SEnECA panel at the TEPSA 2019 Finnish Pre-Presidency Conference

On 7 June 2019, SEnECA organised a panel on the topic “EU and Russia in Central Asia, Eastern Neigh­bourhood and Western Balkans” in the framework of the TEPSA Pre-Presi­dency Conference in Helsinki. Julian Plottka (IEP, Germany) partic­i­pated as a speaker on behalf of the SEnECA consortium. The other speakers were Arkady Moshes, Programme Director at the Finnish Institute of Inter­na­tional Affairs, Pernille Rieker, Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of Inter­na­tional Affairs and Dušan Reljić, Head of Office, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. The debate was moderated by Atila Eralp, Professor at the Middle East Technical University. A video of the panel discussion can be watched here.

The discus­sants talked about the involvement of the EU and Russia in Central Asia, Eastern Neigh­bourhood and Western Balkans. Pernille Rieker commented that the Central Asia strategy is not focused on certain prior­ities, but instead covers many different policy areas. Julian Plottka, Senior Researcher at IEP Germany who partic­i­pated as a speaker on behalf of the SEnECA consortium, stated that while it is difficult for the EU to compete with Russia in Central Asia due to Russia’s cultural influence through mass media, among other means, the Central Asian states are still inter­ested in a closer cooper­ation with the EU. The main aim of TEPSA’s Pre-Presi­dency Confer­ences is to bring together academics and researchers from the broad TEPSA network, policy-makers, media and civil society in order to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming Council Presi­dencies.