor Dr. Joachim Krause, Director, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel 


Plenary Session Two | Europe And China: Peril And Promise


Has China’s growth model finally reached its limits? What are the wider consequences of the cool-down of China’s economy for Europe’s economic ties with Beijing? What are the prospects of a significant drift between European and American approaches to relations with China?

  • Dr. Sarah Kirchberger, Senior Research Associate, International Political Economy of East Asia, Department of East Asian Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum 
  • HE Sir Sebastian Wood, British Ambassador to Germany; British Ambassador to China (2010-15)
  • Dr. Linda Yueh, Fellow in Economics, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University; Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School 
  • Chair: Professor Kerry Brown, Director, Lau China Institute, King’s College London 


Conference Dinner And Keynote Conversation With Peter Altmaier


  • Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, Germany
  • Chair: Quentin Peel, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House 


Friday 2 December 2016


Plenary Session Three | The Future Of The Transatlantic Relationship


What will be the future of Europe’s relationship with the United States under the leadership of President-elect Donald Trump?

  • Dr. Jochen Bittner, Political Editor, Die Zeit 
  • Sir Simon Fraser, Managing Partner, Flint Global; Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK (2010-15) 
  • Dr. Sylke Tempel, Editor-in-Chief, Internationale Politik and Berlin Policy Journal, German Council on Foreign Relations
  • Chair: Dr. Jack Janes, Director, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University 

Break-Out Sessions - Group Three

A European Stability in an Age of Populism

How far are EU-criticism, neo-nationalism, xenophobia and welfare-state conservatism converging in Europe? How big is the danger that the idea of Europe is losing its support? How should politicians address the causes of disaffection and loss of trust in the political process? In what way does a growing inequality in Europe contribute to this trend?

  • Stefan Lehne, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Europe; Director General for Political Affairs, Ministry for European and International Affairs, Austria (2008-11) 
  • Beppe Severgnini, Columnist, Corriere della Sera 
  • Dr. Anton Shekhovtsov, Visiting Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences; Fellow, Legatum Institute; Research Associate, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation
  • Chair: Thomas Raines, Research Fellow and Programme Manager, Europe Programme, Chatham House 


B Beyond Pooling and Sharing: The Strategic Relevance of European Defence Cooperation


With a changed security landscape in Europe’s neighbourhood and rising defence budgets, the issue of European defence cooperation has gained new momentum. What is the way ahead in a fragmented landscape of European defence cooperation? How far can bilateral and minilateral cooperation take Europe’s militaries and what are their limits? How do common European approaches involving the EU and NATO fit into this picture?

  • Major General Kim Erkki Akseli Jäämeri, Commander, Finnish Air Force
  • Francis Kearney, Director Customer Business – Europe, Middle East and Africa, Rolls-Royce Defence 
  • Brigadier General Rainer Meyer zum Felde, Defence Advisor, Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO
  • Chair: Professor Dr. Joachim Krause, Director, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel 


C Secure, Competitive and Sustainable? European Energy Strategy towards 2020 


Changing patterns of consumption and production, as well as new technologies, storage and transport infrastructure have the potential to fundamentally transform the EU’s energy sector. In 2015, the European Commission proposed a framework for an EU-wide Energy Union, which aims to secure sustainable, competitive and affordable energy across the EU. A year on, what are the main political risks and strategic opportunities to Europe’s foreign policy? How will these changes alter the EU’s relationship with its neighbours and major energy suppliers such as Russia? How will the UK’s decision to leave the EU impact plans for an Energy Union?

  • Oksana Antonenko, Senior Political Counsellor, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Katharina Umpfenbach, Senior Fellow, Ecologic Institute
  • Chair: Dr. Sabrina Schulz, Head of Office, E3G Berlin 


Plenary Session Four | Europe Towards 2030


  • Irakli Alasania, Chairman, Free Democrats Party, Georgia; Minister of Defense, Georgia (2012-14); Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations (2006-08) 
  • Dr. Bruno Maçães, Nonresident Associate, Carnegie Europe; Minister for Europe, Portugal (2013-15)
  • Natalie Nougayrède, Member of the Editorial Board and Columnist, The Guardian 
  • Caroline Wilson, Director, Europe, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK
  • Chair: Quentin Peel, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House 


Closing Remarks


  • Professor Dr. Joachim Krause, Director, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel 
  • Dr. Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House 


Weitere Informationen

For the conference website, please go to:

For the conference report including the summaries of the break-out sessions, please klick Conference Summary (PDF).



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