Friends of Europe’s annual Security Policy Summit aims to shift the narrative on European security from threats to opportunities, identifying roles and responsibilities at the strategic, tactical and operational levels, in the framework of longer-term strategic thinking. This is based on our holistic approach to European, transatlantic and global security policies, reflecting our view that security is a whole-of-society matter and therefore requires a whole-of-society approach. Bringing together senior decision-makers and out-of-the-box thinkers from Europe, NATO partner countries and beyond, this occasion allows for an in-depth discussion of today’s most pressing security and defence issues.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, turbulent developments in the Middle East have provoked waves of migration from the region and have shaken up Europe’s conventional approach to security thinking. Meanwhile, worsening relations with Russia, the evolving nuclear security situation and changing geopolitics have all exacerbated the European security context, requiring a recalibration of defence concepts not only within NATO and the EU, but also in concert with Europe’s eastern and southern neighbours. New realities have thus called for increased attention towards emerging challenges, including cyber governance, defence spending, and the nexus between organised crime and terrorism. In this context, there is an emerging consensus on the need for more resilient approaches to peace, security and defence. Only by looking eastward, southward and inward can Europe advance the security dialogue beyond conventional defence capabilities.
To steer an inclusive, comprehensive and well-informed debate, this event will also serve as an opportunity to present and discuss the findings of Debating Security Plus, Friends of Europe’s global online brainstorm, which gathered over 1,600 participants from around the world to make concrete recommendations for confronting today’s security and defence challenges.
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08.30 – 09.00
Welcome coffee and registration of participants
09.00 – 10.00
SESSION I: LOOKING EASTWARDS
During Friends of Europe’s recent global online brainstorm, Debating Security Plus, there were repeated calls for a global convention on cyber security and defence, making it clear that the need to address the issue of cyber governance is becoming ever more pressing. At the same time, alleged Russian disinformation efforts and meddling in some NATO member states' elections, while not overtly aggressive, has played a role in exacerbating the unresolved conflict in Ukraine and the instability that has returned to the western Balkans. As Europe's security challenges continue to change and become harder to define, a discussion is emerging on how Europe can take a more energetic and collaborative approach to security matters, including through both the strategic role played by the European External Action Service and President Juncker’s proposed new European Cybersecurity Agency.
- Faced with evolving geopolitical concerns, is a consensus emerging in the EU or NATO on the need to promote greater dialogue with Russia that would entail listening and not just talking?
- How should military and civil policymakers adapt the current security doctrine to address the evolving hybrid threats and challenges of the 21st century?
- How has Russia’s approach to the cyber sphere changed the game, so to speak, and how have the EU and NATO strengthened their cyber defences?
Zanda Kalnina-Lukaševica, Parliamentary State Secretary for EU Affairs at the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Young Leader
Igor Kapyrin, Deputy Director of the Department for European Cooperation at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Giles Portman, Head of the East Stratcom Task Force at the European External Action Service
Francesca Spidalieri, Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership at Salve Regina University’s Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe
10.00 – 10.30
10.30 – 11.30
SESSION II: LOOKING SOUTHWARDS
The destabilising effects of the Arab Spring in 2011 and then the EU-led military intervention in Libya have contributed to mounting security difficulties in Europe's southern neighbourhood, including terrorism and mass movements. As organised crime increasingly provides terrorist networks with both the infrastructure to procure deadly weapons and the funds to finance terrorist activities, the results are being felt in Europe. With the additional pressure of the refugee and migrant influx resulting from the civil war in Syria, Africa’s population explosion, and the catastrophic results of climate change, what steps should be taken to stabilise Europe’s southern neighbourhood?
- Are NATO, the US and the EU on the same wavelength on the policies needed to tackle Daesh-related terrorism while stabilising civil societies in the Arab world?
- The deterioration in both Europe's and America's relations with Turkey is an unwelcome development in terms of Middle Eastern security efforts. What policy solutions are available to NATO, the EU and their member states?
- Economic development assistance in Europe's southern neighbourhood needs to go hand in hand with security policy. How can civil society and the military cooperate to ensure that assistance reaches where it is needed most without duplicating efforts?
Mary Fitzgerald, Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist & European Young Leader
Pekka Haavisto, Member of the Finnish Parliament, Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on mediation and President of the European Institute of Peace
Kati Piri, Member of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)
Anas Talalqa, Human Rights Advisor at Inti Raymi Fund
Shada Islam, Director of Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe
11.30 – 12.00
12.00 - 12.15
Award Ceremony: 60 seconds for a safer world
Friends of Europe’s security video competition asked participants to submit their solutions to foreign relations, security or defence challenges in 60-second videos. The top three videos will be presented on this occasion, and the winner will be announced.
12.15 – 13.15
SESSION III: LOOKING INWARDS
US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates warned Europeans at a 2011 debate in Brussels that it was high-time they stop relying on the US for their security. As this line continues to be echoed today by the current US administration, such a context raises significant questions for Europe and its appetite to step up to this new reality in terms of collective efforts, burden-sharing and better coordination. As most European NATO member states continue to grapple with the 2% of GDP defence spending goal, and as the EU moves towards its proposed 'Defence Union', there remain questions over the nature of member states' political and economic commitments. As policymakers work to keep their states’ militaries funded and ensure preparedness in the event of war, what are the short and long term implications for the EU, NATO and their member states?
- Would clear time frames by the EU or NATO for European governments' catch-up efforts help or hinder the momentum towards improved capabilities?
- How do states’ defence spending policies impact their abilities to prepare for war, and what new threats must governments take into consideration?
- Will EU initiatives like Permanent Structured Cooperation and the new operational HQ for training lead to a renewed drive on military capabilities, outreach and inter-operability of systems?
Aude Fleurant, Director of SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Programme
Jan Havránek, Policy Adviser to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
James Morrison, Head of Cabinet to European Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King
Paul Taylor, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, Contributing Editor for Politico and Author of “Jumping over its shadow: Germany and the future of European defence”
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Strategy at Friends of Europe
End of summit
In cooperation with
Amanda Rohde, Programme Executive
Tel: +32 2 893 98 11
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