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EU Council Presidency: Interparliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy on 11 and 12 October

Austrian Parliament, 4 October 2018

The Conference Agenda to Focus on Western Balkans Enlargement, Syria, Security, Migration and External Border Protection

Vienna (PK) – The Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the fourth interparliamentary meeting under Austria's EU Presidency, will take place on 11 and 12 October 2018. The national parliaments, the European Parliament, the European Commission and experts from academia will debate current issues involving parliamentary scrutiny of EU foreign and defence policy, such as external border protection, migration, the positioning of the EU in the Syrian conflict and EU enlargement to include the Western Balkans.

President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka and President of the Austrian Federal Council Inge Posch-Gruska will open the conference, which will be co-chaired by Andreas Schieder and Reinhard Eugen Bösch, chairs of the Foreign Policy Committee and the National Defence Committee of the Austrian National Council, respectively, as well as by David McAllister, chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The first day of the conference will be devoted to the issues of security, migration and external border protection. Introductory statements will be given by Wolfgang Baumann, Secretary-General of the Austrian Ministry of Defence, Berndt Körner, Deputy Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX, and Melita Sunjic, journalist and former UNHCR spokesperson.

The first session of the second day of the interparliamentary conference will focus on how Europe can contribute to improving the political and humanitarian situation in Syria. Statements will be given by Helga Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Jean-Louis de Brouwer, Director for Europe, Eastern Neighbourhood and Middle East at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, and Salam Kawakibi, Political Scientist and Executive Director of the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies in Paris.

The agenda will then focus on the European perspective for the Western Balkan states. Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, Thoms Mayr-Harting, Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia of the European External Action Service, and Theresia Töglhofer, Associate Fellow at the Alfred von Oppenheim Centre for European Policy Studies, will all provide their insights on the issue.

Interparliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy

The “Interparliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)” addresses issues involving parliamentary scrutiny of the EU's foreign and defence policy and provides a platform for consultation between national parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Commission with contributions from outside experts.

The Conference of Speakers of European Union Parliaments established this body in Warsaw in April 2012, which met for the first time in Cyprus in 2012. The objective was to continue to ensure parliamentary scrutiny and monitoring of the EU's foreign, security and defence policy in particular subsequent to the dissolution of the Western European Union.

Accreditation for representatives of the media

Permanent accreditation for the duration of the Austrian EU Council Presidency is valid for the conferences and press events of the Parliamentary Dimension. Accreditation can be obtained via the website www.eu2018.at.

Individual accreditation for the Interparliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy at the Erste Campus Vienna is managed by the Mediaservice of the Parliamentary Administration (press-eu2018@parlament.gv.at). Permanent accreditation for the Austrian Parliament is valid on those days as well.

Event: Interparliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)

Time: Thursday, 11 October, 11:15 AM to 3:00 PM

Friday, 12 October, 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Venue: Erste Campus Vienna

Programme details can be obtained at www.eu2018parl.at.