Annual Conference on Belgian Foreign Policy


19 November 2021



9.00-9.30: Opening session

Welcome address:

  • Hugues Chantry, DG Egmont
  • Theodora Gentzis, President of the Management Committee of the MFA

9.30-11.00 Panel 1: The Conference on the Future of Europe – European Democracy at a Crossroads?

Portrayed as an “unprecedented democratic exercise”, the Conference on the Future of Europe comes at a time when actions and decisions taken at EU level have an ever growing direct impact on citizens’ daily lives in areas such as climate change, environment, health, jobs, education, rights and security Are existing institutional arrangements aiming at reinforcing the democratic nature of the EU up to the challenge, or are some new forms of governance needed, and is the Conference the forum where they could be shaped? By selecting “European Democracy” as the topic for the Belgian Citizen Panels which will produce recommendations presented at the December Plenary of the CFE, the Belgian Government intends to contribute actively to this debate.

Chair: Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Egmont and UCL

  • Dubravka Suica, VP European Commission
  • Janis Emmanouilidis, European Policy Centre
  • Jan Wouters, KUL
  • Saskia Bricmont, Member of the European Parliament

11.00-11.30 Pause

11.30-13.00 Panel 2: Seeking Stability in the Sahel: Mission (Im) Possible?

The last year has since significant changes in the Sahel region, including three coups and one coup attempt, as well as a reconfiguration of the largest external troop deployment in the area: Barkhane, towards a Europeanisation in the shape of Taskforce Takuba. While foreign actors, both bilateral and multilateral players, remain present in the region, the security situation is continuously deteriorating, provoking questions about the utility and future of the external presence. This relates directly to the Belgian Defence’s operation in Niger: Operation New Nero.

Chair:  Nina Wilén, Egmont

  • Bart De Groof , Belgian Foreign Affairs
  • Frank Van der Meuren, Former Head of EUCAP Niger
  • Pierre Dehaene, soldier Belgian Special Forces
  • Johannes Claes, Clingendael

13.00-14.00 Lunch Break

14.00-16.00 Panel 3: NPT@50: Between Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

The NPT just turned 50, but pressure on its assumptions is growing. Nuclear programmes in Iran and North Korea are continuing. After many years, the reduction of the global nuclear weapons arsenal is slowing down. The promise of a nuclear weapons-free world seems remoter than before. Which role does Belgium have to play these coming years in non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament?

Chair: Dorothée Vandamme, UCL

  • Axel Kenes, Belgian Foreign Affairs
  • Danny Pronk, Clingendael
  • Alexander Mattelaer, Egmont & VUB
  • Nils Duquet, Flemish Peace Institute

16.00-16.30 Closing remarks

Hugues Chantry, Egmont


Your attendance is only assured if you get a confirmation email.

A Covid Safe Ticket will be asked at the entrance.