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Protecting the achievements in Afghanistan: Europe’s role in supporting civil society and democracy after the NATO allies withdraw

This online discussion is hosted by MEP Petras Auštrevičius in cooperation with the European Institute of Peace

DATE: 1 JULY 2021

TIME: 10.30-12.00 CET


As US and NATO troops prepare to leave by 11 September 2021 after 20 years of military engagement in Afghanistan, this timely conversation with Afghan civil society representatives and Afghan and European policy makers will look at the role Europe can play in safeguarding the achievements in democracy, human rights and development over the past two decades. The discussion will cover: the challenges for the Afghan government, civil society and the diaspora; the Taliban’s role in Afghanistan’s future and prospects for a mediated solution; preserving achievements in education and women’s rights; and evaluating and tracking European development and humanitarian funds.


10.30 – 10.40 CET Opening remarks

  • Petras Auštrevičius, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan
  • Michael Keating, Executive Director, European Institute of Peace

10.40 – 10.50 CET Keynote address: European Union’s commitment for Afghanistan

  • Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director General for the Directorate-General for International Partnerships

10.50 – 11.00 CET Keynote address: A role for the EU in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process 

  • Dr Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation

11.00 – 11.55 CET Discussion with Afghan civil society and diaspora members followed by Q&A


  • Ahmad Masood Amer, Executive Director, Centre for Afghanistan Policy Studies
  • Fariha Easar, Human Rights Activist and Founder of the “Menstruation is not a taboo” awareness program in Afghanistan
  • Dr Huma Saeed, Senior Researcher of Human Rights and Transitional Justice at the University of Leuven

Moderator: Michael Keating, Executive Director, European Institute of Peace

11.55 – 12.00 CET Closing remarks