8th Annual Tallinn Conference on the Eastern Partnership
EU Enlargement and the Eastern Partnership: Europe’s New Geopolitical Reality
Wednesday, 23 November 2022 at Radisson Collection Hotel (Rävala 3) in Tallinn, Estonia.
The past year has seen momentous events in Europe. Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine has launched geopolitical changes, the results of which will only become fully apparent in the years to come. However, we can already witness the accelerated European integration of the associated partner countries. Moldova and Ukraine have been granted candidate status and Georgia has been given a European perspective.
How can we ensure that EU enlargement will proceed as these countries expect? What can the new candidates learn from the more seasoned colleagues in the Western Balkan countries? Will the Western Balkan countries benefit from the extra attention that the enlargement process is getting or is there a risk of getting dragged into a mix of increased complexity?
There is no doubt that there will be close scrutiny of the reforms that the candidate countries are undertaking. Will the candidates have enough political will and capabilities to reform in such a manner that would also please the enlargement sceptics? What can todays candidates learn from the last wave of enlargement – is the reform experience of the 2004/07 wave transferrable to them?
Despite having its new sights set only a year ago, Eastern Partnership is facing existential questions about its future after the start of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the decisions of the European Council in June on Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. Are the relationships between the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries becoming irrevocably bilateral or are there still benefits to be found in multilateral cooperation? Can the accession and Eastern Partnership tracks run smoothly in parallel bringing the partner countries closer to the European Union?
This turbulent but still hopeful time is a good moment to try to find answers to these questions.
09:30 Registration and coffee
10:00-10:15 Introduction and welcome
Mr Indrek Kannik, Director of the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS)
Ms Vivian Loonela, Head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia
H.E. Ms Ingrid Tersman, Ambassador of Sweden in Estonia
10:15-11:00 Keynote Session
H.E. Mr Urmas Reinsalu, Foreign Minister of Estonia
H.E. Ms Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine (video link)
Mr Teimuraz Janjalia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Moderator: Dr Kristi Raik, Director of Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Panel I: EU Enlargement: How to Make it Happen?
Dr Liubov Akulenko, Executive Director, Ukrainian Centre for European Policy
Dr Steven Blockmans, Senior Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS, Director of Research at CEPS
Ms Kalinka Gaber, State Adviser for Policy Development and Coordination, Government of North Macedonia
Mr Jaap Frederiks, Ambassador, Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Moderator: Ms Marika Linntam, Director General for European Affairs, Ministry Foreign Affairs of Estonia
13:00-14:00 Lunch for the participants of the conference at the hotel restaurant MEKK
14:00-15:15 Panel II: Is Eastern Partnership Dead?
Mr Eugen Caras, Director of the European Integration Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova
Ms Christina Johannesson, Eastern Partnership Ambassador, the Swedish Foreign Service
Mr Dirk Schuebel, Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership, EEAS
Prof Kataryna Wolczuk, Professor of Politics at the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES), University of Birmingham
Moderator: Mr Gert Antsu, Director for Ukraine, Moldova and South Caucasus, Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
15:15-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-16:45 Panel III: Reforming for Membership
Mr Jan Marian, Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic
H.E. Dr Petar Marković, Ambassador, Head of Mission of Montenegro to the European Union
Mr Givi Mikanadze, First Deputy Chair of the Faction “The Georgian Dream”, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Parliament of Georgia
Dr Mykhailo Zhernakov, Co-founder and the Chair of the Board, DEJURE Foundation
Moderator: Mr Tanel Tang, Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission
16:45-18:00 Closing Remarks and Reception
Mr Gert Antsu, Director for Ukraine, Moldova and South Caucasus, Special Envoy for Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Mr Petr Preclík, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Czech Republic in Tallinn
Mr Gert Antsu, Director for Ukraine, Moldova and South Caucasus, Special Envoy for Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia (agenda): Gert.Antsu@mfa.ee
Ms Maret Koplus, Event Coordinator at the ICDS (travel, accommodation): Maret.Koplus@icds.ee
Ms Liisi Poll, Head of Communications at the ICDS (media relations, social media, website): Liisi.Poll@icds.ee
(in alphabetical order)
Executive Director, Ukrainian Centre for European Policy
Liubov Akulenko is an executive director of “Ukrainian Centre for European Policy,” an independent think tank, that she established in 2015. Ms Akulenko started her research career in 2010 at the “Centre UA” think tank in Ukraine. With her expertise and focus on relations between the European Union and Ukraine, Ms Akulenko has conducted numerous successful sectoral campaigns to advocate for the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and facilitate fulfilment of Ukraine’s commitments under it. She holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and a PhD from the National Academy of Public Administration of the President of Ukraine.
