Redefining defence in an age of disruption: is Europe up to the challenge?

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Summary

In a year of economic and social misery caused by Covid-19, governments gave less priority to security and defence. Yet the pandemic has severely disrupted the international security agenda, as countries jostle for power and even strategic autonomy amid the worst global crisis since World War Two. In the Friends of Europe policy summit Redefining defence in an age of disruption: Is Europe up to the challenge? held online between 23 and 25 November 2020, top policymakers, business representatives and experts took part in three sessions. These focused on ways to protect European citizens and values; cyberspace security; and ensuring that space is a force for good in times of increasing rivalry.

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About

About

Bringing together senior decision-makers with out-of-the-box movers and shakers, this 3-day virtual summit allows for an in-depth and innovative discussion on today’s most pressing security and defence issues.

The 3-day series of interactive debates will focus on the factors that challenge the traditional understanding of defence and the role of the EU as potential guarantor of normative values to address them. The summit will kick off with an opening session exploring the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the quest for European Strategic Autonomy and will be followed by an idea sharing on AI and two sessions on building trust and confidence in cyberspace and space rivalry and cooperation.

These are some of the biggest and most difficult issues that security experts and policy makers have to confront at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century. The 2020 Friends of Europe Peace, Security and Defence Summit is designed to bring the key players in these areas together for a lively debate and to push this agenda forward – not only by clarifying the problems but also by identifying the solutions.


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Schedule

Schedule

Session I — The post-COVID-19 world: Europe’s path to strategic autonomy Expand Session I — The post-COVID-19 world: Europe’s path to strategic autonomy

The fragmentation of the US led and Western dominated global order and the rise in global geopolitical competition, has put Europe’s security in an increasingly vulnerable position.

Europe has to contend with an increasingly assertive Russia; the rising China’s assertiveness; spiralling conflict and violence to its south in Syria, Libya and in the Sahel, the unravelling of nuclear arms control treaties, and the absence of US leadership on the global stage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted new, perhaps less obvious dimensions to the notion of “security” and showed that strategic autonomy should be more broadly defined to include hard security, science, economic system sustainability, and models of society.

The international arena lacks a powerful champion of multilateralism and there is a clear opportunity for the EU to make its voice heard. The EU recently asserted itself by defining the terms of its geopolitical goals and ambitions for strategic autonomy.
However, in order to emerge as a global leader and achieve this autonomy, it will need to think harder about its control over critical infrastructure and supply chains, build up its internal resilience, balance social and economic recovery from the pandemic, and overcome internal division.

Questions include:

  • To what extent can the EU increase its strategic autonomy and geopolitical profile without excluding crucial partners such as the UK and the US, especially given the cross-border security challenges?
  • What role do European efforts to achieve strategic autonomy, such as PESCO and the EDF, play in forging the EU’s new geopolitical role?
  • How can the EU balance and align its strategy with the differing national interests and security concerns of its member states?

speakers

Elena Gómez de Castro

Spanish Director-General for Defence Policy

Nathalie Loiseau

Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Raimundas Karoblis

Lithuanian Minister of Defence

Jiří Šedivý

Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA)

moderator

Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges at NATO

The views from the US Expand The views from the US

As the EU pursues strategic autonomy, it finds itself in the middle of complex geopolitical rivalries. The US and Europe have many common values and interests but increasingly divergent outlooks and approaches, particularly when it comes to the multilateral order. Their relationship is at a critical juncture: do they reaffirm or reassess transatlantic defence cooperation? How the post-election political environment impacts the US response to current challenges, and whether it decides to go it alone or cooperate with its European and NATO allies, will shape the future security and defence landscape and deeply impact multilateral relations.

