The 12th edition of the Aspen – GMF Bucharest Forum, organized by the Aspen Institute Romania and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), will take place on 9 – 10 November 2023, in Bucharest. A flagship public diplomacy and strategic convening in the Black Sea region, the Aspen – GMF Bucharest Forum offers a stage to global leaders to engage with the extended Black Sea area, bridging Trans-Atlantic conversations and creating a process of reflection on the region and its impact within the international agendas.

Day 1 Highlights VideoDay 2 Highlights Video

High-Level Reception Photos & Day 1 Photos & Day 2 Photos 

Written Perspectives at Aspen – GMF Bucharest Forum 2023

Useful Readings Recommended by our Knowledge Partners

This edition will build upon the previous successful 2022 event, which was hosted with the support of NATO during the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs Meeting in Bucharest. Highlights of the past edition may be watched in the short video here.

The war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are marking an inflection point for the entire world. Our paradigms about military and economic security have been shattered, while international and regional geopolitical maps are being redrawn. The local military conflicts are only the tip of the iceberg of a larger economic and ideological confrontation, that risks a sharp divide of the world. Military security has been brought to the forefront of international agenda, while economic security has become another cornerstone of international security, and solutions to military conflicts as well as those to value, supply and production chains that minimize strategic risks are imperative. This new quest is set to bring about political and social transformations at national and trans-national levels, it calls for a fresh look at multilateral institutions and their roles and sets in motion processes needed to attain the ultimate goals. Build (back) better now refers not only to Ukraine, but indeed to the world.

Russia’s war of aggression has been faced with determination and unity by the trans-Atlantic and international community, an unity that will need to last as long as the war does. The war has also led to a sharpening divide not only along countries’ support to Ukraine, but, more dramatically, along countries’ embrace, or rather rejection, of Western democracy and its most prominent representation, the “American hegemon”. This division has become even more obvious in relation to the war in Israel, that polarized reactions within leaders as well as public opinion. A divide that translates not only in social, political, economic and security spheres, in a renewed battle for “hearts and minds”, or access to mineral reserves, technologies and markets, but also in homeland security, threatened more than ever by terrorist attacks.

This year’s edition of Aspen-German Marshall Fund Bucharest Forum will center on the transformations and challenges the wars are generating internationally. Themes to be debated include:

  • hard and cyber security
  • rearmament and regionalization of defense industry
  • geopolitical rearrangements
  • regionalization of chains of production
  • cyber and technological development
  • education as a keystone to societal resilience
  • venture capital and regional start-ups
  • financial markets
  • green economy
  • financing institutions and economic security
  • democracy in a divided world

The annual Aspen- German Marshall Fund Bucharest Forum is a platform for genuine, provocative and forward-looking debate, seeking to put forward the right questions and tackle the complicated issues of a dynamic and volatile regional and international context.

As with every edition, Bucharest Forum will reunite business representatives, officials and strategic community, in a tri-party format that best allows for synergetic analysis and approaches. Participants from Europe, the US, NATO partner countries as well as from Middle East, Africa and Asia will come together for the two days of debate, joined by high level representatives from multilateral institutions and national governments.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s edition will benefit from the partnership of the Ministry of National Defence of Romania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania,  and also counts among its supporters the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the Munich Security Conference, and the Economist Impact Events, with the common goal to address the most important and impactful issues on the current global affairs agenda. More partners will be announced in the coming months.

Organizers: Aspen Institute Romania, German Marshall Fund of the United States

With the support of: NATO Public Diplomacy Division, USAID

Institutional Partners: Ministry of National Defence of Romania, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania

International Partners: The Aspen Institute US, Aspen Security Forum, Munich Security Conference, The Economist Impact Events, Aspen Institute Kyiv, Aspen Institute Central Europe, The Aspen Institute France, Representation of European Commission to Romania

Knowledge Partners: Kearney, EY, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Policy Center for the New South, American Chamber of Commerce in Romania – AmCham

Main Partners: Vodafone, PPF Group, OMV Petrom, Google, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, E-ON, Global Foresight Strategies 

Partners: Mastercard, Garanti BBVA, Merk Class

Supporters: Meta, Banca Transilvania, Horvath, Wiren, Cotnari, Aqua Carpatica

Media Partners: ProTV, DC Media Group, Curs de Guvernare, Calea Europeană, TVR Info, KissFM, Emerging Europe, Visegrad Insight, bTV Bulgaria




In the role of MC we were delighted to have Nicoleta Deliu-Pașol, Head of Corporate Communication and Community Affairs, BCR / Aspen Fellow. 

