With the collapse of the INF Treaty and unravelling of the arms control system developed in the late 20thcentury, European security faces its most profound challenges in three decades. Europe looks set to find itself in the middle of a new arms race. Moreover, the existing framework for strategic stability, which has been the cornerstone of international security, appears increasingly outdated and may no longer be able to provide for mutual deterrence amid growing strategic competition.

These dangerous developments demand action. Yet tensions between the major geopolitical rivals intensify, generate uncertainty, and aggravate the security dilemma. Rivalry has eroded political and military-to-military communication channels, while established specialist conferences have increasingly succumbed to propaganda and counter-propaganda, diminishing their value as platforms for open dialogue. Even among allies, unilateral actions often prevail in place of cooperation as states and societies face a growing range of security threats.

Despite this, we cannot simply wait until everyone agrees that the situation is ripe for a serious conversation about new security arrangements in Europe. The cost of waiting will likely only be another crisis and we will have no mechanisms in place to manage it. Stakeholders in European security have a fundamental joint interest in launching a discussion about Europe’s basic security safeguards.

In today’s world, this discussion needs to go beyond hard security issues only and deal with broader political, economic, and societal trends. We need agreed rules and norms in non-military areas as well, which will ensure overall stability. Moreover, a number of recent and upcoming elections, including in Ukraine, Armenia, and Moldova, might facilitate new openings for trust-building and fresh solutions to security problems.

The Minsk Dialogue Forum provides a unique platform where relevant stakeholders can engage in such discussions and seek, at the very least, to agree on minimum standards of security for all. The event will gather high-profile representatives and leading experts from the EU, Russia, USA, China, and east European and south Caucasian nations.

This year’s forum will focus on the following topics:

  • Strategic stability and arms control: What confidence- and security-building measures are appropriate? What innovative approaches can work?
  • Propaganda and counter-propaganda: Do we still have high-quality journalism and can we agree on some common journalistic standards?
  • Eastern Partnership at 10: ways forward to enhance soft security and resilience.
  • China as a strategic actor in Eastern Europe and BRI’s connectivity potential.
  • Can Belarus become a success story of East European security?
  • Donbas and Transnistria after the elections in Ukraine and Moldova.
  • Where is the Eurasian Economic Union heading?
  • Transatlantic cooperation amid growing strategic competition.

 

ABOUT THE MINSK DIALOGUE

The Minsk Dialogue was launched as a Track-1.5 initiative at the beginning of 2015. Its mission is to offer an open and geopolitically unbiased platform for research and discussion on international affairs and security in Eastern Europe. Regular Minsk Dialogue events gather international experts, as well as high-level officials and diplomats.

The Minsk Dialogue’s team and its expert network produce analytical reports, policy papers, commentaries, backgrounders, and conference non-papers, which are widely distributed among the relevant international stakeholders. All analytical publications and conference materials can be accessed at www.minskdialogue.by.

The inaugural Minsk Dialogue Forum took place in May 2018. It gathered over 500 experts and diplomats from 59 countries, as well the OSCE Secretary General and high-level representatives of NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the Council of Europe, and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. The Forum’s partners included the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, RAND Corporation, European Leadership Network, Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the European Endowment for Democracy, the University of Kent, the University of Cambridge, and others.

After the success of the inaugural Minsk Dialogue Forum, this year’s forum is expected to gather high-level representatives of governments and international organisations, as well as leading international experts on European security.

Forum partners

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung General partner
GCRF COMPASS Project Strategic partner
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
European Leadership Network
Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich
Rand Corporation
SCHNEIDER GROUP
Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences
Gromyko Association of Foreign Policy Studies
USAID
PACT
The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund
European Endowment for Democracy
Minsk Marriott Hotel
Turkish Airlines
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the Republic of Belarus
US Embassy in the Republic of Belarus
Centre fof Support and Development of Public Initiatives “Creative Diplomacy”
Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Belarus
Protestant Academy Loccum
Belarusian State University
Georgian House in Minsk
Belarus-24 TV Channel Media Partner
OWC Foreign Trade Publishing House Media Partner
Belarusian portal Tut.by Media Partner
IPG – International Politics and Society Media Partner
Current Time Media Partner

Draft Agenda

(as of 20 September 2019)

7 October (Monday)

 9.30-10.30

Morning media briefing by the organisers of the Forum

(presentation of the Forum Report on the state of East European security in 2019)

 10.30-12.00

Partner session Young Leaders on the Present and Future of European Security

In partnership with the Younger Generation Network on Euro-Atlantic Security (YGLN) and the GCRF COMPASS Project

 12.30-13.00

Welcome remarks

 13.00-14.30

Ministerial plenary session European Security: Can we stop further confrontation?

 14.30-15.10

Light lunch

 15.10-15.30

Institutional perspective Can We Revive Cooperative Security?

Representative of NATO 

Representative of CSTO 

 15.30-17.00

Plenary Session Propaganda and Counterpropaganda: Can we agree on a basic code of conduct for journalists?

 17.00-17.30

Coffee break

 17.30-17.45

Key-note address

Speaker TBC

 17.45-19.15

Plenary session Arms Control and the Future of Strategic Stability

 19.15-20.30

Dinner

 20.30 – 22.00

Night owl sessions

Session 1. Donbas: New light at the end of the tunnel?

Session 2. Central Asia: Security and power transition challenges and implications for Wider Eurasia

In partnership with GCRF Compass Project

Session 3. The EU between internal reforms and external challenges: The (un)making of a strategic actor?

In partnership with the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe

 

October (Tuesday)

 9.30-10.30

Breakfast conversation (TBC)

 10.00-12.00

High-level plenary session In Search of an Agenda for Peace and Cooperation in Europe 

 12.45-13.30

Lunch

 13.30-15.00

Breakout sessions

Session 1. Reducing Military Risk in Eastern Europe

In partnership with the European Leadership Network

Session 2. How Helpful is the Cold War Experience of Rapprochement for European Security Today?

In partnership with the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Gromyko Association of Foreign Policy Studies

Session 3. In Search of an Inclusive Regional Order in Post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia

In partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and RAND Corporation

 15.00-15.30

Coffee break

 15.30-15.45

Key-note address

Speaker TBC

 15.45-17.00

Plenary session EU – Eurasian Economic Union – Belt and Road Initiative: Any real areas of mutual interest?

 17.00-17.30

Coffee break

 17.30-17.40

Institutional perspective Can We Revive Cooperative Security?

Representative of the OSCE 

 17.40-19.10

Closing plenary session European Security: New ideas for an uncertain future

 19.10-19.20

Closing remarks

 20.00-22.00

Reception

 

October (Wednesday)

 8.30-10.00

Working breakfasts

WB 1. Moldova: What’s next?

WB 2. Meeting Russia

In partnership with the Centre for Support and Development of Public Initiatives “Creative Diplomacy”

 10.00-12.00

Partner session In Search of a Stable Regional Order for Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus

In partnership with Protestant Academy Loccum