The Hague The Hague, 27th-28th June. #ecfr16
 

In the immediate aftermath of the UK’s referendum on EU membership over 200 serving foreign ministers, former prime ministers, members of national parliaments and European Parliament, EU Commissioners, former NATO secretaries generals, professors, journalists and business leaders will come together at the European Council on Foreign Relations Annual Council meeting in The Hague – a forum that provides an excellent opportunity for ECFR Council Members alongside external high-level speakers to discuss the most pressing foreign policy challenges of the day and look creatively at Europe’s long-term prospects.  

The meeting will discuss Europe’s management of refugee flows, Britain’s place in Europe after the referendum; how NATO and the EU should respond to the threat of Russian aggression; what the EU’s interest should be in Syria; what the strategic partnership between Europe and Turkey should look like; Europe’s role in Libya; and Europe’s response to the US presidential election.

Follow this page on the 27th and 28th of June to get live multimedia updates from the ECFR Annual Council Meeting

Find multimedia resources from last year's meeting in Brussels

Click on the sessions to find audio and video recordings of the event

Agenda

MONDAY 27 JUNE

13:00-13:20

WELCOME

Mabel van Oranje, co-chair of ECFR Board

Alison Wallace, new CEO, ECFR

Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (video)

13:00-13:20

Remarks by Mark Leonard, Director, ECFR [AUDIO recording]

13:30-15:30

Brexit: Views from Europe [VIDEO recording]


 

Gordon Bajnai, Former Prime Minister of Hungary @Bajnai_Gordon

Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Bundestag 

George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations @georgesoros

Alexander Stubb, Former Prime Minister of Finland @alexstubb 

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO, Save the Children International @HelleThorning_S

Moderator: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times @gideonrachman


Reading: "Brexit: The foreign policy implications", by Mark Leonard

16:00-17:30

Brexit: Views from the UK [AUDIO RECORDING]

Douglas Alexander, former Secretary of State for International Development

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, Oxford University       

Malcolm Rifkind, former UK Foreign Secretary

Moderator: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times


Reading: "Brexit: The foreign policy implications", by Mak Leonard

17:30-18:30

How should NATO and the EU respond to the threat of Russian aggression? [AUDIO RECORDING]

Robert Pszczel, Acting Director, NATO Information Office in Moscow

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Former NATO Secretary General

Beatrice de Graaf, Professor for the History of International Relations & Global Governance, University of Utrecht

Moderator: Nick Witney, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR


Reading: "How to defend Europe from Russia", by Gustav Gressel

18:30-22:00

Reception followed by the ECFR Council Dinner. [TRANSCRIPT]

Welcome at 1900 by Carl Bildt, co-chair of ECFR Board and Jozias Van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague, who delivered the following speech:

"Royal Highnesses,

Excellences,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to The Hague, welcome to the Peace Palace.

Over a hundred years old, its first foundation stone was laid during the Second Peace Conference. One of those who took part in this conference was the legendary Bertha von Suttner.

She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. An Austrian peace activist who, in a time of extreme nationalism, was already thinking beyond national borders. She wrote the novel ‘Die Waffen Nieder’ - Lay Down Your Arms. Evening after evening, she organised debates on world peace.

It was Bertha von Suttner too, who was an early advocate of the pan-European idea. Shortly before her death in 1914 she emphasized that the quest for peace had to go hand-in-hand with the ideal of a united Europe.

Several decades later, after two horrible wars, the Congress of Europe took place here in The Hague in the Ridderzaal, the Hall of Knights. Chaired by Sir Winston Churchill, who, by way of exception, was permitted to smoke in that historic building, when the first steps were taken towards what would ultimately become the European Union.

That was in 1948. The traces of destruction left by the Second World War were still visible everywhere in The Hague. There were shortages of everything and you still needed coupons to buy many things. But there was one thing that was in abundance - and that was hope. The hope of a better future, a future of peace.

It was that hope that set the tone at the Congress of Europe, where the first steps were taken towards a united Europe.

A few years later, in a Commons debate about the Schuman Plan, Sir Winston Churchill referring to the days of the Battle of Britain in 1940, in his typically profound manner, expressed what is the quintessence of a united Europe – and I quote:

“The soldier who laid down his life, the mother who wept for her son, and the wife who lost her husband, got inspiration or comfort, and felt a sense of being linked with the universal and the eternal by the fact that we fought for what was precious not only for ourselves but for mankind. The Conservative and Liberal Parties declare that national sovereignty is not inviolable, and that it may be resolutely diminished for the sake of all the men in all the lands finding their way home together.” End of quote.

