Participants crafted approaches to avoiding further deterioration of EU-Russia relations and outlined roles for the Russian-Western European Diaspora.
On October 1-2, 2007, EWI co-sponsored the first European-Russian Forum in Brussels. Held in the European Parliament headquarters, the Forum was attended by more than 150 representatives of the Russian-speaking community living outside Russia in Europe as well as high-level Russian and EU officials, MPs, foreign policy experts, religious leaders and entrepreneurs. The two-day series of plenary sessions and workshops crafted approaches to avoiding further deterioration of EU-Russia relations and outlined key roles for the 10 million Russian-Western European diaspora in facilitating strategic partnership between the European Union and the Russian Federation.
On the first day of the Forum, EWI’s Founder, President and CEO John Edwin Mroz presented his views on Russia’s capacity to play a role of a major problem-solver in multilateral cooperation in Europe to address the 21st security challenges such as political radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism, energy, migration issues, cross-border cultural gaps and regional conflicts. He specifically highlighted the Russian G-8 initiative on public-private partnerships to counter terrorism and the need to further promote specific model projects in this area such as “countering of precious metals trafficking” advanced by Norilsk Nickel company, “global remittances” led by Citigroup and others.
EWI’s upcoming 5th Worldwide Security Conference in February 2008 at the World Customs Organization is EWI's next milestone in making such initiatives a vital part of its worldwide security network.
EWI's Ortwin Hennig, Greg Austin and Vladimir Ivanov served as panelists for the workshop on “EU-Russia Political Dialogue and Security Priorities in Europe” and presented EWI’s experience and recommendations for global security and conflict prevention issues.
The recommendations resulting from the Forum will be submitted to Russian and European government officials ahead of the EU-Russia Summit scheduled for the end of October in Portugal. Forum participants agreed to set up permanent expert groups, under the aegis of the European-Russian Forum, to tackel political dialogue and security issues, as well as the protection of human rights, migration, economic cooperation and to help consolidate Russian-speaking communities. EWI will be an active player in theese working groups, engaging the Forum and its participants in order to broaden its worldwide security network.