REICHENAU, Austria - The topic "Regional Stability in the South Caucasus: De-conflicting Protracted Conflicts: The Role of the EU and NATO" brought together more than thirty distinguished security experts with academic, military, political and civil society backgrounds from fifteen countries in the region and beyond to Reichenau, Austria from Nov. 8-11.
In his keynote-speech Ambassador Philippe Lefort, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, stressed the importance of dealing with the challenges of the region and encouraged open and constructive discussions. Ambassador Heidemaria Gürer from the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs officially opened the 6th workshop expressing her appreciation to the organizers for holding a workshop on such an important topic. The workshop will result in policy recommendations with realistic, current and relevant proposals for immediate implementation in the national policies addressing the discussed challenges.
After very open and frank discussions of the internal challenges for the countries of the South Caucasus, the participants explored new perspectives through trilateral cooperation and finally shared views of international actors on the uneven path to sustained stability and political and economic progress. Participants agreed that the EU and NATO remain key partners in the development of the region. Russian participants reminded the group of Russia’s historic responsibility for and prevailing interest in the South Caucasus.
The workshop was supported by the Austrian National Defence Academy, the directorate general for security policy at the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports, and the Partnership for Peace Consortium on Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes’s study group on regional stability in the South Caucasus.