Questions include:

  • Is burden sharing moving in the right direction? Can NATO continue to rely on a strategy heavily based on US reinforcements and rotations?
  • Can EU strategic autonomy be the answer to US calls for more equitable burden sharing?
  • How will Russia and China influence US security and defence policy? How will Europe and NATO adapt to this new geopolitical environment?

speakers

Tod Wolters

Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Minister of State, President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs, former NATO secretary-general and former Dutch foreign minister

Continue to 24 Nov
Session II — Building trust and confidence in cyberspace: advancing international law Expand Session II — Building trust and confidence in cyberspace: advancing international law

The Internet has given rise to an age of hyper-connectivity and complexity, creating hidden vulnerabilities for its users. The integrity of elections, critical national infrastructures and private enterprises are all prime targets for cyber-attacks as cyberspace becomes a new transnational battleground, and almost nothing seems to be off-limits. The US has called for a broad coalition of “like-minded” nations to join a US-led “deterrence initiative” that includes a collective response to malicious cyber activities by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

More recently, in the context of the pandemic, the United Nations’ Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) has been developing a common framework for responsible behaviour in cyberspace. Submissions have raised concerns about cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, including medical facilities and crisis response organisations. The human cost of cyber-attacks is paramount, yet despite the high stakes, there are few international rules to protect citizens. The international community needs to consider how best to create consensus on a framework for addressing present and future cyber threats and use international law to hold offending states and groups accountable.

Question include:

  • How can nations develop a common basis for assessing violations of international law in cyberspace?
  • What role should the EU and international organisations play in establishing cyber arms control measures to curb hostile behaviour?
  • How should tech companies be included in the development of these measures?

speakers

Kadri Kaska

Head of the Law Branch of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence

Jüri Luik

Estonian Minister of Defence

Katie Moussouris

CEO and Founder of Luta Security

Despina Spanou

Head of Cabinet of European Commissioner for Promoting Our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas

Continue to 25 Nov
Session III — Space: the next frontier? Preserving the global commons at a time of increased rivalry Expand Session III — Space: the next frontier? Preserving the global commons at a time of increased rivalry

Fifty-eight countries currently have spaced-based assets which greatly contribute to vital functions of the global economy and high-tech societies. However, space is becoming ever more congested and contested as increasing numbers of states and private companies launch space-based enterprises and satellites.

The EU is endeavouring to play an increasingly important role through the European Space Agency, Galileo, Europe’s global satellite-based navigation system, and though the Commission’s new DG Defence Industry and Space.

However, the need for a common understanding between states and private-sector stakeholders on non-aggression and non-militarisation in outer space, and the mechanisms through which to enforce it has never been greater. Existing codes of conduct, such as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and 1972 Liability Treaty, are in desperate need of a review to address the times, including for example, outlining a ban on anti-satellite weapons.

Questions include:

  • What does declaring space as a domain actually mean in peacetime?
  • How can Europeans play a valuable role in an atmosphere of increasing inter-state competition, particularly between the US and China?
  • How should the private sector be included in arms control measures in space?

speakers

Pedro Duque

Spanish Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities and former astronaut

Tanya Harrison

Manager of Science Programmes at Planet Federal

Graham Turnock

Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency

Anna Rathsman

Director-General at the Swedish National Space Agency and Chair of the European Space Agency Council

Moderator

Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for emerging security challenges at NATO

Speakers

Speakers

Photo of Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Minister of State, President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs, former NATO secretary-general and former Dutch foreign minister

Show more information on Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is a Dutch politician who notably served as the 11th Secretary-General of NATO. He also previously worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch delegation of the NATO headquarters in Brussels. He now works as President of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) of the Netherlands, an independent body which advises government and parliament on foreign policy. Furthermore, he was appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University.

Pedro Duque
Pedro Duque

Spanish Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities and former astronaut

Show more information on Pedro Duque

Pedro Duque is an aeronautical engineer and the first Spanish citizen to go into space. Duque began his career at Grupo Mecánica del Vuelo (GMV), a Spanish firm that provides services for the space industry, and later worked at the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, before being selected to join the ESA astronaut corps. He was also CEO of Deimos Imaging, a private company that runs a commercial Earth observation system with its own satellite and ground stations. Prior to his current position, he served as head of the ESA’s flight operations office.