9:00 – 9:10

Introductory Remarks

        Teddy Dumitrescu, Acting President, Aspen Institute Romania

9:10 – 9:30

Keynote Address

        Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO

9:30 – 9:50

Keynote Speech

·       Heather A. Conley, President, German Marshall Fund of the United States

10:00 – 10:40

Thread 2 Perspectives for peace

The war in Ukraine continues to claim people’s lives, destroy the country’s economy and drain Western resources. It has become not only one country’s fight against the invader, but its quest for survival, and Europe’s pursuit to economic and military security. Almost two years in, the country, the region and indeed the world are still expecting an end to the conflict. Yet a stable and sustainable peace needs to be achieved to allow for an enduring reconstruction of Ukraine and for long-term security in the region and the European space. Discussions and plans on further supporting Ukraine in the war have become a permanent preoccupation of the country’s allies and friends; lately, so have plans and suggestions for attaining peace. What will achieving peace entail? Is an end to the conflict enough to secure the country and the region? What should be done to achieve economic and military security in the region and beyond?    

Opening remarks: H.E. Mr. Ihor Prokopchuk, Ambassador of Ukraine to Romania

        Rachel Epstein, Senior Associate Dean, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, USA

        Peter Rough, Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Europe and Eurasia, Hudson Institute

        Karl-Heinz Kamp, Former President, Federal Academy for Security Policy, Germany

Moderator: Cosmin Stan, News anchor, PRO TV 

10:40 – 11:00

High-level Conversation with H.E. Kathleen Kavalec, US Ambassador to Romania moderated by Cristina Cileacu, Journalist, Digi24

11:00 – 11:35

Thread 1 A Reconstructed Ukraine

No peace would be complete without a reconstructed, economically viable and socially healthy Ukraine. A momentous task, given the human and material destruction the country has suffered, yet one Ukraine’s allies and friends have pledged to fully support. It is an endeavor that will require not only material, but also human capital, not only creativity, but also endurance. Rebuilding the economy and better connecting it to international economic and financial flows, while of uncontested importance, will only lead to a reconstructed Ukraine if its society heals and its human resources support the rebuilding effort. What are the steps international community is taking to support and galvanize the reconstruction of Ukraine? What will Ukraine need to do, and what will its friends need to offer?

Setting the stage: Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement

·       Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chair of the Committee of Verkhovna Rada on Ukraine’s integration into the European Union (virtual connection)

·       John Hewko, General Secretary and CEO, Rotary International

·       Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Director, CEU Democracy Institute Leadership Academy

·       Mark Magaletsky, Associate Director, Deputy Head Ukraine, EBRD (virtual connection)

Moderator: Clara Volintiru, Regional Director, German Marshall Fund of the US, Aspen Alumna

11:35 – 11:50 Coffee Break 

11:50 SIDE EVENT (Roundtable, By Invitation only, Closed Door format)

Reconstruction of Ukraine – The Importance of Partnerships

11:50 – 12:35

Thread 3 Fostering AI in the region and its impact on society

The panel will discuss the impact Artificial Intelligence has on the public sector, businesses, citizens and society as a whole, focusing on the benefits that AI brings as well as opportunities for Romania and the region. The discussion will further address key principles that should guide the ethical and responsible development of AI, including innovation, trustworthiness, protection of human rights, and democratic values. The panelists will also be invited to look into best practices that could be relevant for the region, exploring successful AI strategies and initiatives implemented.

·       George Cristian Tuță, Chairman, Special Commission for Automation and the Future of Work, Chamber of Deputies of Romania, Aspen Fellow

·       Gabriela Popescu, Corporate, External and Legal Affairs Head, Central Europe, Microsoft

Moderator: Radu Puchiu, Director, Aspen Technology & Society Program, Aspen Institute Romania

12:35 – 13:30

Thread 3 Building Cyber-resilience in an era of Geopolitical Turmoil 

(in partnership with The Aspen Institute US Digital Program)

Cyber-attacks have long been one of the main tools of hybrid warfare employed by state and non-state actors to destabilize liberal democracies. Recently, cyber-attacks have intensified and become more diverse, facilitated by rapid technological change and global interconnectivity, and compelled by geopolitical competition. As our economies are increasingly turning digital, what are the main challenges our societies are facing and how can countries, companies and institutions cooperate to better identify and eliminate cyber threats, boost cyber-resilience, and protect citizens? What is the future of trans-Atlantic cooperation on cybersecurity and how can the public and private sector work together on this?