After 1945 the reconstruction of Western Europe could begin with the generous support of the Marshall Plan and because Europe had chosen the path towards reconciliation and cooperation. And because individual countries were prepared to give up a part of their sovereignty in the service of a higher calling.

All those people who are now asking: what do we need the European Union for? Aren’t we better off on our own?

I tell them: go to Verdun, to the charnel house there. Visit the massive military cemetery at Halbe, not far from Berlin, now peaceful, but in the spring of 1945 a veritable hell.

Could it be because the direct memory of that war and the immense destruction it caused is fading, that so many people no longer realise how truly special our peace and security is? How brave, how visionary the Schuman Declaration drafted by Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet was?

How historic the reconciliation between Germany and France, the former sworn enemies? The result of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom would appear to confirm this. The peace and prosperity in Europe, previously unknown, many people now seem to take for granted. While it is anything but assured. Our security and economic prosperity is all down to the close cooperation in Europe.

A crumbling and divided Europe would only put us back where we started, turning the clock back by a century. We will not let that happen. It is now up to us to preserve our unity.

And to the younger generation. They are essential. It is true: in too small numbers they turned out in the UK referendum. But I was encouraged and fascinated by the effort of the younger

generation in Switzerland during the referendum about expelling migrants out of their country. And they succeeded against the insular trend in Europe. Brave Swiss!

As early as 1816, Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp, who presented the Netherlands with its constitution, wrote: “What a deadly state of affairs threatens the whole of Europe if all the nations shut themselves off behind their own frontiers, to keep everything for themselves!”

End of quote. Two centuries later that remark rings just as true today as it did then.

On the second of September 1939, the House of Commons, after a disappointing speech by the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, feared a second ‘Munich’ after the invasion of Poland. Then Arthur Greenwood, the Labour leader took the floor. Bob Boothby, from the Conservative benches, cried out: “You speak for Britain”.

That spirit should hover over us: “You speak for Europe”.

I wish you all a great conference and a most enjoyable evening."

TUESDAY 28 JUNE

07:45-08:45

Early Bird Breakfast sessions (in parallel)

Breakout session 1: Challengers and insurgents: Who are the new forces shaping foreign policy across the EU?

Sylvie Kauffmann, Editorial Director, Le Monde

Ivan Krastev, Chair of Board, Centre for Liberal Strategies

Moderator: Mark Leonard, Director, ECFR

Reading: "Challengers and insurgents: Who are the new forces shaping foreign policy across the EU?", by Susi Dennison

 


 

Breakout session 2: How to achieve real solidarity amongst Europeans to manage refugee flows?

Kostas Bakoyannis, Governor of Central Greece

Emma Bonino, co-chair of ECFR Board

Sigrid Kaag, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon

Moderator: Petra Stienen, Author; Member of Dutch Senate 


Reading: "How to achieve real solidarity amongst Europeans to manage refugee flows? ", by Susi Dennison

 


 

Breakout session 3: Does Russia want to break up the European Union?

Mark Galeotti, Professor of Global Affairs, New York University; Visiting Fellow, ECFR

Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief, Russia in Global Affairs

Moderator: Kadri Liik, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Reading: "Does Russia want to break up the European Union?", by Kadri Liik

 

08:55-10:00

What are Europe’s interests in Syria?

Please note that this session is under Chatham House rule

David Cvach, North Africa and Middle East Advisor, Cabinet of the President of France

Philip Gordon, former Special Assistant to the President of the United States and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf Region

Rim Turkmani, Senior Research Fellow, London School of Economics

Moderator: Daniel Levy, Director of Middle East and North Africa programme, ECFR


Reading: "A European Syria initiative: De-escalation and devolution", by Julien Barnes-Dacey

10:00-10:30

In conversation with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance of the Netherlands [VIDEO RECORDING]

Moderator: Lykke Friis, Prorector, University of Copenhagen

10:35-11:35

Breakout sessions (in parallel)

Breakout session 4: China and the international order: joining, free riding or challenging it?

Carl Bildt, co-chair of ECFR Board

Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister of Australia

François Godement, Director, Asia and China programme, ECFR

Moderator: Matthias Nass, Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit

Reading: "Chasing a ghost: China and market economy status", by François Godement

 


 

Breakout session 5: Does Europe need its own digital champions?

