Stabilising the EU’s Neighbourhood
06:30am to 08:00am - February 21, 2019
Bussola Institute, Square de Meeûs 28 1000 Get directions
Stabilising the EU's Neighbourhood
The role of key states (Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey)
in light of the U.S. Decision to withdraw from Syria
Time: 18:30 - 20:00 Followed by buffet supper 21 February 2019
Venue: Bussola Institute Square de Meeus 28, Brussels 1000

The success of the EU’s external policy objective of establishing stable systems and structures in its neighbourhood largely depends on a better understanding of the interests and values of a number of key states. At the same time, this requires the EU to define its own interests and communicate them clearly and effectively, as well as addressing the existence of common interests. The governments of Russia, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia exert significant influence on the countries in the EU neighbourhood, some of which are their direct neighbours. On several occasions, these four key states have used their political power to shape political and social developments in these regions in line with their own external policy principles and norms.

Together with the Bertelsmann Foundation and its project “Strategies for the EU Neighbourhood”, the Bussola Institute will hold a majlis discussion on the role of the key states mentioned above, the so-called “neighbours of the neighbours”, with a particular focus on the recent announcement of the United States to withdraw its military forces from Syria. The discussion will be an opportunity to engage with the expert project group on the main implications of the U.S. decision for EU strategy and how Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are adjusting their positions to the potentially changing role of the U.S. in the Middle East.

A first position paper of the project entitled “Antagonisms in the EU Neighbourhood” is available at:

Short lead-in commentaries will be provided by:

  • Stefan Meister, Head of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin
  • Christian Koch, Senior Advisor, Bussola Institute
  • Adnan Tabatabai, CEO, Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO), Bonn
  • Erdal Yalcin, Professor of International Economics, Konstanz University of Applied Sciences, Konstanz
The discussion will be moderated by Christian Hanelt, Senior Expert for the Southern Neighbourhood and the Middle East, Bertelsmann Foundation


To read the event summary please click here.