On 27-28 June 2018, the European Leadership Network hosted a roundtable discussion in the UK House of Lords examining the political, security and economic conditions in the Western Balkans and how best to promote stability and democratic reform across the region. The meeting was co-chaired by Lord Browne of Ladyton and ELN member and former Albanian Defence Minister, Fatmir Mediu.
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At the ongoing NATO Brussels summit and the Trump-Putin meeting following right after, there will be one issue that can make all the difference between a success and failure: the ability to resolve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) crisis.
How to make a success of next week’s Helsinki summit? Des Browne, Wolfgang Ischinger, Igor Ivanov and Sam Nunn put forward five recommendations to reduce nuclear risks.
An approach which aims to inject new thinking into Russia-NATO relations has been proposed by the ELN-supported Task Force on Cooperation in Greater Europe, endorsed by former foreign and defence ministers, military leaders, diplomats and experts from the United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, France, Ukraine, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The proposal outlines "interim rules of the game" to allow for more transparency, predictability and risk reduction as well as for avoiding misunderstanding, miscalculation and unintended escalation.
Martin Michelot, Deputy Director of the EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy in Prague, analyses the Visegrád group's agenda for European defence, noting that the establishment of the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) offers an important role for small and mid-size member states in future PESCO initiatives. This presents a potential new opportunity for the Visegrád Four (V4).
Dr Heather Williams, Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College London (KCL) and Amelia Morgan, Research Assistant at KCL's Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) examine how the United States and Russia could become more responsible nuclear actors and strengthen the global nuclear order at a time when it is most fragile.
Stefano Stefanini, Italy's former Ambassador to NATO, argues that the new Five Star-League Italian government will soon be faced with stark foreign policy choices. Although the government will likely remain anchored to NATO and will quickly learn it cannot 'have it all', the coalition could cause significant disruption to EU policy through populist stances on migration or Russia sanctions.
Sahil Shah argues that future is yet to be written for the Korean Peninsula and a positive outcome depends on the successful negotiation and implementation of tangible assurances and strong verification of disarmament pledges. Key to the “denuclearization” agenda is North Korea having a relationship with international organizations such as the CTBTO and IAEA.
In a report released ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, Sir Adam Thomson, ELN Director and former UK Ambassador to NATO assesses three core challenges to NATO solidarity - (1) Russia, (2) NATO’s engagement southwards, and (3) transatlantic burdensharing - and offers specific recommendations in each area for the summit declaration, communique and EU-NATO Joint Declaration.