Black Coffee Morning with Gustav Gressel

Black Coffee Morning discussion about the Russian influence in Central Europe

Guests

Gustav Gressel, Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations

Joachim Bleicker, Deputy Director General, Basic Issues of EU External Relations and Bilateral Relations with EU Member States at the German Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Dániel Hegedűs, Associate Fellow at the German Council of Foreign Relations

 

 

Chaired by

Olaf Böhnke, Head of ECFR Berlin

On January 23, ECFR Berlin launched its events calendar for the year 2015 with a Black Coffee Morning discussing Russia´s influence in Central Europe.  Joachim Bleicker (Deputy Director General, Basic Issues of EU External Relations and Bilateral Relations with EU Member States at the German Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs) laid out the German perspective regarding the challenges European countries face in light of the growing Russian influence over their domestic political and economic affairs. Gustav Gressel (Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations) and Dániel Hegedűs (Associate Fellow at the German Council of Foreign Relations) analyzed Austria´s and Hungary´s relationship with Russia, building on their recent papers as part of ECFR Wider Europe’s ‘How Europe Should Respond to Russia’ series. 

Drawing on these examples, participants discussed possibilities of countering Kremlin´s ambition to exploit EU member states’ economic vulnerabilities by converting its economic influence into effective political leverage in order to cause a rift among European countries.

The discussion was attended by representatives from the political, diplomatic, academic and civil sphere.