Bucharest Forum 2016

A Fulcrum of Strategic Change

Ensuring Stability, Building Resilience, Harnessing Opportunity


For this year’s edition of the Forum, we see three overarching objectives at a critical moment for the West: strategic stability, resilience and opportunity.

Three overlapping territorial angles: European, regional and transatlantic with the traditional Bucharest Forum’s East-West nexus reading.

Major challenges: a Western societal crisis expressed by both Brexit and the rise of nationalist populism in Europe and the US; divided societies and a lack of answers to the profound economic, social and cultural changes in our societies including economic and social justice, territorial development, migration, intercultural and inter-confessional dialogue; a European institutional crisis showing the limits of the current integration model; external challenges from the east and south brought about by Russia’s current engagement strategy and continuos crisis in the Middle East.

Important opportunities: new possible openings created by the Iranian nuclear deal, the need for East-West strategic cooperation on the Syrian and anti ISIS files, an ambitious new European Global Strategy, the launch of an equally ambitious NATO-EU cooperation agenda.

Topics for discussion for the fifth edition of the Bucharest Forum:

Keywords: Security, inclusion, climate, energy, technological revolutions, governance, sustainable and just economic growth, european cohesion, productivity, stability

      The perennially shifting target in the south-eastern and eastern European region:

  • Black Sea maritime security for transatlantic resilience
  • E-W economic potential and the need for smarter industrial policies, investment and targeted european projects
  • Good governance as a prerequisite to stability and resilience


      Moving from reassurance to deterrence on the Eastern flank:

  • Romania - Turkey 
  • Romania - Poland
  • East and South flanks converging
  • Dialogue with Russia, framework, objectives and the realm of possibilities


      How do we get to more and better Europe:

  • more (inclusive) Europe as the solution
  • EU ambitions in unclear times
  • European citizenship: political dynamics in member states and the issue of justice and social and territorial inclusiveness in an intergovernmental Europe
  • European cities, urban development and referential identities: the challenge of regionalism, separatism and the need for flexible and desirable/achievable alternatives. 
  • Maintaining the transatlantic relation and the coherence of the Western narrative and societal identity
  • The emerging challenges of a post globalisation economic model
  • US elections, Brexit the left behind and the populist extreme: priorities for a new US administration
  • Defending liberal order, the rise of nationalism and populism
  • Making deals: trade relations in the era of populism
  • NATO and EU as the backbone of a new Western global engagement agenda

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