The Rīga Conference Papers 2013: Four Foreign Policy Scenarios

16.09.2013. 17:14

On the eve of the 2013 Riga Conference, a group of experts from Europe and the United States convened under the aegis of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the Latvian Transatlantic Organisation (LATO) for the third Riga Process Workshop.

This series of interactive seminars was initiated by GMF and LATO in 2012 to tackle the repercussions of the Eurozone crisis for Europe as a foreign policy actor.

“By identifying and examining the foreign policy consequences of the European crisis, the Riga Process can offer valuable contributions to the debate over the EU’s future as a global actor.” –Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Latvia

At the third instalment of the series, the results of the previous Riga Process Workshops, convened in September 2012 and March 2013, were be published as part of the Riga Conference Paper Series. This publication, titled Post Crisis: Europe and the World in 2025, contains four scenarios which examine Europe as a foreign policy actor based on four different assumptions about the consequences of the Eurozone crisis: complete fragmentation, partial fragmentation, partial integration, and full integration. In the words of Minister Rinkēvičs:

“The scenarios portray four possible states of affairs of European foreign policy in a mid-term future, the positioning of main actors, as well as persistent and new challenges. Together, they present valuable insight into the future role of the European Union as a foreign policy actor, and therefore will facilitate the debate, strategic planning, and policymaking processes at national, European, and global levels.”

The third Riga Process Workshop moved beyond the previous two Riga Process Workshops and will dovetail on the recent Towards a European Global Strategy report, which was developed by four think tanks from Sweden, Poland, Italy, and Spain. The Riga Process group aims at contributing to the larger debate about a European global strategy prior to the December 2013 meeting of the European Council by examining some of the key ideas of the report.

The Riga Process Workshop is part of GMF’s initiative called “The Riga Process—Pathways Towards a Euro-Atlantic Future.” Similar seminars will be convened twice in 2014. Each workshop features participants from governments, academia, think tanks, and the corporate sector. The meetings cover topics that emanate from the tectonic shifts in Europe arising from its current crisis, including the future of Europe’s hard and soft power, the future of Europe’s global power, and the future of Europe’s transatlantic focus. The project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, the Compagnia di San Paolo, and the GE Foundation.