Vilnius Institute for Policy
VILNIUS CONSULTATIONS 2019
EUROPE ON THE EDGE:
POLITICS OF GREY ZONES
WHEN AND WHERE?
9:00AM | October 3, 2019
Merchant's Club, Gediminas Avenue, 35, Vilnius
OPENING KEYNOTE - DISMANTLING TRANSNATIONAL CRIME
Virginija Būdienė, Director of Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis
Raimundas Karoblis, Minister of National Defense
CONSULTATION I: POLITICS OF GREY ZONES: ROLE OF OLIGARXY AND SHADOW ACTORS
José Grinda González, Spain's National Court Prosecutor (Spain)
Eglė Murauskaitė, Senior Researcher and Simulations Designer for the ICONS Project with the University of Maryland (United States)
Marius Laurinavičius, Senior Expert, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis (Lithuania)
Dmitry Adamsky, Professor, School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy, IDC Herzliya (Israel)
Anastasia Kirilenko, Investigative Reporter (Russian Federation)
Šarūnas Liekis, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy, Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania)
Viktorija Rusinaitė, Head of European Security Programme, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis (Lithuania)
Nathalie Vogel, Senior Fellow, European Values Centre for Security Policy (Czech Republic)
CONSULTATION II: VULNERABLE DATA, VULNERABLE CITIZENS
Donatas Puslys, Head of Media Programme, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis (Lithuania)
Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Professor, the iHub on Security, Privacy, and Data Governance, Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands)
Rolf Fredheim, Principal Scientist, NATO StratCom Centre for Excellence (Latvia)
Nicolás de Pedro, Senior Fellow, The Institute of Statecraft (United Kingdom)
Natalija Bitiukova, Data Protection Lawyer, Board Member of Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Denmark)
CONSULTATION III: NO STRINGS ATTACHED? POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHINA'S INFRASTRUCTURAL INVESTMENTS
Maia Otarashvili, Deputy Director of the Eurasia Programme, Foreign Policy Research Institute (United States)
Jacques deLisle, Director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, University of Pennsylvania (United States)
Zeno Leoni, Teaching Fellow, Defence Studies Department, King’s College London (United Kingdom)
Chris Miller, Director of the Eurasia Programme, Foreign Policy Research Institute (United States)
Liudas Zdanavičius, Research Fellow, The General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania (Lithuania)
CLOSING KEYNOTE - SAME OR DIFFERENT STRATEGY:
LESSONS LEARNT FROM RUSSIAN AND CHINESE INFLUENCE IN
Martin Svárovský, Head of the Security Strategies Programme, European Values Centre for Security Policy (Czech Republic)
OPENING REMARKS. VIRGINIJA BŪDIENĖ & RAIMUNDAS KAROBLIS
OPENING KEYNOTE. JOSÉ GRINDA GONZÁLEZ:
DISMANTLING TRANSNATIONAL CRIME ORGANISATIONS
I. POLITICS OF GREY ZONES: ROLE OF OLIGARXY AND SHADOW ACTORS
International world order seems to be becoming increasingly more vulnerable: agreements that have been safeguarding our future for decades – are now falling apart. International legal system has become inept to guarantee unquestionability of territorial integrity, in multiple places across Eastern and Central Europe. State capture overrides policy making and criminal networks flourish. Therefore, in this panel we invite to talk about grey zones in international order. What grey zones are the most dangerous to the European political order? Who are the actors proliferating them and what are their intentions? What kind of political logic these proliferators are using? How do we build resilience?
II. VULNERABLE DATA, VULNERABLE CITIZENS
In May 2019 the European Commission together with Facebook, Google and Twitter signed the Code of Practice on disinformation, expected to “increase transparency and protect the integrity” of European Parliament Elections. Elections have shown, that although regulation on advertising is essential, malign influence today affects beyond regulation. Moreover, Russian speaking audiences around the world use Russian social networks not falling under this regulation much more often, than Facebook or Twitter. It seems that despite regulatory efforts the situation yet again remains an unresolved grey zone. What can we expect from rapidly developing social networks, fintech and peer2peer platforms? Is our personal data safe from theft or misuse? What can be done to ensure transparent elections and avoid interference?
III. NO STRINGS ATTACHED? POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHINA'S INFRASTRUCTURAL
In recent years, China’s investments in Europe have gained more attention on both economic and political levels. Most of these investments are focused towards Germany, UK and France. The Chinese are investing in strategic infrastructure and are doing it through the use of loans instead of grants. To what extent can long term debt in Europe help China increase its global political leverage? Can Europe lose control over its strategic infrastructure? Although Chinese investments in Central and Eastern Europe combined do not amount to those, for example, placed in Germany, activities related to China-CEEC or 17+1 have raised many political questions. Could China-CEEC become the format meant to help the CEE in boosting their economies or is it designed to draw a wedge between the New and the Old Europe?
CLOSING KEYNOTE. MARTIN SVÁROVSKÝ: RUSSIAN AND CHINESE
INFLUENCE IN CENTRAL EUROPE
JOSÉ GRINDA GONZÁLEZ
The tools and systems behind online informational manipulation are no different from those employed to convince us to buy a fridge or a pair of new shoes.
China has assumed a prominent role in international
economic regimes, casting as a principal proponent of
economic globalisation in a time of U.S. retreat.
In Russia, Belarus and Chechnya one cannot differentiate
between the activities of the Government and organised
Now the most media organisations in Russia are managed by the Rossiya Bank - Putin’s associates. It turned out that a thief’s fear of punishment is incompatible with democracy.
NICOLÁS DE PEDRO
FREDERIK ZUIDERVEEN BORGESIUS
China has pursued its own extra-regional sphere of influence by
aiming at investments in and ownership of strategic
Beijing’s foreign policy credibility now depends on
extending as many loans as possible. But the more
money it lends now, the larger the future cost will be.
Russia practices coercion by merging military and
non-military forms of influence across nuclear,
conventional and informational domains.
Microtargeting promises to optimise the match
between the electorate’s concerns and political campaigns,
and to boost political participation.
As in the case of other "17+1" countries, positive attitudes on
economic cooperation with China are stemming not from the
actual existing opportunities, but from the optimistic hopes.
Whenever a military exercise takes place, coverage by hostile
pro-Kremlin media is systematically amplified
by inauthentic accounts.
The main purpose of modern historical revisionism is not to challenge
historical truth, but to prove that the sovereignty of small states depends
solely on the mercy of the aggressors.
Meddling into the domestic political processes of
foreign states by Russia has become the new
reality of the modern world.
Until recently, the Federal Republic of Germany relied broadly on NGOs to confront disinformation, despite them being ill equipped for such a role.
The blurring of boundaries between war and peace are diminishing globally - but especially in zones of ongoing crises, challenging us to revisit some of the core principles.
We need a major foreign strategy and a security policy strategy that could effectively provide peace and prosperity and discourage radical policy revisionists in the neighborhood.
The Russian strategy vis-à-vis central Europe as well as Chinese initiatives of the New Silk Road require strategic and complex stance of the European States.
Russia has not created the current context, but it knows how to take advantage of the digital ecosystem and exploit the political and economic difficulties faced by liberal democracies.
When facing the challenges of cyber attacks, private data breaches and disinformation, it is important not only to know the enemy we are fighting but also remember the values we are protecting.
It is important to carefully examine the array of ramifications of doing business with China, before rash decisions lead Europe into the kind of over-reliance on Chinese infrastructure investments.