May 23-24, 2014, Jurmala, Latvia
The Annual International Conference of the ‘Baltic Forum' to be held in Jurmala, Latvia from May 23 to May 24. The main theme of the ‘'Baltic Forum - 2014'' will be the EU cooperation program of Eastern Partnership, which is not an equivocal topic. The Eastern Partnership is a policy direction, which is gaining an increasingly important role on the agenda of the European Union and during the recent months in a number of European countries we have observed rapid development of the geopolitical situation. And those certainly will not be the only developments related to the Eastern Partnership having economic and political implications across Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
The process, which began as a bureaucratic EU external aid program, has become a serious EU-Russia collision point. Part of the experts and officials believe that the European Union by launching such a program is turning against Russia and seek to reduce its impact zone through creating buffer states. The other part is calling the program a successful resolution in order to continue the implementation of the shared values of the EU within the largest possible area. Is the Eastern Partnership a precursor to the EU enlargement process? Do only potential economic benefits underlay the "common core values" and "support to the neighbouring countries"? What methods will Russia apply in order to protect their sphere of influence and whether these methods will be worthwhile?
This discussion should be continued, especially considering that the year 2015 is going to be very important for Latvia internationally, because we will take over the EU Presidency and the Eastern Partnership summit will be held in Riga.
The Baltic Forum conference of May 23 and 24, 2014 will bring together representatives from the current and future participating countries of the Eastern Partnership program, such as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine. Experts will be invited from the countries, which are not yet considered to be the cooperation countries of the Eastern Partnership, but play nevertheless a significant role in the development and the existence of this program, such as Russia and Kazakhstan.
A Practical Approach to EU-Russian Relations by Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow
Russia has come to see itself as a more important player on the international stage, and it is demanding to be treated as an equal partner in its relationship with the European Union. But Brussels had long ignored this shift, and EU-Russian relations have stagnated as a result. It is time for a fundamental rethink of the EU's Russia policy. Read more