Toomas Ilves, President of Estonia

Constantijn van Oranje, Director for digital diplomacy and macro strategy, Macro Advisory Partners

Eckart von Klaeden, Head of External Affairs, Daimler AG

Moderator: Andrew Puddephatt, Director, Global Partners

Reading: "Creating European digital champions", by Sebastien Dullien

 

 


 

Breakout session 6:  How can Turkey and Brussels prevent a blow up?

Asli Aydintasbas, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Gerald Knaus, Chairman, European Stability Initiative

Katarina Mathernova, Deputy Director General, DG NEAR, European Commission

Moderator: Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne Columnist, The Economist

Reading: "How can Turkey and Brussels prevent a blow up?", by Asli Aydintasbas

 


 

Breakout session 7: Can a European diplomatic offensive unite Libyans against ISIS?

Nataliya Apostolova, Head, Delegation of the European Union to Libya

Claudio Cordone, Director of Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division, United Nations Support Mission in Libya

Moderator: Mattia Toaldo, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Reading: "How a European diplomatic offensive can unite Libyans against ISIS", by Mattia Toaldo

 

11:45-12:45

What should Europe ask the next US President? [AUDIO RECORDING]

Bill Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution

Walter Russell Mead, James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities, Bard College

Réka Szemerkényi, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States

Moderator: Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR 


Reading: "What President Clinton, or Trump, means for Europe", by Jeremy Shapiro

12:45-13:00

Closing remarks

Carl Bildt, co-chair of ECFR Board

Emma Bonino, co-chair of ECFR Board

Dick Oosting, departing CEO, ECFR  

15:00-17:00

Public Discussion: ‘The State of our Union: Europe in 2016’

Tuesday 28 June 2016, 15:00-17:00 (doors open from 14:30)
Leiden University Campus The Hague, Schouwburgstraat 2, The Hague
Free Admission. Please register online or email aanmelden@prodemos.nl

Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden

Beatrice de Graaf, Professor for the History of International Relations & Global Governance, University of Utrecht

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former NATO Secretary General

Mark Leonard, Founder & Director, ECFR

Moderated by Caroline de Gruyter, European Affairs Correspondent, NRC Handelsblad

  • Jozias van Aartsen
    Jozias van Aartsen
    Mayor of The Hague
  • Douglas Alexander
    Douglas Alexander
    Former UK Secretary of State for International Development
  • Kostas Bakoyannis
    Kostas Bakoyannis
    Governor of Central Greece
  • Carl Bildt
    Carl Bildt
    Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden
  • Emma Bonino
    Emma Bonino
    Former Foreign Minister of Italy
  • David Cvach
    David Cvach
    MENA Advisor, Cabinet of the President of the French Republic
  • Susi Dennison
    Susi Dennison
    Director of European Power programme, ECFR
  • Jeroen Dijsselbloem
    Jeroen Dijsselbloem
    Minister of Finance of the Netherlands
  • Lykke Friis
    Lykke Friis
    Prorector, University of Copenhagen
  • Bill Galston
    Bill Galston
    Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
  • Timothy Garton Ash
    Timothy Garton Ash
    Professor of European Studies, Oxford University
  • François Godement
    François Godement
    Director of Asia & China programme, ECFR
  • Philip Gordon
    Philip Gordon
    Former White House Coordinator for the Middle East & North Africa
  • Beatrice de Graaf
    Beatrice de Graaf
    Professor, Utrecht University
  • Toomas Ilves
    Toomas Ilves
    President of Estonia
  • Sigrid Kaag
    Sigrid Kaag
    UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon
  • Sylvie Kauffmann
    Sylvie Kauffmann
    Editorial Director, Le Monde
  • Gerald Knaus
    Gerald Knaus
    Chairman, European Stability Initiative and Open Society Fellow
  • Ivan Krastev
    Ivan Krastev
    Chair of Board, Centre for Liberal Strategies
  • Mark Leonard
    Mark Leonard
    Director, ECFR
  • Daniel Levy
    Daniel Levy
    Director of MENA programme, ECFR
  • Kadri Liik
    Kadri Liik
    Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
  • Fyodor Lukyanov
    Fyodor Lukyanov
    Editor-in-Chief, Russia in Global Affairs
  • Katarina Mathernova
    Katarina Mathernova
    Deputy Director General, DG NEAR, European Commission
  • Walter Russell Mead
    Walter Russell Mead
    Professor of Foreign Affairs, Bard College
  • Matthias Nass
    Matthias Nass
    Chief International Correspondent, Die Zeit
  • Tom Nuttall
    Tom Nuttall
    Charlemagne Columnist, The Economist
  • Christine Ockrent
    Christine Ockrent
    Commentator and writer
  • Constantijn van Oranje
    Constantijn van Oranje
    Macro Advisory Partners
  • Mabel van Oranje
    Mabel van Oranje
    Chair, Girls Not Brides
  • Dick Oosting
    Dick Oosting
    CEO,ECFR
  • Robert Pszczel
    Robert Pszczel
    Acting Director, NATO Information Office in Moscow
  • Malcolm Rifkind
    Malcolm Rifkind
    Former UK Foreign Secretary
  • Norbert Röttgen
    Norbert Röttgen
    Chairman, Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Kevin Rudd
    Kevin Rudd
    former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Jeremy Shapiro
    Jeremy Shapiro
    Research Director, ECFR
  • Petra Stienen
    Petra Stienen
    Author; former diplomat
  •  Alexander Stubb
    Alexander Stubb
    former Prime Minister of Finland
  • Krzysztof Szczerski
    Krzysztof Szczerski
    Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of Poland
  • Helle Thorning-Schmidt
    Helle Thorning-Schmidt
    Chief Executive, Save the Children
  • Frans Timmermans
    Frans Timmermans
    First Vice President of the European Commission
  • Rim Turkmani
    Rim Turkmani
    Senior Research Fellow, London School of Economics
  • Eckart von Klaeden
    Eckart von Klaeden
    Head of External Affairs, Daimler AG
  • Nick Witney
    Nick Witney
    Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
Refresh the page to update the contents

