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German-Nordic-Baltic Forum 2016

On 17 and 18 November 2016 the 8th German-Nordic-Baltic Forum was held. It took place at the Institute of Inter­na­tional Relations and Political Science and brought together over 40 partic­i­pants from political and academic spheres from all three Baltic States as well as from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Germany to inves­tigate the topic “German, Nordic and Baltic Views on the Future of the EU: Common Challenges and Common Answers“.

This year’s forum was devoted to the current issues on the European agenda and future challenges of the European cooper­ation. Other topics considered by the forum were also: the European asylum and migration policy, energy policy and energy security, EU-Russia relations as well as future prospects of integration.

In the beginning, the Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister, Raimundas Karoblis, and the Commis­sioner of the German Federal Foreign Office for relations with the EU member states as well as for cross-border and regional cooper­ation, Thomas Ossowski spoke about the common problems and respon­si­bil­ities regarding the EU. In addition, the relations with Russia, challenges posed by migration, the need as well as the possi­bil­ities of an improved commu­ni­cation within the EU and how the major European topics can be addressed to the citizens were debated. Beyond that, a special focus was placed on the unique character of the EU as well as on the potential and impor­tance of enhanced cooper­ation in (regional) groups — such as security issues.

The German-Nordic-Baltic forum was organized by the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) in cooper­ation with the Institute of Inter­na­tional Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University and with financial and personnel support from the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Foreign Office, Konrad Adenauer Foundation as well as from the German Embassy in Vilnius.