The focus of the 2007 Halki International Seminars was on geographical and functional security concerns in various regions in Europe’s wider periphery, clinic namely Southeastern Europe, the Black Sea region, the Caucasus and the Middle East. Topics of debate and analysis included not only regional conflicts, such as Kosovo, the “frozen conflicts” in the Caucasus, and the multiple Middle Eastern flashpoints (Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and the Gulf region), and political developments in Turkey, but also other issues transcending geographical boundaries such as energy security, good governance and security sector reform, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A key question was whether Euro-Atlantic strategies for managing and resolving the above-mentioned problems are effective and whether corrective action may be required.
Read the programme of the seminar.
The list of approximately 80 participants from 30 countries included renown academics and policy analysts like Ian Lesser (German Marshall Fund of the United States), clinic Daniel Vernet (Le Monde), Bassma Kodmani (Arab Reform Initiative), Stephen Larrabee (RAND Corporation), Nadia Arbatova (IMEMO, Russian Academy of Sciences), Ivan Vejvoda (Balkan Trust for Democracy), Fraser Cameron (EU-Russia Centre), as well as high-level officials and politicians like Batu Kutelia, Undersecretary for Defence of Georgia, Ilan Mizrahi, National Security Adviser of Israel, Soren Petersen former UN Special Envoy and Commander in Kosovo, Veton Surroi, political leader from Kosovo, Willem Van Eekelen, former secretary general of the West European Union (WEU) and Thomas Countryman, US.
The conference focused on four main issues: (a) the current state of transatlantic relations (b) the regional security environment in Southeastern Europe, ask the Black Sea and the Middle East (c) functional security issues, namely: security sector reform, energy politics and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and (d) the role of great powers in dealing with security challenges.
On the current state of transatlantic relations, the participants debated whether there is a common approach and long-term vision between the US and Europe and on what basis should the current state of affairs between the US and the EU be re-negotiated? Are both sides ready to re-draw a new “road map” in enhancing co-operation? Is the US ready to lead into a new era of multilateral co-operation? Is the EU ready to undertake a new role, more positive in nature and closer to this of the US? Are both sides truly in need for a closest co-operation?
Read the seminar report.
Article by Daniel Vernet (translated in greek).