        Gabriel Dinu, Deputy Director, National Directorate for Cybersecurity, Romania

        Tapio Pyysalo, Head of International Relations, European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Helsinki (virtual connection)

        Marcin Krasuski, Head of CEE Government Affairs and Public Policy Cloud, Google

        Romeo Milea, Network Development Director, Vodafone Romania

        Ferdinand Gehringer, Homeland and CyberSecurity, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Moderator: Jeff Greene, Senior Director for Cybersecurity Programs, The Aspen Institute US

13:30 – 14:15 Lunch Break

Parallel Sessions:

14:15 – 15:00

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 3 Financial markets and regional resilience

The CEE region, which has in the past couple of decades grown faster than Western European economies, has recently been affected by external factors such as the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and high energy prices. The panel will analyze perspectives for growth in the region and for economic convergence towards the West, looking at the role of new financial instruments in supporting the recovery and resilience of CEE economies and at ways of developing more resilient national economies. The panel will also discuss drivers supporting regional growth in the future as well as untapped market opportunities, including the region’s nearshoring potential, boosting digital economies, building innovative ecosystems in the region and investment in healthcare – investment in human capital.

        Natalia Gavrilița, Member of the Supervisory Board, National Bank of Moldova

        Jan Ruzicka, Chief External Affairs Officer, PPF Group

        Marcelo Pascual Morales, General Manager, MSD Romania & Republic of Moldova

        Cristian Geanaliu, Executive Director Global Markets, Garanti BBVA

        Karel Lannoo, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for European Policy Studies

Moderator: Clara Volintiru, Regional Director, German Marshall Fund of the US, Aspen Alumna

14:15 – 15:00

Parallel Session: The Heros’ Hall

Thread 3 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Cities and large urban conglomerates are playing an increasingly important role in the economy in both the developed and developing world. This also means that the transition to a net zero economy will largely depend on how well cities will adopt green, sustainable policies that are able to mitigate their environmental footprint. This panel will debate measures that need to be taken, particularly at a local and regional level, in order for the cities of tomorrow to become more sustainable and resilient, facilitating both greener economies and healthy, safe and inclusive communities.  

        Oleksandr Sienkevych, Mayor of Mykolaiv, Ukraine

        Benedikt Hermann, Former First Secretary of the European Union Delegation in Ukraine, Joint Research Centre – European Commission

        Bunmi Akinnusotu, Director, City Innovation, Bloomberg CityLab, The Aspen Institute US

Moderator: Andrew Wrobel, Founding Partner, Emerging Europe

15:00 – 15:45

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 3 Fostering innovation and green technological development

(in partnership with The Aspen Institute US Energy and Environment Program)

Decarbonization is one of the main policy priorities in the developed world, as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly clear. The EU has set the ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, with legislation adopted aiming to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Across the Atlantic, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is the most significant climate legislation ever, offering funding and incentives to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. However, decarbonization will not be possible without huge investments, the shift to a green economy and the widescale adoption of innovative technologies. What are the main priorities for investments, how can the public and private sector collaborate towards this? At the same time, how can our economies escape a dependence on fossil fuels and petrostates while at the same time not becoming vulnerable to disruptions in green energy supply chains?

        Larissa Lee Beck, Senior Director, Clean Air Task Force, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

        Daniela Lulache, Head of Policy and Co-ordination, Nuclear Energy Agency, OECD

        Alessio Menegazzo, CEO & Country Manager, PPC Romania

        Kurt Weber, Managing Director, Horvath

Moderator: Ana-Maria Cătăuță, Member of the Committee for Industries, Chamber of Deputies, Romanian Parliament / Aspen Fellow

Parallel Sessions:

15:45 – 16:30

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 3 Regional energy security in the era of geopolitical competition

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s weaponization of energy have brought a strong consensus in the region on the need to decouple from Russian gas. The panel will discuss initiatives towards the diversification of energy supply and green energy projects able to contribute to regional energy security. How will large infrastructure projects be financed and how will the energy mix look like in the region? How will the ongoing war in Ukraine affect existing trends in the energy sector?

