Friends of Europe’s annual Policy Security Summit is the flagship event of our ambitious peace, security & defence programme. Bringing together senior decision-makers with out-of-the-box movers and shakers, this occasion allows for in-depth and innovative discussions on today’s most pressing security and defence issues.
Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of NATO, this year’s summit will be a forward-looking and thought-provoking examination of the future of Europe’s strategic autonomy and its place in the world during a time of protectionism and international competition. Following shortly after the European Parliament elections, our summit takes place at a particularly crucial moment that presents the opportunity to launch and promote visionary new ideas for the European defence paradigm and NATO in the 21st century, as well as those aimed at tackling contemporary security developments shaking our world.
With this summit, we aim to identify the complex security challenges facing Europe, find a pathway for the continued development of Europe’s common strategic capabilities and understand where in the global world of geopolitics Europe stands.
This conference will also allow participants to take part in early bird masterclasses to learn more about key opportunities for European security and defence cooperation. Additionally, this year’s summit will challenge participants to make sense of today’s challenging security environment and tomorrow’s uncertain future for Europe’s strategic autonomy.
Registration & coffee
09.10 - 10.00
EARLY BIRD MASTERCLASSES – EU-NATO Cooperation: A secure vision for Europe
As the geopolitical landscape becomes more complex and crises more unpredictable, EU-NATO cooperation is critical to mounting timely and effective responses to emerging threats. The existing partnership between the EU and NATO has improved drastically in recent years, particularly since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. However, shortcomings still remain and bridging the gap between both organisations has become increasingly important. This session presents five masterclasses on areas in which the EU and NATO currently collaborate.
Our early-bird masterclasses, held before our first session, are designed to explore and provide insights on new defense and security opportunities which may not be familiar to all participants. These courses will help participants gain a more intimate understanding of the key issues that will be discussed during the following sessions. Please note that the masterclasses have a limited number of places which will be available on a first come, first served basis.
The themes being discussed are connected to the recommendations drawn from our Debating Security Plus 2018 report, crafted in consultations with a global coalition of security experts participating in our annual online security brainstorm.
Welcome remarks by Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow, Friends of Europe
Table 1 - Cyber-Security
Piret Pernik, Research Fellow, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Estonia
Table 2 - Hybrid Threats
Dorthe Bach Nyemann, Senior Lecturer at the Royal Danish Defence College
Table 3 - Counter-Terrorism
Juliette Bird, Head of Counter-Terrorism, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
Table 4 - Rapid Response and Crisis Management
Lieutenant-General Vincenzo Coppola, Civilian Operations Commander, European External Action Service (EEAS)
Table 5 - Defence Capabilities Innovation
Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, Research Fellow for Defence Economics and Procurement, International Institute for Strategic Studies, United Kingdom
Concluding remarks by Camille Grand, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment at NATO
10.00 - 10.15
10.15 - 11.30
Session 1: European Strategic Autonomy – What, where and how?
The 2019 EU elections pose a new test for those seeking greater European strategic autonomy. Considerable gains for populist parties could see a change in the EU’s approach to defence and its geopolitical aspirations as a whole. On the other hand, pro-European coalitions could lead to the development of more autonomous enterprises such as the European Intervention Initiative. Furthermore, the question remains whether European countries can keep up with promises to increase their defence spending to levels that meet NATO standards. While full-throated calls for an EU army seem to have quieted, there continues to be support for efforts that seek greater European strategic autonomy. The EU’s geopolitical ambitions are likely to face pressure from both inside and outside the EU, from both EU countries that fear losing American support and NATO allies warning of the dangers of duplicating common efforts. Questions on what does European autonomy mean and look like, as well as concerns over how can this be achieved are not likely to go away any time soon.
• What is European strategic autonomy? What is the level of ambition needed to meet the EU’s own interests?
• On capabilities: Who has them? Can they be pooled and shared? And, what are the key capabilities still missing?
• What practical implications can the results of the recent elections have on European defence cooperation?
General Fernando Alejandre Martínez, Chief of the Defence, Spain
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, former Secretary General of NATO and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Jüri Luik, Minister of Defence, Estonia
Natalia Pouzyreff, Secretary of the Defence Committee, National Assembly, France
Moderated by Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe
11.30 - 12.00
12.00 – 12.30
Spotlight on Disinformation
Fake news and disinformation have infiltrated democratic processes across the West by influencing elections, distorting the truth and exploiting current levels of distrust in governments and elites. Individuals are inflating their social media accounts with fake users to capitalise on the internet’s economic benefits, while groups acting as proxies for certain governments have engaged closely with this black market in order to make political and geostrategic gains. In recent years, the EU, NATO and European member states have searched for innovative and resilient answers to confront the increasing influence of Russian-tied disinformation, making important strides. But in a world where popularity and influence are measured by likes, shares and views, knowing how social media trolls and bots operate has become imperative to save the integrity of democratic institutions. Building on our Debating Security Plus debate and recommendations on disinformation, this session will bring together two experts to discuss ideas on how to identify and counter the dark world behind social media.
Idea Sharing 1: The economics behind disinformation
With: Sebatian Bay, Senior Expert at NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, Riga
Idea Sharing 2: Trolling an information war
With: Jessikka Aro, award-winning investigative journalist at Finland’s public service broadcaster, YLE
12.30 - 13.30
Session 2: EU Security And Defence In A Wider World
Greater EU strategic autonomy in defence and security is bound to be met with mixed reactions. While leaders in France, Germany and Spain have endorsed an EU army, transatlantic allies have rejected the idea. What are the perspectives from outside of the EU on the talks of a greater European strategic autonomy?
Old alliances are being tested through the recent rise of protectionist stances and new “strongmen” around the globe. This has prompted EU leaders to look for further defence cooperation within the Union, but how is this seen by outsiders? NATO would certainly benefit from European allies shouldering more of the responsibility for defence, yet Russia has welcomed an EU army that could possibly diminish NATO’s collective effectiveness. Unlike the US and Russia, other global powers, such as China, seem to see the EU solely as an economic player rather than a significant international security actor. A shift in old alliances could redefine the EU’s relationship with other global and regional powers.
A greater European strategic autonomy may also demand that the EU takes on a greater role in today’s global hotspots. The EU’s ability to generate influence in an ever-more complex geopolitical order is likely to be tested in the next decade.
• How are old, critical alliances changing? Would an increased European strategic autonomy affect current alliances?
• In this turbulent era for the transatlantic relationship, can shouldering more responsibility for defence in Europe help bridge the current divide?
• To what extent would a more ambitious EU global strategy clash or align with Russian and Chinese geopolitical interests?
Europe: Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI)
China: Yan Yan, Director of the Research Center of Oceans Law and Policy, National Institute for the South China Sea Studies (NISCSS)
Russia: Andrey Kelin, Director of the Department for the European Cooperation of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs
United States: Ambassador Christopher Hill, Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and former US Ambassador to Iraq (2009-2010)
Moderated by Paul Taylor, Senior Fellow, Friends of Europe
End of Summit
This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media.
Tel.: +32 2 300 29 92