Re-Engaging with Neighbours in a State of War and Geopolitical Tensions

, Berlin time (CET, UTC+1)
Venue: Norway House, Rue Archimède 17, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

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Russia’s war against Ukraine has radically altered European security. Confronted by the direst security crisis in decades, EU policymakers are forced to fundamentally rethink their security policies. Europe has demonstrated unexpected unity and resolve, adopting a series of sanctions against Russia, increasing national defence spending, but also by deciding on a historic revival of EU enlargement process.

Still, there is an urgent need to make sure that this process contributes to democratic, well-functioning and stable neighbourhood states, capable of countering external threats, particularly those posed by hybrid warfare. A thorough investigation is required to determine how this can be achieved without compromising the EU’s values and security in the current context.

RE-ENGAGE’s overarching ambition is to assist the EU in refining its foreign policy toolbox, including its enlargement and neighbourhood policies. This will enhance the Union’s geopolitical leverage and provide better tools for democracy promotion in its neighbourhood. To achieve this goal, RE-ENGAGE will conduct in-depth studies in six candidate countries – three in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia) and three in the Eastern Neighbourhood (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine).

On 23 January we invite you to the kick-off conference for RE-ENGAGE at Norway House in Brussels. Please register via the provided link no later than 16 January.

Project website:



12:00-13:00: Lunch and mingling

13:00-13:05: Welcome by Ambassador Anders Eide, the Norwegian mission to the EU

13:05-13:40: Presentation of the project

  • Pernille Rieker, Research Professor at NUPI and Principal Investigator (PI) of RE-ENGAGE

Regional perspectives:

  • Western Balkans: Enri Hide, Associate Professor at the University of Tirana
  • Eastern Europe: Maia Machavariani, program director at EECMD in Tbilisi

13:40-14:00: Comments and reactions

  • Mathieu Bousquet, Director DGNEAR
  • Pierre Vimont, ECFR Council member, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe, Former Ambassador and Executive Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS)

14:00-14:30: Discussing the way forward and Q&A

  • Chair: Marie Dumoulin, Director of the wider Europe programme, ECFR
  • Panelists: Pernille Rieker, Enri Hide and Maia Machavariani