High Level Think Tank Event - EU’s Eastern Partnership in Times of Upheaval

and New Configurations in the Neighborhood
30 September 2020
Event location


The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) together with DG NEAR organises a high-level think tank event to discuss the EU’s Eastern Partnership in times of upheaval. As the EU institutions are preparing political groundwork for the next Eastern Partnership summit in Spring 2021, significant changes and upheavals have been reshaping the socio-political and economic environment in the EU’s neighborhood.  In the words of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borell, the neighbourhood is ‘engulfed in flames’. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of resilience of our societies and capacity to adapt and modernize our states. Rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, massive protests and open-ended transformation in Belarus accompanied by human rights violations, and upcoming elections in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova project the possibility of even more political instability arising in the near future.

This event invites you to a thought-provoking discussion on the new configurations in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, and the official launch of the think tank network on the Eastern Partnership aimed at supporting policy-makers in the EU and the Eastern Partner countries with regular reflection and exchanges on key issues.

The high-level think tank event will be opened by a key note speech of the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and brings together high-level panellists that cover the Eastern Partnership from both EU Member States and Eastern Partnership countries. Panellists include:

Luc Devigne, Acting Managing Director, Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE, European External Action Service
Katariná Mathernová, Deputy Director General, European Commission, DG NEAR
Michael Siebert, Ambassador, Director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, German Federal Foreign Office
Miriam Lexmann, Member of European Parliament, European People’s Party
Sinikukka Saari, Senior Associate Analyst, European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS)
Hennadiy Maksak, Executive Director, Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”

The event will be moderated by Cristina Gherasimov, Research Fellow at the Robert Bosch Center for Central Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia at DGAP.




Welcome and short introduction by Daniela Schwarzer (Director, DGAP)


Key note speech by the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi (tbc)

15.10 - 16.30         

Panel Discussion and Questions & Answers


Watch the recording: