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ECR Party

8-9 June 2018, Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku Summit: Building a Shared Future

The Baku Summit brings together leaders from politics, business, government, academia and the not-for-profit sector from across Europe and the world, in order to shape the debate on our shared future.   

From keynote speeches to topic-driven panel discussions, The Baku Summit will provide participants with valuable insights into the ideas that are shaping the world. 

OUR THEME – Building a Shared Future – is of global importance and has an impact on every individual, on every society, in every country.  Building a shared future is our collective responsibility, it is the sum of our creativity and knowledge, our talent and experience, our ingenuity and promise.  Building a shared future is essential for boosting productivity, pivotal for economic growth and vital to the resilience of our economies.  The Baku Summit will be an exploration of how connectivity, in all its forms, can be best applied across all aspects of society for the benefit of everyone.   

The programme of this event reflects on major challenges including: 

  • The digital economy; 
  • Economic freedom;
  • Connectivity through transportation;
  • Education transformation;
  • Local Governance;
  • Energy Security 

The event will be held in English and Azerbaijani, with live translation.

Why Baku? Why now?

WHY BAKU

No location could be more fitting for this forum than Azerbaijan and its capital Baku. For centuries, Azerbaijan has been at the crossroads of continents and civilizations, bringing together people from all backgrounds. Just days after Azerbaijan celebrates the centennial of its independence, we are hosting our Summit, bringing together the leaderships of ACRE’s Member Parties – from both inside and outside the EU – as well as high-level representatives from businesses, media and other thought leaders. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Its UNESCO-listed Old City is ringed by burgeoning new skyscrapers yet, barely a few hours’ drive away, timeless rural villages are backed by the soaring Caucasus mountains.

Eclectic architecture – combining historical heritage of the east and west with iconic contemporary buildings – makes Baku one of the most beautiful cities in the world. International hotels, exclusive shopping and excellent restaurants make it an attractive destination. Baku has also firmly established itself as a key city on the world stage. Open and tolerant, it is a global centre for intercultural dialogue and cooperation, regularly bringing together political, cultural and religious leaders from around the world. Baku has hosted landmark international events, such as the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, the first-ever European Games in 2015, the Islamic Solidarity Games and Women’s European Volleyball Championship in 2017. Looking ahead, Baku will host the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2019, and European Karate Championship and European Championship football matches in 2020, and the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which was first staged in 2016 will continue to be organized annually through to 2025.  Hosting The Baku Summit is a natural continuation of Baku’s proven track record in delivering large-scale international events. 

WHY NOW

Azerbaijan, with its rapidly growing economy, has tripled its GDP and reduced poverty and unemployment levels down to 5% in a decade. In 2015, the country won a global South-South Award 2015 for achievements in implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals. Today, Azerbaijan is ranked 35 among 138 economies (number one in the Commonwealth of Independent States) in the World Economic Forum’s 2017-18 Global Competitive Index.  We believe Azerbaijan is now ripe for our free market ideas that can turn the country into a beacon of economic resilience and sustainability across Europe and Asia.  This high-level gathering is being organised by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists (ACRE) in partnership with our local Member Party in Azerbaijan, the Popular Front Party of the Whole of Azerbaijan. 

Location

Speakers

Jan Zahradil MEP

ACRE President, Vice-Chairman, International Trade Committee, European Parliament

web / @ZahradilJan

Baroness Nosheena Mobarik, MEP

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

@NosheenaMobarik

Jorge Quiroga

President of Bolivia (2001-2002),

@tutoquiroga

Gudrat Hasanguliyev MP

President of the Popular Front Party of Whole Azerbaijan

James Wharton

Former U.K. Government Minister

@jameswhartonuk

Laurentiu Rebega

Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, European Parliament

@LaurRebega

Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky

Secretary General of the ECR Group in the European Committee of the Regions

@NevaSadikoglu

Professor Hannes Gissurarson

Professor at the University of Iceland

@Hannesgi

Azzan Al Busaidi

DG of Planning & Studies, The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development

Barbara Kappel MEP

Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

@b_kappel

Matteo Bianchi MP

Mayor of Morazzone and Member of Parliament, Italy

@luigi_matteo

Roger Evans

Political Consultant Specialising in Decentralisation and Democratic Engagement

@TheSpeakingRog

Marina Tauber

Vice-President of Shor party, Mayor of the Commune Jora de Mijloc, and former President of the Moldovan Tennis Federation

Nikolay Barekov MEP

Founder of the Bulgarian political party Reload BG

@NBarekov

Sebastian Kęciek

Director, Ministry of National Education, International Cooperation Department, Poland

Amjad Bashir MEP

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, European Parliament

@AmjadBashirMEP

Sahib Mammadov MP

Deputy Minister of the Economy, Azerbaijan

Ogtay Asadov MP

Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan

Nino Goguadze MP

Member of the Parliament, Georgia

@Ngoguadze1

Iain Dale

Political commentator, blogger, publisher and broadcaster

@IainDale

Fred McMahon

Resident Fellow, Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute

Visiola Pula

Telecoms regulation and consumer protection analyst at Cullen International

Juraj Droba MP

Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Chairman of the Bratislava Self-governing Region

@JurajDroba

Shanker Singham

Director of International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs

@ShankerASingham

Professor Gerard Pogorel

Professor of Economics and Management at Telecom ParisTech, international expert in telecommunications and the digital economy

Tim Dier

Executive Director, Morgan Stanley, Former Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union and the European Young Conservatives.

