On June 16-17, 2021, under the aegis of GCRF COMPASS Project ADA University Center of Excellence in EU Studies has organized and conducted two days long virtual international conference. The GCRF COMPASS ADA Conference ‘Connecting the 3Bs: Brussels, Baku, Beijing. The EU/UK & China cooperation initiatives for greater connectivity of Eurasia: the role of Azerbaijan’ has brought together a range of top-level international academics, practitioners, policymakers, diplomats and businesses to explore and discuss existing regional powers’ strategic priorities, instruments and practices in regional connectivity for mutual benefit with particular focus being dedicated to discussions on the role of Azerbaijan as a natural geo-hub for connectivity initiatives.


The Conference was launched with official welcome from Dr Anar Valiyev (ADA University and GCRF COMPASS Associate), EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan H.E. Kestutis Jankauskas, Dr Taleh Ziyadov (Director-General Port of Baku), Prof. Elena Korosteleva (COMPASS PI, University of Kent), and Dr Siddharth Saxena (COMPASS COI, Cambridge). It was followed by the plenary session which examined the global connectivity agenda inclusive of opportunities and challenges and has featured Prof. Peter Nolan (University of Cambridge), UK Parliament member Lord Teverson, Dr Taleh Ziyadov and TRACECA National Secretary Mr Rufat Bayramov and Prof. Munira Shahidi. The first day of the Conference was concluded by panel that focused on the economic, transport, and technological dimensions of connectivity and featured international group of panelists including Ms Husniyye Mammadova from Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Advisor to the Minister of Transport, Communication and High Technologies Ms Aida Badalova, Syed Shakeel Shah from Pakistani CAREC Institute, Dr Olga Malashenkova, GCRF COMPASS affiliate from Belarus, and Prof. Gulshan Sachdeva, Jean Monnet Chair in European Economic Integration from Jawaharlal Nehru University.


On the second day of the Conference the topic of connectivity of further developed within three more panels focusing on green energy, transport and business connectivity, involving esteemed speakers such as Deputy Minister of Energy Dr Elnur Soltanov, Vice President of SOCAR, Dr Elshad Nasirov, Alat Free Economic zone head Mr Valeh Aleskerov; political connectivity brining speakers from Washington (Eugene Chausovsky), and the international GCRF COMPASS project consortium (Prof. Roza Turarbekova, Dr Akram Umarov, Dr Kavus Abushov,); and inter-cultural connectivity debating resilience, territorialised cultures and the need for more inter-cionnected outlook – featuring Prajakti Kalra, Dr Anar Valiyev, Dr Artsiom Nazaranka and Dr Nargis Nurulla-Khodzhaeva also from the GCRF COMPASS.


The diverse and thought-provoking conference programme of the GCRF COMPASS ADA Conference ‘Connecting the 3Bs: Brussels, Baku, Beijing. The EU/UK & China cooperation initiatives for greater connectivity of Eurasia: the role of Azerbaijan’ has made it  unique platform for identifying major trends in cooperation and connectivity, and discussing their implications for the domestic, regional and international development opportunities and challenges.


ADA University Center of Excellence in EU Studies expresses gratitude to GCRF COMPASS Consortium and particularly to project PI Prof Elena Korosteleva and Dr Muzaffer Kurlay for outstanding and constant support leading to the Conference success.