A discussion with Sebastian Schäffer at the Institute for Western Affairs

In a virtual seminar organized by The Institute for Western Affairs in Poznań, participants eagerly engaged in a thought-provoking discussion led by Sebastian Schäffer, the Director of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM). The seminar covered a wide range of topics, from IDM’s mission and vision to its unique approach towards Central Europe, as well as pressing geopolitical issues. 

Sebastian Schäffer commenced the discussion by providing a thorough overview of the IDM’s mission and vision, emphasizing the Institute’s dedication to fostering cooperation and dialogue in the Danube Region and Central Europe. A key aspect of the discussion revolved around the IDM’s perspective on the ongoing war in Ukraine. Schäffer highlighted the importance of addressing the conflict and its implications for the broader European context. Additionally, Schäffer shared the insights into the challenges faced by Ukraine and Moldova as they navigate their paths towards potential European Union membership. A significant part of the seminar focused on the Greater European Council for non-EU members, highlighting the potential for joint initiatives and shared governance structures to address common regional issues. The Austrian perspective on the Three Seas Initiative was another key point of the discussion. Participants gained an understanding of how the IDM perceives this regional cooperation framework, its potential impact on Central Europe, and the role Austria envisions in the initiative’s development. Closing the discussion, the Schengen issue and the Austrian veto against the accession of Romania and Bulgaria were addressed. Sebastian Schäffer navigated through the complexities of this matter, highlighting the potential solutions to address the concerns raised by Austria. 

Overall, the online seminar provided a platform for an engaging and informative discussion on the IDM’s role in Central Europe, its perspectives on regional challenges, and its vision for fostering cooperation and integration in the broader European context. We are looking forward to a further cooperation! 


Kamila Bogdanova