Director for Ukraine, Moldova and South Caucasus, Special Envoy for Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Gert Antsu is the Director for Ukraine, Moldova, and the South Caucasus at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has served as the Estonian Special Envoy for Eastern Partnership since 2019. He previously worked as Ambassador to Ukraine (2016-2019) and Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland (2012-2016), as well as Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union. Mr Antsu served as the Director for EU Affairs at the Government Office. Before Estonia’s accession to the EU, he trained Estonian civil servants and taught courses on EU affairs at several universities. Having studied at the College of Europe in Natolin, Poland, and the Aarhus University in Denmark, he holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Tartu.
Senior Fellow of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS, Director of Research at CEPS
Dr Steven Blockmans is a director of research at CEPS (Brussels), professor of EU External Relations Law and Governance at the University of Amsterdam, and editor-in-chief of the European Foreign Affairs Review. Dr Blockmans regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the European Union, its member states, and G20 country governments. He has testified at the foreign affairs and international trade committees of the European Parliament and the UK House of Commons. Dr Blockmans served as rapporteur of high-level task forces on European Defence Union (2015), EU Institutional Reform (2017), and the European External Action Service (2021). He was the head of research at the Asser Institute, a special visiting professor at the Law Faculty of University of Leuven (2010-2014), and a long-term expert on legal approximation in the framework of an EU-sponsored project in support for the Ministry of European Integration of Albania (2007-2009).
Director of the European Integration Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova
Eugen Caras is the Director of the European Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova. He previously held various positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served in the Moldovan diplomatic missions in Washington D.C., Brussels, Kyiv, and Ankara. Mr Caras was appointed as Moldova’s Ambassador to the European Union and later to the United States of America. He had an honour to briefly serve as Presidential Advisor for Foreign Policy.
Ambassador, Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Jaap Frederiks is a Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership, having held this office since September 2020. Prior to this appointment, Mr Frederiks was the Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy in Suriname, with co-accreditation as ambassador to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (2017-2020). In 2017, Mr Frederiks was Charge d’Affaires a.i. in Ukraine, ambassador to Tanzania (co-accredited to Madagascar, Mauritius, and the Comoros) from 2013 to 2017, and Consul General in Australia from 2009 to 2013. Earlier on in his career, Mr Frederiks was inter alia deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy in Austria and deputy director for environmental and energy policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also served at the Netherlands Mission to the UN in Geneva, the Netherlands Embassy in Thailand and Iran, and was seconded to the European Commission.
State Adviser for Policy Development and Coordination, Government of North Macedonia
Kalinka Gaber is the State Adviser in the General Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia. With over 15 years of experience in managing, designing, and delivering transformational change across civil service and civil society organizations, she focuses on public administration reform and policy development and coordination at the whole-of-government level. Ms Gaber previously served as State Secretary for European Affairs overseeing planning, coordination and monitoring of the EU reform agenda, transposition of and harmonization with EU legislation, policies, and standards, as well as programming and implementation of EU’s pre-accession assistance. Having wide experience in the civil society sector, Ms Gaber implemented various large-scale projects promoting democracy, good governance, stronger legislation, rule of law, and human rights.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Teimuraz Janjalia is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, having held the position since June 2021. Before this appointment, he was the Director of the International Economic Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2018 to 2021. Mr Janjalia previously worked as Director of the International Economic, Cultural and Humanitarian Relations Department (2012-2013) and Deputy Director of the European Integration Department (2011-2012). Fluent in several foreign languages, he first joined the International Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in 1998 and has since then served in many positions within the ministry, including postings to the Georgian Embassy to the Republic of Latvia first as the Charge d’affaires (2008-2011) and later as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (2013-2018).
