Discussion The Nations in Transit 2016: transitioning beyond and away from the European project

2016-08-29 Institute News

For well over a decade “transition” in domestic and external dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe stood for transition to a governance based on values of peace, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, equality, rule of law and sustainability as defined by the EU founding treaties. Kremlin policies challenging the European solidarity have rightly been a key focus for policymaking in the Baltics. At the same time they were driving reforms towards a more “European” kind of governance as an antidote against undemocratic processes just across the Eastern border. 

However, in 2015, the internal threats in Europe moved to the forefront of discussion. Populist nationalism, a return to closed borders, and national referenda backed by Eurosceptics are calling into question the enlargement agenda and the European project itself making “Europeanisation” a moving target. 

The Institute of International Relations and Political Science and Freedom House invite experts, politicians and students to join a discussion based on the findings of the Freedom House “Nations in Transit 2016” survey to address the following core questions: 


  • - Are the populist trends observed in Central Europe spreading to the Baltics? Why or why not?
  • - What are the consequences of Euroscepticism in Central and Western Europe for the Baltic states? Is the European project threatened if enlargement ends?
  • - Can we still have an external “Europeanisation agenda” in the EU neighborhood?
  • - How can Baltic leaders better make the case for European unity and transatlantic solidarity to their own citizens and to their European allies? 



Nate Schenkkan, Project Director for Nations in Transit, Freedom House's annual survey of democratic governance from Central Europe to Eurasia. 

Mažvydas Jastramskis, Lecturer, Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University.

Solvita Liepniece, Assistant Professor, Vidzeme University of Applied Science, Journalist at Latvian television. 

The discussion will take place at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS VU), 402 aud., Vokiečių str. 10, Vilnius, on 9 September at 9.30 – 11.00 am.

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