Format: off-the-record research seminar based on the situational analysis methodology

Participants: academics and policy experts from the EU, Russia, Canada, Eastern Europe, and South Caucasus

Working language: English

Organisers: Minsk Dialogue Track-II Initiative, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, and Konrad Adenauer Foundation


The system of international relations faces its most dramatic challenge for decades. Geopolitical turbulence has spread to more and more parts of the world. Various pillars of stability, development, security, and cooperation in the post-Cold War era are being eroded as a result of multiple new processes. Some of those processes question the internal functioning of societies and state governance, whereas others undermine bilateral and multilateral foundations of international relations.

All this has thrown the world in what looks like uncharted waters. This is, of course, not to say that we are experiencing something unprecedented in human history. Fundamental changes to systemic arrangements in international affairs are natural, and transformations of global orders are inevitable. Yet, this is an easy conclusion to be made post-factum, i.e. after new critical junctures have produced new functioning arrangements and observers no longer need to carry the burden of the uncertain and of the potentially life-threatening. It does not seem as easy and harmless as we go, though. Confronted with growing turbulence and all-encompassing uncertainties, nations, as well as numerous non-state actors in international relations, find it utterly difficult to respond to daily and strategic challenges. This is particularly aggravated by lingering doubts about the prospects of a rules-based international order in the minds of smaller states.

The EU’s Eastern neighbourhood is to a large degree an epicentre of this geopolitical drama. It is here that most tensions and controversies are concentrated and result in permanent friction and even open hostilities, like has recently been the case in Ukraine.

The Minsk Dialogue Track-II Initiative together with the Wilfred Martens Center for European Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation are implementing a research project From Situational Analysis to Foresight: Deepening the Understanding of Immediate and Strategic Futures in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood. Addressing the probable scenarios of the transformation of the global order and their implications for the region is key to this endeavour.



10.00 – 10.15

Welcoming remarks

10.15 – 10.30

Introductory remarks on the theme and methodology

10.30 – 13.00

Session 1. Analysis of current trends

  • Is the world order really undergoing a fundamental change?
  • What are the indicators of this change?
  • Are past historical episodes any relevant to understanding unfolding events?
  • Who are the winners and losers of the ongoing change?

13.00 – 14.00


14.00 – 15.00

Session 2. Drivers and possible disruptors

  • What are the main driving forces of the ongoing changes (countries, non-state actors, processes, technologies etc.)?
  • What are the main interests and strategies of the key players regarding the global order and rules in international relations?
  • What factors can play a defining role in shaping various transformations or disrupting ongoing trends?
  • Can a new critical juncture in the global and regional orders be reached without wars?
  • What will the transition period most likely look like?


Afternoon coffee

15.00 – 16.20

Session 3. Identifying critical uncertainties and building the scenario matrix

  • What two critical uncertainties can be defined as the most important and of the most potential effect for the future of global order (e.g., uni-/bi-polarity vs. multi-polarity, weak vs. strong international institutions, great power rivalry vs. concert, etc.)?
  • Based on these uncertainties, what four-scenario matrix is most adequate to the nature of the ongoing processes and has better forecast potential?
  • What are the key elements of each scenario?

16.20 – 17.50

Session 4. Implications of the scenarios for the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood

  • How will each scenario play out for the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood?
  • What implications can each scenario have for the Eastern Partnership (as a platform for regional cooperation)?

17.50 – 18.00

Concluding remarks