ECFR 2016 Annual Council Meeting is now finished! Recordings of the various sessions will be available on this page

Finally, this session won't go on Facebook Live for technical reasons, but you will find the complete audio recordings on this page in a couple of hours. And of course, keep following the page for a live selection of the best tweets 

The last session has just started! We'll be very soon be live streaming on our Facebook page 

What should Europe want from the next US President?

Bill Galston, Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution @BillGalston

Walter Russell Mead, James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities, Bard College @Wrmead

Réka Szemerkényi, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States @AmbSzemerkenyi 

Moderator: Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR @JyShapiro  

The session with Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem just finished, but you can watch it here! We move to the breakout sessions, we'll be live again on this page from 11.45 with a great panel on "What should the EU ask to the next US president"

In conversation with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance of the Netherlands

@J_Dijsselbloem

Moderator: Lykke Friis, Prorector, University of Copenhagen @lykkefriis 

Good morning!

The first on-the-record session will be at 10 AM with Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Minister of Finance of the Netherlands, and you will be able to follow it on live streaming on this with and on our Facebook page.

The recording of yesterday's last session is now available 

The last session has just finished. See you tomorrow morning!

The audio recording of the previous session: "Brexit, Views from the UK" is now available

The next discussion will start in 5 minutes

How should NATO and the EU respond to the threat of Russian aggression?

Beatrice de Graaf, Professor of the History of International Relations and Global Governance, University of Utrecht

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former NATO Secretary General 

Robert Pszczel, Acting Director, NATO Information Office in Moscow @NATOmoscow

Moderator: Nick Witney, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

The audio recording of this sessions will be available on this page at 6pm

LIVE NOW: Brexit: Views from the UK

Douglas Alexander, former Secretary of State for International Development @D_G_Alexander

Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, Oxford University @fromTGA

Malcolm Rifkind, former UK Foreign Secretary @MalcolmRifkind

Moderator: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times @gideonrachman

Watch the video of the latest section: "Brexit, Views from Europe", with George Soros, Alexander Stubb, Norbert Röttgen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Gordon Bajnai and Gideon Rachman

Brexit: Views from Europe

Posted by ECFR on Monday, 27 June 2016

UP NEXT: Brexit: Views from Europe

Gordon Bajnai, Former Prime Minister of Hungary @Bajnai_Gordon

Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Bundestag 

George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations @georgesoros

Alexander Stubb, Former Prime Minister of Finland @alexstubb 

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO, Save the Children International @HelleThorning_S

Moderator: Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times @gideonrachman

Initial remarks by ECFR Director Mark Leonard

Mabel van Oranje, co-chair of ECFR Board and Alison Wallace, ECFR's new CEO  are welcoming the participants to the #ECFR16

Follow this page today from 1 PM to get live multimedia updates from the ECFR Annual Council Meeting

Host partners:

host host
Sponsors:

sponsor sponsor

The Hague photo credit: Tom Roeleveld / Flickr