Expert Workshop: Syria- beyond hope?

Discussing the situation in Syria with experts from the German government, the Nordic Embassies, representatives of NGOs and ECFR senior policy fellows


Clemens Hach, Deputy Head of Syria and Lebanon Section, German MFA

Ambassador Stefan van Wersch, Secretariat of the Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development, Friends of Syria group

Christof Johnen, Head of International Cooperation, Red Cross Germany

Aktham Abazid, Head of Lien for Syrians e.V. and Founder of Adopt a Revolution 

Muriel Asseburg, Senior Fellow, Research Division Middle East & Africa, SWP


Chaired by

Julien Barnes-Dacey, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Olaf Boehnke, Head of ECFR Berlin Office

Together with the Dutch Embassy, ECFR Berlin had the pleasure to host an expert workshop on the situation in Syria. The workshop’s first panel addressed foreign policy issues: “Salvaging a political track- are Western actors fatally disconnected from on the ground realities?” while the second one shed light on the humanitarian catastrophe that the war of Syria has developed into, “Prioritising humanitarian access- what can be done to ensure urgently needed aid reaches the Syrian population?”. The discussion illuminated the discrepancy between diplomatic efforts in Geneva and harsh realities on the ground in Syria, as well as the continuous fragmentation of the Syrian opposition and then moved on to address challenges and different perspectives of delivering humanitarian aid to the suffering Syrian population.