The Lennart Meri Conference will begin tomorrow, 3 September 2021, bringing foreign leaders, policymakers, high-ranking military personnel, academics and analysts from near and far for a weekend in Tallinn to discuss foreign and security issues in a time of turbulence.
This, the 14th conference, is entitled “My Neighbour’s Problem Today – Mine Tomorrow”, based on a saying of the Roman poet Horace: “You too are in danger, when your neighbour’s house is on fire.”
“Today, when states seem to prefer to retract into their shells like turtles rather than join together to fight global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, this ancient wisdom provides a fitting starting point for our discussions,” says Lennart Meri Conference Director Eeva Eek-Pajuste.
The conference will focus on topical issues such as the pre-election situation in Russia, the prospects for war-torn Ukraine, developments in Belarus, the changing security environment in the Baltic Sea, the European Union’s search for a role as a global actor, the twists and turns of transatlantic relations, and NATO’s strategic choices.
“At the same time, India, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Arctic, and the Western Balkans have also become our neighbours. Their problems are also our problems. And the free world is in ever-increasing confrontation with authoritarian forces,” notes Pajuste.
Speakers at the Lennart Meri Conference include President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, President of Latvia Egils Levits, Vice President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, Secretary General of the European External Action Service Stefano Sannino, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Baiba Braže, Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces Rajmund Andrzejczak, and several foreign ministers and senior government officials.
Thought-provoking perspectives will be brought by, among others, renown philosopher Yascha Mounk, writer and former diplomat Vikas Swarup, as well as well-known Russian thinkers and researchers, Belarusian and Ukrainian analysts, Middle East experts and drivers of societal change, such as Sabina Jeschke, Germany’s leading expert on artificial intelligence and robotics.
A more detailed conference agenda, biographies of speakers and live broadcasts of public discussions can be found on the event’s website.
The working language of the conference is English.
The Lennart Meri Conference is organised by the International Centre for Defence and Security together with the Lennart Meri Foundation. The partners and supporters of the 2021 conference are the Estonian Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State Chancellery, the Open Society Foundations, Elering, Rail Baltica, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, Swedbank, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Alexela, Saab, the city of Tallinn, the US Embassy in Estonia, the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation, BAE Systems, the European Commission Representation in Estonia, Cybernetica, Tallinn Airport and Hyundai.
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