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International Conference The Baltics in a Changing Europe 23 & 24 Feb 2023

February 23, 2023 - February 24, 2023




International Conference

        The Baltics in a Changing Europe

23 & 24 February 2023

Organised by

Jean Monnet Chair on

‘Democracy, Diversity and European Identity in the European Union’

Centre for European Studies,

School of International Studies

 Jawaharlal Nehru University


The Baltic States  – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became independent sovereign states in 1991 following the disintegration of Soviet Union. These countries share common historical experience and geopolitical situation. Experience of Soviet occupation has played a vital role in shaping their foreign policies, bilateral relations and security policies. Since independence all three have been in search for security that, as the Latvian Foreign Policy Concept aptly put it would make “restored independence irreversible.” Thus they moved to rapidly distance themselves from Russia and integrate into the European political, social and security structures. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became members of the European Union (EU) in and the NATO in 2004 and of the Eurozone in 2011, 2014 & 2015 respectively.

The immediate challenge at independence was also to make a smooth transition to a functional market economy, establish a stable democracy by balancing the strong nationalistic sentiments of the majority communities with the demands of the huge number of Russian speaking population, and ensure security. After the initial hiccups from 2000 onwards, the three Baltic economies registered steady growth at an average of 8–9 percent a year. They, however, could not escape the 2008 financial crisis but steadied by 2012. Between 2011 to 2014 the three managed an average annual growth rate of 4.1 percent compared to only 0.7 percent for the EU as a whole. They continue to maintain steady economic growth, have developed as one of the leading hub in the field of Information Technology and have steadily improved living standards.

As EU members these states have been strong supporters of EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Neighbourhood Policy. They are also part of numerous regional initiatives like – The Council of the Baltic Sea States; The Nordic-Baltic Region; EUSBSR, The Three Seas Initiative, HELCOM, Baltic Development Forum.

Indian on its part is looking at this region with interest. Indian Prime Minister in an interview in 2016 had stressed that the small countries of the world are not insignificant and need attention just like the big ones. A reflection of this understanding is seen in India-Baltic relations which are on the upswing following Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to the region in 2019. Our shared commitment to democracy, rule of law, and the promotion of peace and stability coupled with growing Baltic competence in niche technologies, digital innovation and governance and India’s stress on going digital are synergies that open up possibilities for future collaborations. During his visit the Vice President for instance invited Estonian companies to “take advantage of India’s flagship programmes like – Make in India, Digital India” and focus on technological partnerships in IT, cyber security and related domains. Given Estonia’s green energy development especially related to solar energy, India has invited Estonia to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to rapidly develop solar energy and enable technology transfer.

Given the development and future potential that these small states exhibit and the context of the current situation in Ukraine precipitated by Russian action, the Centre for European Studies is organising a two-day international conference in hybrid mode on “The Baltics in a Changing Europe”, 23 and 24 February 2023. The objective is to deliberate both the ground that these countries have covered since their independence to emerge as well functioning economies and polity and the challenges that they face.

We invite contributions for original papers from research scholars on the following broad themes but not restricted to it.


  • History and Culture of the Baltic States
  • Political Development – Democracy, Nation building, Minority Rights
  • Economic and Technological Development, Environment and Climate Concerns
  • Social Issues – Gender rights, Inequality
  • European Union and the Baltics
  • Foreign Policy and Security Concerns
  • Intra and Inter Regional Co-operation
  • India and the Baltics


Papers will be selected on the basis of a 250-300 words abstract to be submitted latest by January 20, 2023 to ceusconference2021@gmail.com. Decisions regarding the inclusion of proposed papers in the conference shall be mailed out by  January 20 and the full papers need to be submitted by February 15, 2023. For any queries please reach out at ceusconference2021@gmail.com.



February 23, 2023
February 24, 2023


Jean Monnet Chair


School of International Studies JNU
Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies JNU
New Delhi, Delhi 110067 India
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