EFPI Junior Researcher Piret Kuusik has been selected to attend the Riga Conference 2018 as a Riga Conference Future Scholar. In relation, her paper “The Nordic-Baltics: Strategizing the Region’s International Role” has been published on the Riga Conference 2018 website together with other RC Future Scholars.
In this paper, Piret Kuusik argues that while the world is changing and many rules are being rewritten or set aside, also new opportunities are rising. In order to gain from these opportunities, the Nordic-Baltic region needs to cooperate together. When acting together, the Nordic-Baltic countries may have a reasonable impact on global affairs. In becoming reliable partners for the U.S., the Nordic-Baltic region can serve as a U.S. entrance point into the Eastern Neighbourhood. The Nordic-Baltic countries already support and practice EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood Policy and therefore facilitating U.S. engagement with the region allows the Nordic-Baltic countries to build on already existing knowledge, expertise and networks while also becoming invaluable partner. Secondly, the Nordic-Baltic region should become a gateway for China into Europe. Collective power of the Nordic-Baltic countries may force China to engage with Europe according to its rules and practices. Infrastructure projects such as the Rail Baltic and Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel facilitate connecting people arriving by plane and goods from China arriving via Arctic Sea to reach West and South Europe. There are knows, unknows and unknown unknowns, each and every development will impact the region in its own way. Whilst the region cannot escape from that, the shaping of the region is in the hands of Nordic-Baltic countries. Therefore, shift from reactionary strategy to long-term strategy must take place. Becoming a partner for bigger world powers is doing just that.
Read the paper here (PDF).