Ambassador for the Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden
Christina Johannesson is Ambassador for the Eastern Partnership of the Kingdom of Sweden, having held this position since September 2022. From 2017 to 2022, she served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to the Republic of Belarus. Amb Johannesson’s previous postings include Swedish diplomatic missions to Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as Brussels where she served as a delegate at the Council Working Party on Eastern Europe and Central Asia. With a degree from Uppsala University, she is fluent in English, Russian, French, and Belarusian.
Director of the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS)
Indrek Kannik joined the International Centre for Defence and Security in November 2020. Previously, Mr Kannik worked in various government agencies in the area of defence and security policy. Among other positions, he served as Minister of Defence, Security Policy Adviser to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, and Head of Analysis of the Foreign Intelligence Service. In the 1990s, Mr Kannik was a member of the Estonian Parliament. In his professional career, he has worked as a journalist and editor at “Postimees,” an Estonian daily.
Director General for European Affairs, Ministry Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Marika Linntam is the Director General of the Europe Department. Having been serving in this role since 2018, her responsibilities include bilateral relations with European countries and European Union affairs, ranging from EU enlargement to preparations of the General Affairs Council. Having served in the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2001, Ms Linntam contributed to the preparations for Estonia’s accession to the EU. She has represented Estonia as State Agent (2010-2013) before the EU Court of Justice and later in the Permanent Representation to the EU (2013-2018), where she overlooked cross-policy coordination during Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017. She holds a master’s degree in European Union Law from the University of Rennes 1.
Head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia
Vivian Loonela is the Head of the European Commission Representation in Estonia. Prior to her appointment to this position in January 2022, she worked as the Commission’s Coordinating Spokesperson for the European Green Deal, leading the Commission’s communication in the areas of climate, energy, environment, oceans, transport, and cohesion. Ms Loonela was the Foreign Policy and Cybersecurity Advisor in the Cabinet of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market. She has been a member of several EU-U.S. negotiation teams on justice and home affairs, the Secretariat-General’s rule of law and economic governance teams. Ms Loonela contributed to developing justice and home affairs cooperation with Ukraine and within the Eastern Partnership. Before joining the Commission, she was an Estonian diplomat and served at the Estonian Permanent Representation to NATO.
Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic
Jan Marian is the Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, having previously served as an Acting Director of Communications. From 2019 to 2022, Mr Marian was a Strategic Communications Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Before a short-term posting at the Czech Embassy in Moscow in 2021, he worked at the Czech Republic’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels from 2014 to 2018, focusing on Eastern Europe and Central Asia. With academic background in International Studies, Russian and Eastern European Studies and prior to joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008, Mr Marian worked for non-government organisations and think tanks, including the Association for International Affairs, People in Need, Civic Belarus, and the Prague Security Studies Institute.
Ambassador, Head of Mission of Montenegro to the European Union
Petar Marković is the Ambassador of Montenegro to the European Union and the youngest Head of Mission in Brussels. Prior to his appointment in October 2021, he was a policy leader fellow at the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute in Florence, the citizens’ rights coordinator at the European Citizen Action Service, and a director of ECIT Foundation, a Brussels think tank. Having a dual PhD in political theory and political science from Université libre de Bruxelles and Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali, Amb Marković was also an adjunct professor at the Brussels School of Governance at the VUB in Brussels, where he taught EU Politics, EU Approach to Democratization and Human Rights, and the History of the Cold War.
First Deputy Chair of the Faction “The Georgian Dream”, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Parliament of Georgia
Givi Mikanadze is the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Faction “The Georgian Dream” party, as well as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and the delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Parliaments of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Mr Mikanadze previously served as the Secretary General of the Georgian Parliament (2018-2020) and as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia (2005-2008). Mr Mikanadze was project officer for the UNDP-led “Support to the Local Governance Reform in Georgia” project, as well as the “Human Rights in Prisons and Other Closed Institutions” and “Improving the capacity of the Penitentiary System” projects led by the Council of Europe. He chaired several NGOs, including “Human Rights Education Centre” and “Centre for Protection of Constitutional Rights.” With his extensive professional background in law, Mr Mikanadze has taught at several universities.
