From 29-30 September Baltic Development Forum participated in the annual Riga-Conference – a leading international conference on foreign and security issues. BDF’s Honorary Chairman Uffe Ellemann-Jensen featured in a session on Nordic-Baltic cooperation with Speaker of Swedish Parliament Urban Ahlin amongst others. The discussion looked back to the enthusiasm of the early days in the Nordic-Baltic cooperation, reflecting on positive results such as the 5+3-initiative. American former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, James Townsend reiterated an earlier idea to create a Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion with Nordic support. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen proposed a new report based on Thorvald Stoltenberg’s New Life for Nordic Cooperation report to strengthen the Nordic-Baltic-cooperation further.
In a separate televised session, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen introduced the founding idea behind Baltic Development Forum and its current work. Co-author Jana Puglierin presented the Political State of the Region Report 2017 published recently by BDF and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and discussed the possibilities for Germany taking leadership across the EU and the Baltic Sea Region. How to involve Poland and Russia through stronger cooperation was also discussed. Per Carlsen talked about the future work of BDF with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung preparing for the next Political State of the Region Report to be published at the 20th BDF Summit in Tallinn, June 2018, whilst promoting BDF’s portfolio of reports.