Annual Council Meeting 2019

, London time (BST, UTC+1)
Venue: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

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The ECFR Annual Council Meeting is one of the leading conferences on Europe’s foreign policy. 

This year, the meeting took place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, on 25-26 June. 

The main topic of this year’s form was“Empowering Europeans” in an era of great power competition. Taking place just a few weeks after the European Parliamentary elections, the first after the UK leaves the EU and in the 10th anniversary year of the Treaty of Lisbon, 2019 will be a significant year for the continent. The event was open to Council Members of ECFR.


Tuesday, 25 June

  • 12.45 – 13.00
    • Welcome: Teresa Gouveia, Member, Board of Trustees, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Portugal
      • Carl Bildt, Co-Chair, ECFR; Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sweden
      • Lykke Friis, Co-Chair, ECFR; German Correspondent, Berlingske
  • 13:00 – 13.15
    • Scene-setter | What Europeans want in the World
      • Mark Leonard, Co-Founder and Director, ECFR
  • 13.15 – 14.30
    • Plenary session | Europe voted
      • Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor-Elect, City of Athens
      • Franziska Brantner, Member of the Bundestag, Germany
      • Marta Dassù, Senior Director, European Affairs, The Aspen Institute; Editor-in-Chief, Aspenia
      • Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
      • Sylvie Kauffmann, Editorial Director, Le Monde
      • Eva Maydell, Member of the European Parliament
      • Moderator: Susi Dennison, Director, European Power programme, ECFR
  • 14.45 – 16.00
    • Plenary session | European sovereignty in a multipolar world
      • Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia
      • Andrzej Olechowski, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland
      • Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Portugal
      • Shahin Vallée, Economist, London School of Economics
      • Moderator: Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR
  • 16.30 – 17.30
    • Breakout sessions
      • Preparing for an Internet Cold War
        • Claudia Azevedo, Chief Executive Officer, Sonae
        • Alex Klimburg, Director, Cyber Policy and Resilience Program, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies
        • Megha Rajagopalan, International Correspondent, BuzzFeed News
        • Alex Romero, CEO and Founder, Alto Data Analytics
        • Moderator: José Ignacio Torreblanca, Head of Madrid Office, ECFR
      • EU-UK security cooperation after Brexit
        • Douglas Alexander, Chair, Board of Trustees, Unicef United Kingdom
        • Jo Johnson, Member of Parliament, Former Government Minister, United Kingdom
        • Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Head of Paris Office, ECFR
        • Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations and Director, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford
        • Moderator: Almut Möller, Head of Berlin Office, ECFR
      • Border revision no longer a taboo
        • Ditmir Bushati, Member of Parliament, Former Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Albania
        • Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Moldova
        • Yauheni Preiherman, Founder and Director, Minsk Dialogue Council on International Relations
        • Kurt Volker, Executive Director, McCain Institute for International Leadership, Arizona State University
        • Moderator: Josef Janning, Head of Berlin Office, ECFR
  • 17.35 – 18.05
    • In conversation
      • Mark Leonard, Co-Founder and Director, ECFR
      • George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations
  • 18.15 – 19.15
    • Sunset chat | Is Europe on the road to unfreedom? 30 years since 1989
      • Ivan Krastev, Board Member, ECFR; Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies
      • Edward Luce, Washington Columnist and US National Editor, Financial Times
      • Karolina Wigura, Head, Political Section, Kultura Liberalna
      • Moderator: Lykke Friis, Co-Chair, ECFR; German Correspondent, Berlingske

Wednesday, 26 June

  • 9.00 – 10.15
    • Plenary session | In a world of trade wars
      • Anu Bradford, Professor of Law and International Organization, Columbia Law School
      • Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council
      • Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament
      • Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO, Save the Children International; Former Prime Minister, Denmark
      • Moderator: Anthony Dworkin, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
  • 10.15 – 11.30
    • Plenary session | US foreign policy under the next American president
      • Sarah Margon, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch
      • Ben Rhodes, Co-Chair, National Security Action; Former Deputy National Security Advisor, United States
      • Amanda Sloat, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs, United States Department of State
      • Jake Sullivan, Co-Chair, National Security Action; Former Senior Policy Advisor to the Hillary Clinton Campaign
      • Moderator: Alexander Soros, Deputy Chair, Open Society Foundations
  • 11.30 – 11.45
    • Keynote speech | Africa and Europe in a multipolar world
      • Introduction: Teresa Gouveia, Member, Board of Trustees, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Portugal
      • Manuel Domingos Augusto, Minister of External Relations, Angola
  • 12.00 – 13.15
    • Breakout sessions
      • Meltdown in the Middle East: Europe’s diminishing leverage
        • Mohamed El Baradei, Director-General Emeritus, International Atomic Energy Agency
        • Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator, Middle East Peace Process; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria
        • Delphine O, Secretary General, United Nations Forum for Gender Equality
        • Matthew Spence, Professor, Arizona State University; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, United States
        • Moderator: Julien Barnes-Dacey, Director, Middle East and North Africa programme, ECFR
      • Western Balkans and the cost of non-enlargement
        • Srdjan Darmanović, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Montenegro
        • Remzi Lani, Director, Albanian Media Institute
        • Florence Mangin, Ambassador of France to Portugal
        • Hedvig Morvai, Director, Strategy and Europe, ERSTE Stiftung
        • Moderator: Vessela Tcherneva, Deputy Director, ECFR
      • The future of philanthropy
        • Sandra Breka, Member, Board of Management, Robert Bosch Stiftung
        • Goran Buldioski, Co-Director, Open Society Initiative for Europe
        • Isabel Mota, President, Board of Directors, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
        • Moderator: Anna Kuchenbecker, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, ECFR
  • 13.20 – 13.40
    • Closing session | Future EU: drawing a manifesto for the next HR/VP
      • Carl Bildt, Co-Chair, ECFR; Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sweden

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