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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 26.05.2018, 10:49

Lennart Meri Conference to bring Federica Mogherini to Estonia

BC, Tallinn, 19.04.2017.Print version
This year's Lennart Meri Conference, entitled "Darkest Just Before the Dawn?", will consider the severe challenges facing the West and seek to identify the opportunities that may arise in these bleakest moments, and will bring to Estonia EU high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, among others, writes LETA/BNS.

The conference will take place from May 12 to 14.

Organizer of the event Riina Kaljurand said that 2016 will be remembered as the year of dramatic and unexpected events -- Brexit and Donald Trump being elected US president as well as the uncertainty accompanying these events are real tests for the democratic order of the West. "We are looking for answers for how to move on from here. Ahead of Estonia's presidency of the Council of the European Union the eyes of Europe will be on Tallinn more than ever before and the Lennart Meri Conference is a good opportunity to look for solutions to the problems Europe is facing," Kaljurand said.

Among the speakers who will help find solutions to strategic challenges the West is facing at the Lennart Meri Conference are Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, EU high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini, Italy's former Prime Minister Enrico Letta, Italy's European Affairs Minister Sandro Gozi, Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis, Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller and India's former Foreign Minister Kanwal Sibal.

In addition to politicians and think tank representatives, the list of participants includes civil society activists from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Leading journalists active on social media, Michael Weiss and Ahmed Rashid, will help to give meaning to the topics of post-truth era and information warfare. Stephen E. Biegun, corporate officer and vice president of International Governmental Affairs for Ford Motor Company, and writer and journalist Sarah Kendzior will be among the speakers to speak about the foreign policy of the new US administration. Other topics to be discussed include the future of the European Union, the impact of populism on democracy, Russia's growing militancy in the information space and cyberspace, the conflict in Syria, China's growing influence -- the topics that demand not only answers but also fundamental readjustment and changes in the present world order.

The conference is to kick off on May 12 at 4:30 p.m. at Radisson Blu Sky Hotel in downtown Tallinn and is to end on the afternoon of May 14. The discussions will be streamed live on the website of the event.

The conference is organized by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) and the Lennart Meri European Foundation. 

The Lennart Meri Conference is named after Lennart Meri, who was the president of Estonia between 1992 and 2001. The first Lennart Meri Conference was held in Tallinn in March 2007.

Lennart Meri died on March 14, 2006, aged 76.

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