Working Group sessions take place regularly 2-4 times per year. Moreover Info-Events are organized on an ongoing basis. “Lisbon-Vladivostok” further is a topic at conferences all over the world. We present you an excerpt of previous events since 2015.
11th Working Group Session: June 28 2019, Berlin
At the end of June, the Initiative Lisbon-Vladivostok welcomed two new members: Wintershall Dea, Europe’s largest oil and gas company, and Smyrise AG, a major supplier of fragrances and flavors, cosmetic ingredient solutions, and natural nutrition. The Initiative now has 66 signatories, including companies, business associations, and think tanks.
“Especially in times when there is hardly any political movement between Europe and Russia, the economy must become active,” said Ulf Schneider, co-chairman of the initiative. He stressed that “Our goal is to be a strong voice for cooperation between East and West. Therefore, we want to carry this Initiative to all countries located between the Portuguese capital Lisbon and the most far eastern tip of Russia.”
Dialogue, Trust, Security—for the SPD Spokesman on Foreign Affairs Nils Schmid, these are the three pillars of the New Eastern Policy. “Willy Brandt’s Eastern Policy had a good reputation. And these principles are in demand today more than ever”, Schmid said during his keynote. In the meantime, there has been no movement forward in the political debate between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), especially with EEU’s member state Russia. The restrictions on trade and investment due to sanctions on both sides are costing billions. With great approval from the Working Group, Schmid underlined that he favors closer cooperation with the EEU.
Han Zuyderwijk made clear what happens when European-Russian cooperation stays on hold. The Dutch lawyer is an expert on technical standardization, and advises that joint projects between the EU and EEU to define binding norms and standards for both sides should be re-activated. “When the European Union withdraws, competitors take their seat,” he warned.
Since every initiative needs a platform for exchange, Schneider announced that the Working Group will publish its own newsletter in the future. Every two months “Lisbon-Vladivostok News” will report on the business Initiative and developments in EU-EAEU relations. Subscribe to the newsletter!
10th Meeting: November 28 2018 – Berlin
Coming together at the Representation of the Airbus Group in Berlin the 10th meeting was warmly introduced by Maco Miklis, Head of Region Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia of Airbus and Professor Gabriel Felbermayer as active spokesperson of the working group. Trade policies between east and west were the speeches emphasis. Sevak Sarukhanyan, Adviser to the Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission, completed the productive gathering with his vision of a common energy market from Lisbon to Vladivostok. The meeting was crowned by a signing ceremony with several participants joining the working group by supporting the Memorandum. The evening was rounded off by casual exchange.
9th Meeting: April 23 2018 – Brussels
The 9th meeting of the Working Group took place in the sidelines of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Conference on “EU and the EEU – Chances and Challenges for more Cooperation” in Brussels. High rank meetings with the Belorussian foreign Minister Vladimir Makey, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev and his ambassador to Germany, Bolat Nussupov were brought to topic. The participants were furthermore informed about the results of meetings with the German Ministry of Economy in Berlin and with the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington. The primary focus of the gathering was on diplomatic activities and further event planning. The circle of participants also focused on strategic elements of the working group.
8th Meeting: February 15 2018 – Moscow
After a series of meetings on EU ground, the 8th meeting was the first one to take place in a member state of the Eurasian Economic Union. An opening statement of Tatiana Valovaya, Minister for Integration of the Eurasian Economic Commission, was followed by an official signing procedure of the Memorandum by representatives of the German companies Robert Bosch and Knorr-Bremse. After discussing the three existing task forces – customs and logistics, technical regulations and visa facilitation- a forth one was introduced: chances and challenges of digitalization in a common economic zone. The meeting was furthermore enhanced by scientific lectures as the one from Dr. Anastasia Stepanova from the International Institute of Applied Science’s (IIASA), who reported on non-tariff barriers, foreign direct investments and transport with regard to the working groups efforts.
2nd Meeting: June 13 2016 – Berlin
The second get-together in Berlin was based on the professional input of Dr. Alexander Libman of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and Dr. Ricardo Giucci. While the former argued on perspectives for both Russia and Europe emerging from a common economic space, Mr. Giucci thematized the harmonization and standardization of technical norms in terms of creating a base for the developing communal zone.
1st Meeting: November 22-23 2015 – Potsdam
The first gathering marked the birth of the Working Group “Common Economic Space from Lisbon to Vladivostok”. Personalities from all areas of civil society, ranging from politics and economy to science and arts participated in the meeting. Matthias Platzeck, Chairman of the German-Russian Foru, and Dr. Gernot Erler, by then still Member of German Parliament and Special Representative of the German Government for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, gave inspiring keynote speeches and thereby opened a lively discussion about the future of a cross-border common economic space. In connection therewith conceptual ideas for the working group’s set-up as well as chances, possible risks and challenges were broached. The two-day gathering was the successful prelude of an ongoing series of talks and meetings up until today