Friday, May 13


Opening session

New Normal: The End of the West as We Know It?
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia
Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the EU Commission
Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs of the Republic of France
Constanze Stelzenmüller, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Moderated by: Steve Erlanger, Journalist, The New York Times

18:45 Transfer to the dinner

19:00 Dinner, hosted by the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves

(by invitation only)


Transfer to the hotel & conference venue

22:00 Night owl session

Sense and Sensibility: Europe’s Refugee Politics in Crisis
Marina Kaljurand, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia

Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the EU Commission

Ruprecht Polenz, President of the German Association for East European Studies

Artis Pabriks, European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the European Border and Coast Guard

Moderated by: Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne columnist, The Economist

Saturday, May 14


Breakfast sessions

The Baltic Gap: How Credible is NATO‘s Deterrence Posture?
Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania
Frederick Hodges, Commanding General, US Army in Europe

Hannes Hanso, Minister of Defence of Estonia

Josh Arnold-Forster, Political Consultant, Former Special Adviser to the UK Minister of Defence

Moderated by: Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

State(s) of Fear: Coping with Terrorism, Extremism and Random Violence
Anton Shekhovtsov, Visiting Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences
Noman Benotman, President Quilliam Foundation
Selim Koru, Analyst, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV)

Moderated by: Konstantin von Eggert, Commentator and Host, TV Dozhd (TV Rain)

Distrust of the East and Anxiety of the South – Balancing European Neighbourhood
Michael Köhler, Director for Neighbourhood South at the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
David Bakradze, State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
Vincenzo Camporini, Vice President of IAI

Moderated by: Judy Dempsey, Non-Resident Senior Associate, Carnegie Europe

Future of Ukraine: “Is Minsk Doable?”
Thomas Bagger, Head, Policy Planning, Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany
Oleksii Makeiev, Political Director, Directorate General for Policy and Communications, Ukrainian MFA
Michael Carpenter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, Western Balkans, and Conventional Arms Control; Office of the Secretary of Defence, US

Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council

Moderated by: Kadri Liik, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR


Panel discussion

NATO in Warsaw: Steeling the Alliance?
Peter Hultqvist, Minister of Defence of Sweden
Alexander Vershbow, NATO Deputy Secretary General
Philippe Errera, Ambassador, Defence Policy Director, French Ministry of Defence
Witold Waszczykowski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland

Moderated by: Ben Nimmo, Senior Fellow, the Institute for Statecraft / non-resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council of the US



Panel discussion

Russia’s Wars
Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre on the United States and Europe, Foreign Policy, the Brookings Institute
Mark Galeotti, Professor of Global Affairs, New York University
Carl Bildt, Former Prime Minister of Sweden
Harinder Sekhon, Senior Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation

Moderated by: David Kramer, The McCain Institute for International Leadership




Optional events – visits and excursions

Medieval Old Town Walking Tour
Tallinn Military Cemetery Tour
Kadriorg Palace and Park
Maritime NATO in the Baltic: A Visit with Standing NATO Maritime Group One


Panel discussion

Europe Whole and Free: a Fading Dream?
Radosław Sikorski, Senior Fellow, Harvard University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland
Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council
Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies
Riina Kionka, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor of European Council President Donald Tusk

Moderated by: Natalie Nougayrède, Editorial Board Member and Columnist, The Guardian


Panel discussion

McCain Institute Debate: Will US Foreign Policy be Better Under a Republican or Democratic President?
Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Daniel Vajdich, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Sally Painter, Co-Founder and COO, Blue Star Strategies, LLC
Leigh O’Neill, Managing Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs, Truman National Security Project

Moderator: Kurt Volker, Executive Director of the McCain Institute


Networking dinner in the conference hotel


Night owl sessions

Do Sanctions Really Work?
Dan Fried, Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, U.S. Department of State
Vygaudas Ušackas, Ambassador of the EU to the Russian Federation
Alexey Levinson, Head of Department, Levada Centre
Andrey Illarionov, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
Moderated by: Jüri Luik, Director of the International Centre for Defence and Security

Consequences of the Collapse of Afghanistan
Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani Journalist, Author
Fabio Belafatti, Lecturer, Coordinator of Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies
Jawed Ludin, CEO, Mithra Associates LLC, Former Chief of Staff of President Karzai
Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia

Moderated by: Yalda Hakim, Anchor and Correspondent, BBC

Revisions of Reality: Can Democracy Survive the War on Information?
Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow, Legatum Institute
Janis Sārts, Director of NATO StratCom COE, Riga
Masha Gessen, Journalist
Jerzy Pomianowski, Executive Director, European Endowment for Democracy

Moderated by: Sylke Temple, Editor in Chief, Berlin Policy Journal, German Council on Foreign Relations

Who Should Foster Grass-Roots Liberalism in Russia?
Vladimir Kara-Murza, National Coordinator, Open Russia
Ilya Ponomarev, Member of Parliament, State Duma – Russian Parliament
Anna Arutunyan, Freelance Journalist
Lilia Shevtsova, Non-resident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution, Chatham House

Moderated by: Jill Dougherty, Analyst, Independent Researcher

Sunday, May 15

Breakfast sessions

Climate, Security and Competitiveness: How Sustainable is the EU’s Energy Security Strategy?
Einari Kisel, Europe Region Manager at World Energy Council
Alan Riley, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Matthew Bryza, Member of International Advisory Board of the ICDS

Moderated by: John Lough, Associate Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

Nuclear Deterrence: Back on the Menu?
Etienne de Durand, Deputy for Defence Policy and Strategic Foresight, Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy, French Ministry of Defence
James Sherr, Associate Fellow, Chatham House
Robert Scher, Assistant Secretary of Defence for Strategy, Plans and Capabilities, Department of Defence, The United States of America

Moderated by: Tomas Ries, Associate Professor, Swedish National Defence University

Implications of the Digital Revolution on Security: Lessons from Ukraine, Russia and Panama
Jarno Limnéll, Professor of Cyber Security, Aalto University
Ieva Ilves, Head of National Cyber Security Policy Section, Latvian Ministry of Defence
Andrei Soldatov, Editor,, Co-author of “The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries”
John Schindler, Strategist, Author, Commentator

Moderated by: Erka Koivunen, Cyber Security Advisor, F-Secure Corporation

Democracy and Frozen Conflicts in the Caucasus
Leila Alieva, Academic Visitor St. Antony’s College University of Oxford, UK
Richard Giragosian, Director, Regional Studies Center (RSC)
Vladimir Socor, Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation, Washington

Moderated by: David Kramer, The McCain Institute for International Leadership


Panel discussion

Whose War?: Syria, the West and the Rest
Suadad Nabil Najim, Counsellor, Head of the European Organisations and Institutions Division, European Affairs Department, League of Arab States
Noman Benotman, President Quilliam Foundation
Michael Weiss, Senior Editor, CNN
Omar Al-Shahery, Regional Team Lead in North Africa for Aktis Strategy, Consultant to the US Government

Moderated by: Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani Journalist, Author



Panel discussion

Rising China, Falling Oil and Costly Wars: Trends in Global Economy
Alan Riley, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia
Sergey Aleksashenko, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings

Moderated by: Risto Penttilä, CEO, Finnish Chamber of Commerce


Closing session

Key Note: Lennart Meri Lecture
General Sir Garry Johnson, Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the ICDS

Final Words


Farewell lunch