LINKS Europe is a Dutch Stichting based in The Hague, and is part of the LINKS network established in 1997 to contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the process of transition in Europe’s neighbourhood.
We aspire for a peaceful, secure and prosperous Europe, in friendship and solidarity with its neighbourhood.
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We aim to achieve our vision through dialogue, research and analysis, outreach and dissemination, and training and capacity building.
LINKS Europe is a peace-building organisation. We support the quest for peace through Track 2 and Track 1.5 initiatives, including through dialogue and confidence-building. Our work is currently primarily focused on areas in the EU’s neighbourhood, with a particular emphasis on the South Caucasus.
LINKS Europe firmly believes that peace and prosperity in Europe are strongly dependent on peace and prosperity in Europe’s neighbourhood. It supports an extensive EU commitment to the future of neighbouring regions, including through political and economic cooperation, support for peace initiatives, and extensive people-to-people contacts. We group the EU’s neighbourhood into six clusters: North Africa and the Sahel; Turkey, the Balkans and the Levant; Russia and Eastern Europe; The South Caucasus; The Gulf and Red Sea Regions; and Central Asia. Whilst each cluster has its own unique characteristics, there are also a number of common features resulting from geographic proximity, and common historical experiences and connections.
Europe’s increasing ambition to become a global geopolitical player is a result of necessity. We believe this will happen despite the reluctance of some and the shortcomings of others. It is therefore important to engage with this debate and help forge a new global Europe that can provide safety, security and prosperity for its citizens and be a force for good in the world. The EU’s ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ provides us with an excellent focus and platform to do this in a structured way.
In an increasingly interdependent world, isolation is not the solution. Developing proper connectivity that works well for all concerned is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Connectivity, in areas such as transport and communications, is also a potential tool for peace, improving trade and business, facilitating people-to-people contacts, and enabling countries and communities to develop shared interests. LINKS Europe is contributing towards the debate on how connectivity can contribute to peace and prosperity.
Globalisation and connectivity have their negative sides too. Radicalisation has shown a capacity to spread quickly, often leading to violence. Vulnerable groups – be they whole communities and tribes in the Sahel, or disenchanted sons of migrants in the slums of Paris – are prone to fall victim to radicalisation. No religious or ethnic group is immune. White communities impacted by economic downturns are equally likely to succumb to extreme ideas, leading some to see violence as a solution. LINKS Europe works to understand the phenomenon, including the connection between radicalisation and violent conflicts, and on ways of fighting back against this dangerous trend.
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Speakers and panelists at the event "Towards a landmine Free South Caucasus by 2030" held in Geneva on 19 June 2023