Daniele Capezzone

Member of ACRE Board and Director of New Direction Italy

@Capezzone

Olympios Raptis

Senior Advisor, European Parliament

@OlympiosRaptis

Dr. Nasir Awan DL

Chief Executive Officer, Awan Marketing Plc

@Nasirawanuk

Elmar Valiyev

Mayor, Ganja city, Azerbaijan

Professor Javanshir Feyziyev

Co-chair of the EU-Azerbaijani Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Azerbaijan

Mohammed Saqub

Partner at Shakespeare Martineau

Simon Elo MP

Founder and Leader of Finnish Parliamentary Party Blue Reform

@Simon_Elo

Michele Pastore

Senior Manager - Public Affairs, Samsung Electronics

Dr. Firudin Gurbanov

Deputy Minister of Education, Azerbaijan

Professor Andrea Giuricin

CEO TRA Consulting

@AndreaGiuricin

Alberto de Sanctis

Political Analyst, UTOPIA

web /

Ben Houchen

Mayor of the Tees Valley

@BenHouchen

Naweed Khan

Executive Director, New Direction Foundation

Elmir Valizadeh

Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Azerbaijan

Richard Milsom

ECR Party Executive Director

Themistoklis Asthenidis

ACRE Managing Director

Jonathan de Leyser

Director of IFT

Ahmed Shiyam MP

Founder, Maldives Development Alliance; Founder and CEO of Sun Travel Group

@Shiyamaldives

Dr. Abdulla Khaleel MP

Secretary-General, Progressive Party of the Maldives

@abkhaleel

Elnur Soltanov

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Azerbaijan

Professor Asif Ahmed

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Aston University

William Shawcross

Writer

Eric Roux

Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom

Emil Gasimli

Chief of Marketing and Business Development at the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)

Ziyafat Asgarov MP

First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan

Ketevan Mamulashvili

Member of Tbilisi City Assembly

@ketmamulashvili

Iftikhar Awan

CEO, Awan Consulting

Gani Abaidildinov

General Counsel, Cubism Law

web /

Agenda

08:00-09:00

Registration

09:00-09:10

Opening Video and introduction by Master Of Ceremonies,  Iain Dale

09:10–09:20

Message from the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, delivered by Ali Hasanov, aide to President Aliyev 

09:20-09:30

Keynote Speech by Ziyafat Asgarov, First Deputy Speaker of the Milli Majlis (National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan)

09:30-09:40

Keynote Speech by Gudrat Hasanguliyev MP, Popular Front Party of the Whole of Azerbaijan

09:40-09:50

Keynote Speech by Jan Zahradil MEP, President of ACRE​

09:50-10:00

Family Photo

10:00-10:10

Keynote Speech by Jorge Quiroga, President of Bolivia (2001-2002)

10:10-10:50

Panel Discussion on Energy Security

MODERATOR: James Wharton, former U.K. Government Minister

  • Alberto De Sanctis, Political Analyst, UTOPIA
  • Emil Gasimli, SOCAR Head of Marketing and Business Development Department
  • Roger Evans, Political Consultant Specialising in Decentralisation and Democratic Engagement
  • Gani Abaidildinov, General Counsel, Cubism Law

Energy sustainability is paramount for the functioning of any modern economy. Much of Europe’s energy comes through the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline, meaning Azerbaijan is of great strategic importance, especially considering the aggression of Russia, and the instability of the Middle-East. This panel will discuss both the importance of energy security, and viable options to increase Azerbaijani-European co-operation.

10:50-11:00

Keynote Speech by Sahib Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy

11:00-11:40

Panel Discussion on Economic Freedom

MODERATOR: Olympios Raptis, European Parliament

  • Sahib Mammadov, Deputy Minister of Economy
  • Fred McMahon, Resident Fellow at Dr. Michael A. Walker Chair in Economic Freedom, Fraser Institute
  • Shanker Singham, Director of International Trade and Competition Unit, Institute of Economic Affairs
  • Azzan Al Busaidi, DG of Planning & Studies, The Public Authority for Investment Promotion & Export Development

Azerbaijan has, for the past few decades, been evolving into a modern global economy. Modern as it is counting more and more on the capacity for innovation and efficiency of its people, a philosophy that has brought wealth and raised happiness levels all over the nation. Our panel of distinguished experts on market reforms shall discuss current trends and best practices across the world, with particular emphasis in the wider region of Azerbaijan, as well as in Europe and the Middle East.

