17th Batumi International Conference - Enduring Power of Attraction – When the EU Makes Difference
Over the years, Batumi International Conference has established itself as a strategic platform for integration of ideas, policies and common interests aimed at deepening and enhancing existing relations between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries.
In 2021, Batumi International Conference is back after a challenging year that has given the world a lot to reflect on, reevaluate and adapt. The global pandemic has been a turning point for the humanity to assess previous modus operandi and explore new potentials.
Though this year’s Batumi International Conference format is relatively limited - presented in a hybrid format due to ongoing pandemic, the European affairs and European integration, traditionally, remain the central themes of event. Respective panels will center around two major themes:
The main spotlight is on the upgraded level of cooperation between the three EU Associated Partners – Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - recently formalized as the Associated Trio. The three Partners are determined to accelerate the reforms envisaged by their respective Association Agreements with the European Union that contain provisions on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas and prepare the next stage of their European integration. Thus, the panel will discuss possible interests of the EU to engage further in the enhanced integration process with the three Eastern European partners, deliberate more on the European enthusiasm of the three countries while also reflecting on how the new format will complement the future of the Eastern Partnership.
On the second panel, representatives of notorious think-tanks will address the renewal of the traditional transatlantic dialogue and possible development scenarios thereof. Talks about stronger EU autonomy from its traditional ally – the United States or assumptions about declining interest of America towards Europe are issues posed by those who see these developments as detrimental to freedom and democracy worldwide. With revived enthusiasm, the traditional allies across the Atlantic have been advancing relations around the areas, where cooperation has a significant potential. Accordingly, the panel will reflect on the emerging defining lines of the renewed transatlantic alliance, discuss if the support to democracy in the world be the part of the new transatlantic agenda and would it cover those Eastern European nations who are outside the EU and NATO.