The first purpose of this Round Table was to develop a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Western Balkans and discuss effective responses including through international organizations such as the European Union and NATO. The second purpose of the Round Table was to analyze the implications of the new developments in Russia's internal politics and its revived assertiveness in foreign policy.
The following questions were addressed:
- What is the political and economic prognosis for the Western Balkans for the next 10 years? NATO and EU enlargement: how real are the prospects? Will the next wave cause greater harmony or heighten divisions in the region?
- Is there still a role for the international community? Where and until when? What lessons can we draw to increase complementarity and minimize competition between institutions?
- Local interests, ethnic issues, international law, and great powers in the Western Balkans: how much room for compromise? Can the inhabitants of the region build bridges on their own? What is Kosovo's future?
- Political developments in Russia during Putin and after. What are the implications for Russia's policy in the "near abroad" and worldwide?
- How far can the European business sector develop strategic economic connections in the Caucasus and Central Asia?
- Is it possible to improve cooperation between Russia and the EU and NATO on global strategic security issues? Under what conditions?