April 27 - May 1, 2020 / Course language: English & Russian

European Security Seminar - East 20-09 is titled “Trans-Atlantic Capacity-Building in the East: A Comparison of Cases of Three Protracted Conflicts: Challenges - Responses - Assessments."

The European Security Seminar East (ESS-E) launched in 2016. Previous ESSs-E at the George C. Marshall Center have dealt with the Kremlin’s strategic communication, strengthening resilience, exploring counter-measures to hybrid threats and have taken a thorough look into the instrument of sanctions by the international community to react to Russia’s aggressive actions since early 2014. The 2020 ESS-E aims to continue debates in the spirit of the four past iterations, but intensifies its look into specific cases.


Background

During the last three decades, the Russian Federation violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of various countries Moscow considers part of its “Near Abroad” or “Sphere of Special Interest." The range of instruments used by Russia vary. The Russian Federation may interfere diplomatically, undermine a country’s political landscape by spreading false information, create energy dependence, even occupy and annex parts of neighboring states, and maintain protracted conflicts.


The Seminar                                                                                                                                                   
The 2020 ESS-E aims to revisit the respective tools in three countries used by the Kremlin to undermine the independence of its neighbors. Secondly, it aims to screen the responses taken by Trans-Atlantic institutions to mitigate the impact of Moscow’s measures on the societies, the economies and domestic politics. Thirdly, it will engage participants to discuss the response steps taken by different Trans-Atlantic actors.

The seminar will assess Russia’s aspiration and actions generally and then zoom in on the role protracted conflicts play on Moscow’s agenda. It will present the balance sheet of Russia’s achievements and failures and the effects of the pending conflicts on it in the area of the former Soviet Union.

This part will explore how the Kremlin was able to block dispute settlement in the Moldova/Transnistria question since the early nineties; how it fueled the tensions amongst ethnic communities living in Georgia until an armed conflict broke out in 2008; and how the events in Ukraine escalated and led to the illegal annexation of Crimea and an on-going armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

Representatives of Trans-Atlantic institutions will provide an overview on how NATO and the European Union (EU) made efforts to stabilize the affected European countries. This part will discuss if the instruments of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) or NATO partnership programs had a positive effect. Which countries pursue aspirations to join the EU or NATO? Were Western reactions perceived as insufficient causing disappointment and further rapprochement with the Russian Federation?

GCMC in-house and invited subject matter experts will then involve the five seminars into a scenario based on fictitious escalations of tensions. The seminars will develop recommendations for selected governments or multilateral fora on counter-measures. Hence, seminars will assess the spectrum of counter-measures (political, economic, fiscal, military and diplomatic). Findings will be presented in a panel format, followed by a final discussion.


Objectives and Outcome


The seminar wishes to embrace Europe´s Eastern Flank and the Euro-Atlantic community as a whole jointly countering the aggressor’s behavior and to stress diplomatic, political, military, economic and fiscal resilience among partners and allies. It is structured and designed to allow the capture of insights as to how NATO and the EU, Germany and the USA can strengthen the capacity and capability of its neighbors and potential EU and NATO partners.

George C. Marshall Center academics along with guest lecturers from national and international European and Euro-Atlantic security organizations, as well as from relevant private sector actors, will conduct this seminar. We will invite representatives from the EU Eastern Partnership, NATO PFP, Eastern EU/NATO members and Nordic partners. The Center will strengthen a network of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian strategic experts and institutions.

Main Activities

 
ESS-E foresees plenary lectures, discussions in seminar format, interactive group work on scenarios and a night owl lecture.

Community of Interest

In addition to the resident course held in spring in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, ESS-E will hold a two-day Community of Interest (COI) Strategic Workshop in Brussels. That COI will be conducted with Alumni of the European Security Seminar South (ESS-S). Hence, it will gather representatives from North Africa, the Sahel zone, the Caucasus, the Balkans and Central, as well as Eastern Europe. The workshop will be co-organized with a recognized think-tank.

Together with experts from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the Egmont Institute, COI attendees will discuss presentations by Trans-Atlantic and European institutions’ officials on past, present and future stabilization tools along Europe’s southern and eastern flank.

 

Introducing the Lead Team

The course is five days all inclusive (in on Monday, out on Friday); 4 academic days; 60 participants in mid-to-senior level positions, 5 working groups; up to 10 speakers (guests and in-house; Date: June 10 to 14, 2019.

 

Cover Sebastian
 

ESS-E Introduction Video

 

ESS-E 19-13 End of Course Video

 

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For application and deadline information, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., your ministry point of contact, or the U.S. or German Embassy in your capital city.