11:40-12:20

Panel Discussion on Digital Economy

MODERATOR: Daniele Cappezonne,  ACRE Board Member and Director of New Direction Italy

  • Gerard Pogorel, Professor of Economics and Management at Telecom ParisTech
  • Michele Pastore, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, Samsung
  • Visiola Pula, Telecoms and consumer protection analyst, Cullen International
  • Simon Elo MP, Founder and Leader of Finnish Parliamentary Party Blue Reform

Encouraging easy access to technologies of the digital economy renders the access to international platforms, possible where people and organizations devise strategies, interact, communicate and collaborate more efficiently, and more profitably. The government of Azerbaijan has been making successful efforts to attract more entrepreneurs and innovators following its “Declaration on the Digital Economy”. This panel aims to shape the debate for foreign direct investments in the digital economy, by analysing best practices, transferable solutions and successful case studies that could improve Azerbaijani digital footprint.

12:20 -12:30

Keynote Speech by Javanshir Feyziyev, Co-chair of the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee

12:30-13:00

Fireside Chat – Iain Dale interviews six members of the European Parliament on the future of Europe and of the European Union​

MODERATOR: Iain Dale, Political commentator, blogger, publisher and broadcaster

  • Jan Zahradil, Czech Republic
  • Nikolay Barekov, Bulgaria
  • Amjad Bashir, United Kingdom
  • Laurentiu Rebega, Romania
  • Barbara Kappel, Austria
  • Baroness Mobarik, United Kingdom

13:00-14:00

Buffet Lunch

14:00-14:15

Live performance of Azerbaijani music

14:15-14:25

Keynote Speech by Elmir Valizada, Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and IT

14:25-15:05

Panel Discussion on Transportation and Connectivity

MODERATOR: Tim Dier, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley

  • Elmir Valizadeh, Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, Azerbaijan
  • Andrea Giuricin, CEO TRA Consulting
  • Nasir Awan DL, Chief Executive Officer, Awan Marketing Plc
  • Ahmed Shiyam MP, Maldives Development Alliance

Turning its back on years of forced isolationism, Azerbaijan is once again at the crossroad of Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. This achievement is owed to international investors and the Azeri government, that have sponsored numerous large-scale infrastructure projects; in the last ten years, Azerbaijan has built more than 6,000 miles of road and 300 bridges. More, however, needs to be done to achieve a truly global integration, and we will discuss the forms of transportation that are of major importance in today’s and tomorrow’s world, as well as the most efficient transport strategies to connect Azerbaijan to the global market.

15:05-15:15

Keynote Speech by Firudin Gurbanov, Deputy Minister of Education

15:15-15:55

Panel Discussion on Education Transformation

MODERATOR: Eric Roux, Chair of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom

  • Firudin Gurbanov, Deputy Minister of Education, Azerbaijan
  • Sebastian Keciek, Director, Ministry of National Education, International Cooperation Department, Poland
  • Hannes H. Gissurarson, Professor at the University of Iceland
  • Prof. Asif Ahmed, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health, Aston University

In 2015 President Aliyev announced that “foreign investors are more interested in investing into oil and gas sector, however, we will also invite them to invest in other sectors”. The maximisation of the human capital is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education, and that includes equity of access. This panel will discuss the advantages of this transition; as well as the progress that has been made and future possibilities for rebuilding Azerbaijan’s human capital.

15:55-16:10

Coffee break  

16:10-16:50

Panel Discussion on Governance and Localism

MODERATOR: Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky, Secretary General of the ECR Group, European Committee of the Regions

  • Elmar Valiyev, Mayor of the Ganja city, Azerbaijan
  • Juraj Droba MP, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Chairman of the Bratislava Self-governing Region
  • Matteo Bianchi, Mayor of Morazzone and Member of Parliament, Italy
  • Max Rangeley, Editor, The Cobden Centre

Localism is the idea that in governance, decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level. Local government is one of the cornerstones of Azerbaijan's constitutional system. Under President Aliyev, Azerbaijan has also made strong steps to decentralise including referenda in 2009 and 2016 that voted to increase local governance through the introduction, and then empowerment, of municipalities. This panel will discuss the advantages of local governance and will also look at the kind of local action required by current global issues and challenges.

16:50-17:05

Baku Expo 2025 Video and Presentation by Elnur Sultanov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

17:05-17:15

Closing Address by Richard Milsom, Chief Executive of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists of Europe and Naweed Khan, Executive Director of New Direction