On 21 and 22 November 2019, the 11th German-Nordic-Baltic Forum, organized by Institut für Europäische Politik and the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn, Estonia. Under the heading “2019 – A Year Full of Fate Elections and a Lasting Impact for the Future”, over 30 experts from the political and academic sphere of the participating countries discussed current topics on the European agenda.
The forum was opened by a keynote speech by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu. This was followed by a public discussion among members of the planning staffs of the Estonian, German, and Finnish Foreign Ministries and the European External Action Service.
In the non-public part of the Forum, the first panel discussed the transformation of the European party system, considering the substantial gains made by populist parties in recent elections and possibilities of creating substantial dialogue with the public. In the evening, all participants were invited to a dinner-reception at the residence of German Ambassador Christiane Hohmann, to continue earlier discussions and to exchange further thoughts.
The second day started with a panel on hybrid threats and cyberspace deterrence, discussing the implications of the different experiences of European member states and the resulting varying perception by the public in regard to hybrid threats. The third panel dealt with the EU-China relations in regard to the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. While the economic ramifications of Chinese investments and influence were discussed, a focus was also put on the geopolitical scope of the initiative. The fourth and final panel discussed the broad topic of the European Common Security and Defence Policy, in particular highlighting different strategic cultures and resulting threat perception, but also possibilities of common European capability development.
Dr. Kristi Raik, Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, and Dr. Funda Tekin, Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik, closed the 11th German-Nordic-Baltic Forum.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all panelists, discussion facilitators and other participants who have made this year’s forum a renewed success. We especially thank our cooperation partner, the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, our host, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Foreign Office, Ambassador Christiane Hohmann and the German Embassy in Tallinn.