eastern europe

On July 8-9, 2016, some of the world’s most powerful heads of state, as well as their foreign and defense ministers, gathered in Warsaw for the NATO Summit. NATO summits, convened every year or two, represent important public diplomacy opportunities for the Alliance. During these summits, NATO nations and partners meet in order to produce a communiqué, which outlines the Alliance’s priorities and initiatives. 

The new Russian, or more precisely, the pro-Russian think tank entitled 'Dialogue of Civilizations', associated with the global public forum of the same name with the headquarters in Vienna, was launched in Berlin. The structure will be led by the former head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin, [...] The head of the Program for Eastern Europe at the German Council on Foreign Relations, Stefan Meister, suggested that in many ways the success of the new Institute will be identified by the fact whether it will be able to attract the influential German scientists and political experts.

Peter Kentie, the Dutch marketing and branding specialist, has proposed an ambitious and clever nation branding for Estonia, where emphasis is on the ‘-est’ concept and new slogan, “just estonishing”. [...] Kentie told Estonian World that he was inspired to suggest new branding for Estonia, after seeing that the country is struggling to find a coherent nation branding and marketing strategy. 

Beyond its setting, Tallinn Music Week enjoys at least one advantage over festivals closer to home — the Estonian national government clearly has no problem providing state funding for such an endeavor, as well as getting involved in other, more hands-on ways. [...] Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, however, appeared delighted to DJ at one of the festival’s gala events, presenting a selection of songs from Teenage Wildlife, a compilation of favorite songs from his youth that he released last year for a charity. 

“The E.U. has helped. Latvians want to fit in,” said a Latvian gay rights activist who helped organize this year’s parade.The tug-of-war over gay rights has taken on special significance after a recent string of U.S. court decisions upholding gay marriage. Caitlyn Jenner’s very public transition from her old life as Bruce, meanwhile, has thrown a spotlight on transgender issues and acceptance.

The Commission Members will hear about U.S. Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting Efforts in Eastern Europe and welcome Mark Toner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Macon Phillips, Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs, at the State Department. 

There’s also been potentially catastrophic damage to the West’s influence and credibility. The US is accused of over-prioritizing and withdrawing attention and resources from Eastern Europe; it’s an open question whether the EU is an effective foreign policy actor at all.