The Boris Nemtsov Forum, which took place in the European Parliament in Brussels on November 16 – 17, 2016, looked at ways to strengthen EU-Russia people-to-people relations. Over 100 representatives of Russian and EU civil society organisations, experts, politicians, EU officials and MEPs took part in the meetings of the working groups. More than 200 participants attended the two plenary sessions.

During the two-day event, participants discussed the current state of relations between Europe and Russia and ways to improve them in future. The discussions touched on the subjects of sanctions and their effectiveness, visa liberalisation, the economic crisis in Russia, and the need to maintain dialogue with representatives of Russia outside the current regime.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Open Russia founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom Zhanna Nemtsova and Luc Devigne, Managing Director (Russia) of the EEAS, gave welcoming remarks in a conversation moderated by ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt.

Member of the Executive Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Zhanna Nemtsova, European Endowment for Democracy Executive Director Jerzy Pomianowski, publisher and activist Irina Prokhorova as well as politician and journalist Lev Schlosberg took part in an opening panel discussion entitled “Getting back on track: policy and priorities for a new relationship,” moderated by ALDE Vice-chair Petras Austrevicius.

Four working groups then focused on detail, key aspects of the Europe-Russia relationship. The Forum concluded with a plenary session to summarise participants’ contributions, and consider ideas for the future.

Coming just two months after the Duma elections in Russia, the Boris Nemtsov Forum also showcased a new generation of progressive, open-minded Russians who aspire to political and intellectual leadership.

The Boris Nemtsov Forum thanks its partners in this event, including the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Open Russia, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the European Endowment for Democracy, the Group of the European People’s Party, the Group of the Greens and the Institute of Modern Russia.

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