LISD Convenes Colloquium on Emerging European Security Challenges

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University convened a colloquium, “Emerging European Security Challenges,” in Triesenberg, Liechtenstein, on November 12-15, 2015. The colloquium brought together senior governmental representatives, academics, policy-makers, diplomats, and representatives of civil society and NGOs to discuss contemporary issues of security in Europe and the interconnecting crises in the broader regional context. José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission and Policy Fellow at LISD, delivered a keynote address during the plenary session on Saturday afternoon. LISD Director Wolfgang Danspeckgruber chaired the meeting.

Participants engaged in both plenary and working group discussions focused on three key themes. In group one, “Russia, Ukraine, the West and the future of collective security,” participants discussed the role of the Baltic states in security issues, the relationship between Russia and the European Union, especially regarding the war in Ukraine, the transforming geopolitical calculus following Russian intervention in Syria, and the role of information warfare. Group two, “The Syrian War and ISIS/Da’esh” focused on several issues related to the ongoing civil war and conflict in the Middle East, including shifting alliances and tactics of the Assad government, rebel and other opposition groups, ISIS/Da’esh, Turkey and other regional players, especially the Kurds, and the military and strategic dimensions of various actors in the region. The third group, “The Refugee Crisis and the Challenge of European Collective Action,” tied these discussions of conflict to the humanitarian crisis on and within Europe’s borders, especially regarding issues of collective security, the role of Turkey, the influence of religion and the protection of religious minorities, and the longer-term question of integration and assimilation for refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants arriving in Europe.

The terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13 shaped discussions and debate during the second half of the conference, rendering the notions of security, transnational terrorism, and broader geopolitical conflict ever more pressing for European policy and decision-makers.

A Chair’s Summary is forthcoming from the Institute.