On 15 March 2019 the forum “Connecting Eurasia: from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean” was held in Brussels, the bureaucratic heat of Europe. The event was organised by the Roscongress Foundation and the Conoscere Eurasia Association, with the support of the Association of European Businesses and the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.
This was the first ever time that a high-level dialogue on economic, trade and integration issues between the main stakeholders in the wider Eurasian space – the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Union, and China was held in the EU’s capital.
Challenges and opportunities for harmonisation in transport connectivity, soft infrastructure, industrial product standards, customs procedures were discussed by high-level policy makers and top business executives, among others: Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission (1999–2004); Prime Minister of Italy (1996–1998, 2006–2008); Aleksander Pankin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Tatyana Valovaya, Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission; Sodiq Safoyev, First Deputy Chairperson, Senate of Uzbekistan; Grigory Rapota, State Secretary of the Union State of Russia and Belarus; Aigul Kuspan, Head of the Representative Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Arnaldo Abruzzini, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES); Philippe Pégorier, President, Alstom Russia; Member of the Board, Association of European Businesses; Koen Berden, Executive Director for International Affairs, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA); Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO, Maire Tecnimont S.p.A.; Mark A. Gyetvay, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Novatek; Sergey Ivanov, CEO, ALROSA Fares Kilzie, Chairman, Creon Capital; Vladimir Shipkov, Executive Director, Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers; Mikko Turtiainen, Vice President, Global Sales, Finnair; Oliver Cescotti, President GEA, Russia; Moderator: Riccardo Pozzi, OSCE Special Representative; Maurizio Massari, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Italy to the European Union; Frank Schauff, Chief Executive Officer, Association of European Businesses; Vladimir Chizhov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union; Antonio Fallico, President, Conoscere Eurasia Association.
During the panel discussions special attention was given to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the EAEU’s common pharmaceutical market and the multiple costs of Western sanctions.
The event was attended by Gregory Jullien, Political Advisor, European Parliament and Yuri Kofner, Research Assistant, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA, Vienna). Both are members of the Marco Polo Young Leaders Initiative.