European Union in International Affairs 2023 Conference: Day One Recap

04 May 2023

General Robert Brieger, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, giving the keynote address at EUIA23.

On Wednesday 3 May, the European Union in International Affairs 2023 Conference was successfully inaugurated by cutting-edge panels exploring and debating major contemporary challenges in the international arena, from the EU institutions’ multifaceted relationship with African, Asian, and Central-Eastern European countries, to broader issues of security, sustainability, trade policy, migration, and digital policymaking. Naturally, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences were central points of discussion. 

Two major strands emerged from the discussions: while the EU should avoid Eurocentrism in dealing with other countries and regions, internal conflicts and contradictions may benefit from a stronger role of the European Parliament within the EU institutions.

Part of the first day’s proceedings included a keynote on EU military state of the art delivered by General Robert Brieger, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, and a video address by Olha Stefanishyna, Ukrainian deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. These addresses were followed by two keynote policy link panels, the first organised by UNU-CRIS on Europe’s (Dis)Engagement with Africa and Vice Versa with panellists including the Secretary-General of the OACPS Georges Rebelo Chikoti and representatives from the EU Commission, ECDPM and academia, and the second organised by Egmont Institute on The War in Ukraine - Providing Security and Defence in and to Europe, with the Director of Operations from the EU Military Staff Bart Laurent and representatives from the EEAS, OSCE and EU Institute for Security Studies.

Day two promises more insightful discussions, be sure to follow the hashtag #EUIA23 on social media for more.