“The spirit of our endeavour is, To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield”
Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President
The shaping of Eastern Europe Rome – 18-19 May 2015
The Ukrainian crisis and the annexation of Crimea have quickly changed political perceptions and calculations in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian strategic spaces. We cannot consider NATO’s role to be achieved when we see military options still being considered in our continent, when we have uncertainty at the borders of NATO member nations. This broad area is of paramount strategic relevance for the European continent and it is also significant for the entire world because it raises the issue about how spheres of influence and co-operation are created and upheld. The NATO Defense College Foundation, the only existing think-tank bearing the name of the Alliance, intends to better understand the roots of this long crisis, to put together different views on different priorities and to explore possible future outcomes. The purpose of the conference is ambitious but the time has come to tackle the right fundamental issues, because NATO is naturally part of an open strategic discussion about the present situation in Eastern Europe and on its future. We wish, in co-operation with NATO HQ, the Latvian EU Presidency and the Balkan Trust for Democracy, to convene the best international expertise for an open discussion. The basis will be scientific in a spirit of academic freedom with the participation of qualified representatives of various segments of civil society and as many nations as possible.
The conference is structured in five panels with a circular structure plus an official dinner. The subjects proposed are: I. The future of Eastern European security, concerning the evolution of Ukraine, Russia’s policies embodied by the annexation of Crimea, the action of NATO and the European Union. II. The scenarios of energy supply, routes and security, taking into account short and medium term energy market prospect; III. The resulting co-operation among East European countries and with different countries and international institutions that needs to take into account the current confrontation with Moscow and the necessity to solve it; IV. Democracy, social development and economy are linked, even in a tangled web of relationships. The overall rationale is to chart an inclusive path towards more security and freedom in Europe; V. The peculiar and risky situation of the Caucasus, the region of Europe with most frozen conflicts and where the effects of the Ukrainian crisis are intertwined with the repercussions from the Near and Middle East.