Consultation and discussion meetings with the Core Group of Regional Experts, representatives of the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and international and regional experts on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the five key regional powers were held annually in 2012, 2013 and 2014 in Barcelona. A series of meetings were also held in the focus countries and in the region, in the same years. In 2016, meetings were held in Islamabad, Kabul, Brussels, Madrid and Oslo, as part of the project´s exit strategy, to convey findings from the focus countries to European policymakers and obtain their feedback.
- Develop, consolidate and expand the Regional Network of Experts & Analysts, to capture how they and their countries react and adjust to the rapidly changing situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan over time
- Consolidate project efforts to create a space for dialogue and debate which is perceived by all parties as neutral and as presenting a platform for free and open exchange of views and ideas
- Triangulate project findings
- Build on the collective knowledge and understanding emerging from the different phases of the project, and continue to map the increasingly complex context, where new actors bring new approaches, jeopardizing the mainstream ideas traditionally produced in Western capitals
Barcelona Meetings 2012-2014
2012 Round Table Discussion on the STAP RP Policy Research Project
This closed-session meeting of the project´s network of regional experts in March 2012 held discussions on the findings of the mapping exercise and preliminary policy papers, and sought expert views to triangulate findings and set the direction for the project´s policy research activities and the focus for the year.
2013 High Level Conference on Future Scenarios for Afghanistan & Pakistan
The STAP RP Barcelona High Level International Conference in late 2013 went beyond the closed session round table format of the previous year, to widen its audience to a larger group of stakeholders, including experts and analysts from the five key regional powers, to discuss future scenarios for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The outcomes of these discussions helped shape the focus of the project for 2014 and further expanded and consolidated the project´s network of regional experts.
2014 Round Table Discussion on the status of the Sources of Tension at the Start of the “Decade of Transformation”
An invitation-only high level Round Table discussion in Barcelona in December, with strong participation by experts from the region, took place with the aim of examining the status of Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan with regional dimensions, at the start of the “Decade of Transformation”.
Meetings in Focus Countries & in Europe
Each year the project has held a series of meetings held in the region and in Europe, to discuss project findings and to obtain stakeholder views. In addition to those listed below, annual meetings in Madrid and Oslo were held to brief concerned stakeholders about the project.
Islamabad & Kabul April 2012
Members of the project team visited Islamabad and Kabul in April 2012, to share and triangulate findings from the Inception Phase (mid 2011-March 2012) and Barcelona Round Table meeting (March 2012) with concerned government, civil society and international stakeholders in each country and to obtain feedback.
Brussels December 2012
Meetings were held in Brussels in December 2012, co-hosted with Security and Defence Agenda, to share project findings to date. Participants included diplomatic missions in Brussels, NATO, and think tanks, regional expert members of the Core Group of Experts and the project team.
Oslo Round Table Meeting, December 2012
This round table discussion meeting, co-hosted by NOREF, shared project research findings with concerned Norwegian stakeholders and obtained feedback from participating regional experts from Afghanistan, Pakistan, international experts on the region from Russia and India, and representatives from the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CMI, NOREF, and the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
In 2013, the STAP RP devoted a particular focus to the interests, stances, statements and actions of the five key regional powers (India, China, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia), in addition to continued analysis on Afghanistan and Pakistan themselves. A series of visits to the region by project team members took place over the year, with the aim of consolidating the space for neutral dialogue and hearing the views of stakeholders from the key regional powers, their perceptions on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the sources of domestic tension with regional implications.
A two day round table discussion was held in Islamabad, co-hosted by the Jinnah Institute, with experts from government, the military, civil society, the media, and independent analysts, on post-May 2013 elections in Pakistan, and its impact on domestic sources of tension with regional implications. (Read the Report)
2013 China, Russia, Qatar, New Delhi
Discussion events and round tables were held in China (Shanghai, in collaboration with Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and Beijing, Read the Report), Russia (Moscow, Read the Report); a round table discussion in Doha, Qatar on Saudi Arabia and Iran, in collaboration with the Gulf Studies Program, Qatar University (Read the Report); and meetings in India (New Delhi, Read the Report).
A series of individual meetings were held in Kabul, to assess the sources of tension, including in relation to the regional powers, in the context of the run-up to the presidential elections in 2014. These included stakeholders directly involved in, or closely following the building of, electoral coalitions; politicians, civil society representatives, youth, political commentators and analysts, foreign envoys and diplomats. (Read the Report)
The project began to focus a greater concentration of attention on Pakistan (60%) than on Afghanistan (40%), in the light of the draw-down of western forces from the latter and the critical role of Pakistan in the region at the start of the “Transformation Decade” for Afghanistan.
A one and a half day Round Table discussion was held in Islamabad on 23 and 24 October 2014, co-hosted with the Pak Institute of Peace Studies, on where Pakistan stands on Afghanistan in the latter part of 2014. (Read the Report)
Members of the project team visited Kabul in October 2014, to assess the situation vis a vis the sources of tension and in relation to the regional powers, in the context of the run-up to the presidential elections in 2014. A series of individual meetings with people directly involved in, or closely following the building of electoral coalitions, politicians, civil society representatives, youth, political commentators and analysts, foreign envoys and diplomats (Read the Report).
2014 Washington DC
A Round Table discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan was co-hosted by CIDOB and USIP in early June, with presentations by the project team. Members of the team also gave a panel presentation at the Wilson Center, Washington DC on June 9, on Shaping the Future? The Role of the Regional Powers in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A one-day Round Table discussion was held in Doha on October 21 2014, co-hosted with Qatar University´s Gulf Studies Program, on formal and non-formal flows of funds from Afghanistan and Pakistan and the perspectives from the Gulf (Read the Report)
Two STAP RP project team members (Emma Hooper and Roberto Toscano) participated in meetings in Tehran on, inter alia, Iran and the region, co-hosted by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR) and the Europe-Iran Research Group (EIRG). (Read the Report)
No meetings held
Feedback was shared with key stakeholders in Europe and their views were sought, on outputs from focus group discussions held in the first part of the year, in the region.
A series of focus group and individual discussions with representatives of civil society, security experts and analysts, former government officials, lawmakers and youth, were held in Islamabad in March 2016, facilitated by the Jinnah Institute Islamabad. With the upcoming closure of the Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: A Regional Perspective policy research project in autumn 2016, the aim was to provide policymakers in Europe with the feedback and inputs from Pakistan that will assist them to shape their policies towards the country, together with those towards Afghanistan, for the coming decade. Read the Report.
A series of discussions were held in Kabul in mid April 2016 with current and former politicians, local government experts, NGOs, civil society and the media/private sector. With the upcoming closure of the Sources of Tension in Afghanistan & Pakistan: A Regional Perspective policy research project in autumn 2016, the aim was to provide policymakers in Europe with the feedback and inputs from Kabul that will assist them to shape their policies towards Afghanistan, for the coming decade. Read the Report.
2016 Brussels, Madrid, Oslo
A meeting was held in Brussels by the project team, on May 19 2016, co-hosted by CIDOB and the European Institute for Peace, involving stakeholders from the European Union, the Belgian government, and civil society think tanks. A similar meeting was held in Madrid on June 3, co-hosted by CITpax. The purpose of the meetings was to share the initial findings from focus group discussions and interviews in Kabul and Islamabad in the first quarter of the year; and to obtain feedback and reactions from participants. Outputs from the whole series of meetings were then taken to the project´s funders and other Norway based stakeholders, to hand over to policymakers going forward, in a meeting on June 23 2016, in Oslo. Read the Report.