·       Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Energy of Romania, Aspen Alumnus

·       Stanislav Kazecky, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Moldova

·       Christina Verchere, CEO, OMV Petrom

·       Volker Raffel, CEO, E.ON Romania

·       Jiri Kottas, CEO, Premier Energy Moldova

Moderator: Cristian Pirvulescu, Director, Aspen Energy & Sustainability Program, Aspen Institute Romania

15:45 – 16:30

Parallel Session: The Heros’ Hall

Thread 2 The Fight Against Information Manipulation

In today’s complex digital environment, information manipulation has become a powerful tool in the hands of malign actors that aim to shape global and domestic narratives, deepen societal fissures and polarization in our democracies, and undermine trust in democracy as a model of governance. The rapid expansion of the reach, volume, and capacity of these information campaigns is now posing an increasingly serious problem for societies and governments, as information integrity is under constant attack. How has the nexus of information manipulation threats, including the spread of disinformation, evolved over the past few years and how do the varying disinformation landscapes across the transatlantic space affect our politics? What are some of the most effective strategies to combat this phenomenon and how can the public, private and civil society sectors work together pursuing this goal?

        Cosmin Dinescu, Head of the European Union Partnership Mission in Moldova

        Joakim Vaverka, Deputy Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

        Tamar Kintsurashvili, Executive Director, Media Development Foundation Georgia

        Alina Bârgăoanu, Dean, Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration

Moderator: Vassilis Ntousas, Senior Manager and Fellow for Europe, Alliance for Securing Democracy, GMF


Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 2 Strategic Foresight and the Convergence of Global Trends: Impact on the future of Transatlantic Security and Prosperity in Eastern Europe (in partnership with Global Foresight Strategies)

Emerging and transforming global trends in such domains as geopolitics, geoeconomics, technology, climate, governance, and disinformation have spawned an increasingly turbulent environment for decision makers to navigate. To make optimal decisions now and to plan intelligently for the future, both public and private sector organizations need to step up efforts to assess the direction and pace of individual global trends, and, just as importantly, to consider their potential interactions.  Convergence between trends often leads to major disruptive outcomes–in a positive as well as negative sense– such as armed conflicts, political realignments, stark shifts in economic policies and conditions, and, more positively, the emergence of new markets and investment opportunities.  This panel will present a new foresight approach that systematically examines potential impacts of convergent global trends that could produce disruptive impacts in or for Eastern Europe and Transatlantic security over the next five years.

·       General John R. Allen (ret.), Former Commander, NATO International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan and United States Forces, Afghanistan; Former Special Presidential Envoy (virtual connection)

·       Paul Schulte, Honorary Professor of Security Studies, Birmingham University Centre for Conflict Cooperation and Security

·       Warren Fishbein, Strategic Advisor, Global Foresight Strategies (GFS)

Moderator: Patti Morrissey, CEO, Global Foresight Strategies (GFS)

17.30 – Networking Cocktail Reception (Open for speakers, partners, and attendees) 


9:00 – 9:10

Introductory Remarks

9:10 – 09:20

Keynote Address

·       Marie-Doha Besancenot, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, NATO (virtual message)

9:20 – 10:00

Thread 2 Rising Europe – Central, South and Eastern Europe. A New European Architecture?

The war in Ukraine has shaped Central Europe as a powerful player within the EU in its quest for military and economic security. Not only has the region become the potential stopper of a Russian aggression, and the route for Ukrainian goods to the heart of Europe, it has also gained political and economic importance in a new security and economic design of the continent. No more “newcomers” but active and important members of the Union, countries in Central Europe are playing an increasing political role. There is, however, one factor that plays against an easy rise of the region – its demographics: an aging population and an aggressive brain drain. A factor that will need to be considered in the further shaping of the region’s role. At their turn, looking for a better alignment with the EU, countries that are set to accede to its membership are also seeking increased political roles – a demand partially addressed by the new European Political Community. Is the Union ready for a new security, economic and political architecture? What will its main features be?

