Aspen Institute Romania in partnership with the Aspen Brussels Hub will organize the roundtable discussion „Central and Eastern Europe – From New Members to Co-Designers of Future Europe”, to be held under the aegis of the Bucharest Forum – A New European Architecture Program, on February 2nd, 16:00-18:30 CET, in Brussels, at the headquarters of the Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union.

Central and Eastern Europe has seen a rapid evolution from new and aspiring members to important and energetic security and economic payers within Europe. The shift of gravity towards CEE has started before the war in Ukraine, which has only brought the relevance and energy of the region even more to the forefront. Over the past 12 months the region has been paramount for the security of Ukraine and Europe – assisting in providing military assistance, managing the wave of refugees, creating solidarity lanes to allow for Ukraine’s grain exports – and it will remain as such for the foreseeable future. Central Europe also has good performing economies, that withered economic crisis better than the rest of Europe and that continue to grow modestly, but constantly. No longer timid new-comers, countries in the region make their voices heard and their opinions matter – at times in strong dissonance with the rest of the EU. Skilled and educated labor force add to the power of Central Europe and contribute to the new, stronger, and more influential profile of the region.

Being on the frontline and in close proximity to Russia will define the security of the region and continue to render its relevance for the security of the entire continent. European security designs cannot be conceived without strong input from the region, and neither economic recovery plans, nor actions towards increased energy independence.

The round table is designed to highlight Central and Eastern Europe as a strong part of the European Union, one that will contribute decisively to a stronger, powerful, and advanced Europe.



15:30-16:00 – Arrival of participants & Welcome Coffee

16:00-16:10 – Opening Remarks

  • Vlad Nicolae – Acting Executive Director, Aspen Institute Romania
  • Iulia Matei – Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union

16: 10-16:20 – Keynote Address

  • Mircea Geoană – Deputy Secretary General, NATO

16:20 – 17:00 – Roundtable Discussion: Central and Eastern Europe – Security Beacon

Initial remarks:

  • Benedetta Berti – Head of Policy Planning, Office of the Secretary General, NATO
  • Rosa Balfour, Director, Carnegie Europe

17:00-17:40 – Roundtable Discussion: CEE – Trigger of Economic Development

Initial remarks:

  • Karel Lannoo, Chief Executive Officer, CEPS – Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Dragoş Tudorache, Member of the European Parliament

17:40-18:00 – Roundtable Discussion: Societal resilience and European drive

Moderated by: Alina Inayeh, Advisor Black Sea, German Marshall Fund

The event will reunite approximatively 30-40 participants, from public officials to private sector representatives, academia, NGO’s and think tanks, and will focus on economic, societal, and military security. Participation is by-invitation only.

The format will be a moderated roundtable discussion, held under the Chatham House Rules.