Director of Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS
Dr Kristi Raik has been Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute at the ICDS since February 2018 while also holding the position of an adjunct professor at the University of Turku. Dr Raik has previously served as a senior research fellow and acting programme director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki; an official at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union in Brussels; and a visiting fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels and the International Centre for Policy Studies in Kyiv. Dr Raik earned her PhD from the University of Turku. She has published, lectured, and commented widely on European foreign and security policy.
Foreign Minister of Estonia
Urmas Reinsalu has been the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia since July 2022, having previously held this office between 2019 and 2021. Since graduating from the University of Tartu in 1997, he has served in multiple government positions, including as the Director of the Office of the President of the Republic (1998-2001), Minister of Defence (2012-2014), and Minister of Justice (2015-2019). Mr Reinsalu was a Member of the Estonian Parliament (in the 11th Riigikogu from 2007 to 2011, 12th Riigikogu from 2011 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2015, and 14th Riigikogu from 2021 to 2022).
Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership, EEAS
Dirk Schuebel is the EU’s Special Envoy for the Eastern Partnership since October 2022. Prior to this appointment in October 2022, he was the EU’s Head of Delegation to Belarus from 2019 to September 2022. Amb Schuebel served as Head of the EU Delegation and ambassador in the republic of Moldova and as Head of the Political, Press and Information Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. He was both Head of Division for Russia and Head of Division for the bilateral relation with the Eastern Partnership in the European External Action Service. Before his EEAS commitments, Amb Schuebel worked in the European Commission’s DGs dealing with Transport and Energy, Enlargement and also Trade. He started his professional career in the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Amb Schuebel holds a degree in Foreign Trade and International Commercial Relations.
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine
Olha Stefanishyna is the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, having been appointed to this role in June 2020. With over 13 years of expertise in the field of International and European Law, Ms Stefanishyna is in charge of Ukraine’s integration to the EU and NATO, as well as coordination on gender equality. She previously served as a Director-General of the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine from 2017 to 2019. Ms Stefanishyna also used to work in the Department of International Law/Department of European Integration at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine from 2010 to 2015. With the second part of her portfolio focused on all-government coordination of Ukraine-NATO cooperation and interoperability between Ukraine and NATO Allies military forces, Ms Stefanishyna has received the “Women for Peace and Security” reward from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly this year.
Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission
Tanel Tang is the Team Leader for Policy and Reform Coordination at Support Group for Ukraine at the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Englargement within the European Commission, having worked in the Group since the beginning of 2018. His previous duties include Estonian Presidency at the European Union in 2017, Political Section of the EU Delegation in Kyiv from 2015 to 2017, as well as various diplomatic positions in Estonian foreign service in Strasbourg, Brussels, and Berlin.
Ambassador of Sweden in Estonia
Ingrid Tersman has been the Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Estonia since 2021. She has previously served as an Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Amb Tersman has over 25 years of experience from her time at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence. She has held various positions related to EU and Nordic affairs, conflict resolution, and conventional arms control. From 2006 to 2007, Amb Tersman served as Swedish Political Representative and Head of the Civilian Team at the Swedish International Security Assistance Force/Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan. She worked at the Swedish Defence Research Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Amb Tersman has extensive management experience from positions within the Swedish government.
Professor of Politics at the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES), University of Birmingham
Kataryna Wolczuk is a professor of Politics at the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Birmingham and an associate fellow at Chatham House with Russia and Eurasia Programme. She has published extensively on Eastern European politics, EU’s eastern policy, and Russia and Eurasian integration. Ms Wolchuk has long-standing experience working with international organizations, think tanks, governments, and international media.
Co-founder and the Chair of the Board, DEJURE Foundation
Dr Mykhailo Zhernakov is a chair of the board of “DEJURE Foundation”, a leading Ukrainian NGO in judicial reform, that he co-founded in 2016. Dr Zhernakov has been a member of the Public Integrity Council (PIC), a civic body responsible for checking the integrity of judges and candidates for the judgeship, since November 2016 and a coordinator of the PIC since December 2018. Holding a PhD in Law, he served as a judge on the Vinnytsya District Administrative Court from February 2012 to September 2015. Dr Zhernakov took part in the development of Ukraine’s judicial reform advocating for the renewal of the judiciary, creation of the new Supreme Court in Ukraine, and civil society’s active participation in the selection of judges.
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