        Cameron Munter, Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, CEVRO Institute in Prague, Former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan and to Serbia

        Tornike Parulava, Director of Euro-Atlantic Integration Department, Directorate-General for Security Policy and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

        Rosa Balfour, Director, Carnegie Europe

        Doru Frantescu, CEO & Founder,, Aspen Alumnus

Moderator: Romain Le Quiniou, Program Officer, International Republican Institute

10:00 – 10:45

Thread 1 Turbulent Waters – Russian Hegemony in the Black Sea

Geographically and geopolitically laid between Turkey and Russia, but also an important gateway to the East, the Black Sea has historically been subject to the power struggle of major geopolitical actors. NATO’s presence at and in the Black Sea, through its members Romania and Bulgaria, reopened an old discussion of a closed vs an open sea. Russia’s A2AD in the Black Sea and the threat it represented became evident with the annexation of Crimea, yet it was never sufficiently addressed. The Black Sea has now become a theater of war, and its security is most volatile, with military and economic immediate and longer-term repercussions. Can the Black Sea become safe again? Will NATO, the US and the Alliance members and partners be able to counter and, mid- and long-term, deter Russia’s maritime aggression? Is the Black Sea a Russian lake, and will it remain so?

·       Iulian Fota, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania

·       Stanislav Secrieru, National Security Advisor, Presidential Administration of the Republic of Moldova

·       Basat Öztürk, Director General for International Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye

·       Thomas Lenk, Head of Division Ukraine, Moldova, Black Sea Cooperation, Federal Foreign Office in Berlin (virtual connection)

·       Stephen Shapiro, Senior Advisor, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Moderator: Alina Inayeh, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the US

 10:30 SIDE EVENT (By Invitation only, Closed Door format)

Meta Economic Roundtable: Exploring the potential of the metaverse

 10:45 – 11:00 Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:00

Danube – Black Sea Economic Opportunities

Countries in the region provided solid and firm support to Ukraine to ensure its exports and imports in the last 18 months. This effort has also brought to the fore the economic potential, as well as the obstacles in unlocking it, of the Black Sea and of the unjustly forgotten Danube. The security of the region will be of paramount importance to a stable peace and a successful reconstruction, and an economically viable region will only lead to synergies with the rebuilding effort. Can the Black Sea and Danube trade routes be further developed? Can solidarity be maintained throughout the war and the consequent reconstruction effort? Can stability be achieved through economic investments? What role for Moldova?

        Dumitru Alaiba, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Digitalization, Republic of Moldova, Aspen Alumnus

        Florin-Marian Spătaru, State Counsellor, Government of Romania, Former Minister of Economy, Aspen Alumnus

·       Oana Cristina Popa, Ambassador of the EU to Montenegro

·       Tymofiy Mylovanov, President, Kyiv School of Economics, Ukraine (virtual connection)

Moderator: Robert Lupițu, Editor in Chief, Calea Europeană, Aspen Alumnus

Parallel Sessions:

12:00 – 12:45

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 2 Hard Security and revival of defense industrial capacity in Europe

Europe is building a stronger defense that relies more on its own capabilities and resources. The security and military design of the past decades is to be strengthened through enhanced military abilities and increased defense industrial capacity. Many European countries are planning, designing and supporting their defense industries at a new or renewed pace.  Yet more cooperation is needed to align the characteristics of their production, and more and better synergies could be found to build an European arsenal that ensures deterrence, and coordinated action. Can these synergies be built? What does EU need to reach the military capabilities it needs to deter aggression? Is cooperation across the Atlantic strong enough?     

        Major General Remus-Hadrian Bondor, Chief of Strategic Planning Directorate, The Defence Staff of Romania

        Andrew A. Michta, Director of the Scowcroft Strategy Initiative, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington DC

        Radu Tudor, Political and Defense Analyst

Moderator: Martin Ehl, Columnist and Analyst, Hospodarske Noviny, Czech Republic

12:00 – 12:45

Parallel Session: The Heros’ Hall

Thread 3 Resilience of global flows and regionalization of chains of production

The consecutive crises of the last few years, from the pandemic to the war in Ukraine, have forced states and businesses to adapt to changes and blockages in supply chains which have affected most sectors of the economy and disrupted the existing globalized model of production. One emerging trend is reorganizing manufacturing into smaller blocks belonging to more localized economies, in order to move production closer to where products are sold. The panel will discuss existing challenges and possible solutions for increasing the resilience of global flows. Furthermore, the panel will analyze productivity and supply chains in the region, looking at how Romania and its neighborhood can profit from the regionalization of chains of production.  

        Bogdan Zawadewicz, Head of Geopolitical Risk Analysis, Manager of the Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics Program, BGK – Polish Development Bank

        Marek Rozkrut, Chief Economist for Europe and Central Asia, Head of Economic Analysis for EMEIA, EY

        Otaviano Canuto, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South

Moderator: Ionuț Stanimir, Executive Director Marketing and Communication, BCR, Aspen Fellow

12:45 – 13:30 Lunch Break

 13:30 – 14:00

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

The economic and social impact of the metaverse and its potential in the CEE region

Immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality are having a considerable impact on many economic sectors as well as on social aspects of our lives. Often brought together under the term “metaverse”, these technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the internet and with each other. Although in its early stages of development, the metaverse has the potential to contribute massively to the global economy. By becoming early adopters of immersive technologies, countries in the CEE, including Romania, would be able to capitalize on the benefits these new technologies will bring. The panel will discuss the state of play in the region, looking at the role of both the public and private sector and outlining the goals and framework of a strategy for the metaverse.  

        Tomasz Kasprowicz, Vice-President, Res Publica Foundation

        Vitnija Saldava, Public Policy Lead for Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltics, Meta

Moderator: Radu Puchiu, Program Director, Technology and Society Program, Aspen Institute Romania  

14:00 – 14:20

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Spotlight Conversation: Democracy in Ukraine

        Hannah Hopko, Chair of the Board & Founder, Act.Navigate.Transform.Shape (ANTS) Ukraine

        Yulia Bankova, Editor-in-Chief, Ukraine

14:20 – 14:40

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

High – level Conversation on Food Security with Janusz Wojciechowski, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, moderated by Doru Frantescu, CEO & Founder,, Aspen Alumnus

14:40 – 15:45

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 2 Zeitenwende in Germany and its impact for a stronger Europe

(in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)

Prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the so-called “Zeitenwende” announced a dramatic shift in Germany’s foreign and security policy. Since then, much has changed already. Apart from devoting substantially more resources to security and defense and completely realigning its energy policy, the German Government abandoned long-standing policies concerning the delivery of weapons to conflict regions and even committed itself to new deployments of German troops to NATO’s eastern flank. However, important questions remain open. After years of pursuing a controversial policy towards Russia, is Germany’s “turning point” more than a much needed correction of previous mistakes? How can Germany put its strength behind common European defense projects and, beyond that, into a more comprehensive strategic approach? Furthermore, do these measures meet the expectations of Germany’s European partners and has trust been restored?

        Simona Cojocaru, State Secretary, Ministry of National Defence of Romania

        H.E. Dr. Peer Gebauer, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Romania

        Christos Katsioulis, Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe, Vienna

        Karlis Bukovskis, Director, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Riga

Moderator: Liliana Popescu, Director General, Romanian Diplomatic Institute IDR

15:45 – 16:45

Plenary Session: The Marble Hall

Thread 2 The Narratives of War, War of Narratives

The panel will focus on recent debates on the toxicity of discursive practices, social media, and communication in a pandemic of toxic language on the same page as the studies of war narratives. The debate will raise several topics and questions: Who wins the war of narratives? How do we challenge the toxicity of narratives? How could war narratives be weaponized? The narratives in the first line of war. The participation of war correspondents could be a unique interaction between academia and the narrators of armed conflicts that might draw new avenues of thought. The panel’s defining feature is bringing together scholars, researchers from philosophy, ethics, sociology, communication sciences, political philosophy, war correspondents, and civil society representatives. They will focus on the same Big Questions Under Discussion, challenging them to connect language to real worlds and experiences.

  • Clarissa Ward, Chief International Correspondent, CNN, London (virtual connection)
  • Radu Hossu, Romanian War Corespondent, Recipient of The Order of Merit from the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
  • Alexander Iskandaryan, Director, Caucasus Institute, Armenia
  • Volodymyr Yermolenko, Senior Lecturer, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (virtual connection)

Moderator: Dana Deac, Senior TV Journalist, Aspen Alumna

16:45 – 17:00 Concluding Remarks