Elena Gómez de Castro
Elena Gómez de Castro

Spanish Director-General for Defence Policy

Show more information on Elena Gómez de Castro

Elena Gómez de Castro is a prominent expert in foreign affairs and security and defence issues, having assumed a variety of roles in the European Union and at national level. She is in charge of the planning and development of the Defence Policy, NATO, EU, UN and OSCE matters, coordinates crisis situations with civil departments, and controls the actions of the Defence Diplomacy Plan. She previously served as Deputy Permanent Representative of Spain in the North Atlantic Council, Counsellor in the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU, National Expert on Defence Issues at the Council of the EU, and Advisor to the Minister of Defence of Spain. She also served as Deputy Director-General of Security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

Tanya Harrison
Tanya Harrison

Manager of Science Programmes at Planet Federal

Show more information on Tanya Harrison

Tanya Harrison is a Planetary Scientist, with expertise in Martian geomorphology and terrestrial analogues, spectroscopy and glaciology. She is the founder of Professional Martian LLC, a company focused on science and sci-fi consulting, communications, and outreach. Previously, she was the Director of Research for Arizona State University’s Space Technology and Science (“NewSpace”) Initiative. She was also a Science Team Collaborator on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and the upcoming Mars 2020 sample caching rover. Harrison has also been active in education and public outreach with organisations such as The Planetary Society, Expanding Your Horizons, Girl Scouts, Norwescon, The Mars Society, and The National Space Society.

Raimundas Karoblis
Raimundas Karoblis

Lithuanian Minister of Defence

Show more information on Raimundas Karoblis

Raimundas Karoblis is a Lithuanian politician, diplomat and lawyer with a distinguished career at the national and European level. He has served in various departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as Director of the Foreign Trade Policy Department, Director of the Economic Department, and as a representative to the World Trade Organisation and the European Union. Prior to his current position, Karoblis was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, where he was responsible for EU affairs, external economic relations and economic diplomacy.

Kadri Kaska
Kadri Kaska

Head of the Law Branch of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence

Show more information on Kadri Kaska

Kadri Kaska is an internationally-renowned expert in international law and cyberspace matters. Prior to her current position at NATO, Kaska served as a cybersecurity policy and legal researcher focusing on national cybersecurity strategy and governance. Given her legal background, she also writes on the legal aspects of state cyber activities and has published, inter alia, analyses of Russian and Chinese activities in cyberspace. Kaska was the lead author and editor of annual Estonian Cyber Security Assessments and contributed to the Agency’s activities in cyber threat assessment, policy analysis and legal drafting. She was also one of the authors of Estonia’s Cybersecurity Act and the 2018 national cybersecurity strategy.

Photo of Nathalie Loiseau
Nathalie Loiseau

Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Show more information on Nathalie Loiseau

Nathalie Loiseau has over twenty years of experience in politics and diplomacy. She began her career as a diplomat with the French Ministry of Foreign affairs. Following this, she was Dean of the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) and then served as the Minister for European Affairs in France. In the European Parliament, Loiseau is also a member of the committees on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation. She is the author of an essay on women’s rights, “Choisissez Tout” and two comic books, “La Démocratie en BD” and “L’Europe en BD”.

Photo of Jüri Luik
Jüri Luik

Estonian Minister of Defence

Show more information on Jüri Luik

Jüri Luik is an Estonian diplomat with an extensive career in defence and foreign affairs. He has held numerous high-level positions, including as Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the NATO Accession Negotiation Delegation, Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Estonia to Washington, Moscow and Brussels, and Director of the International Centre for Defence and Security. Luik is currently serving as Estonian Minister of Defence for the third time in his career.

Katie Moussouris
Katie Moussouris

CEO and Founder of Luta Security

Show more information on Katie Moussouris

Katie Moussouris is a hacker and expert on vulnerability disclosure and bug bounties. She advised the US Department of Defence on the government’s first bug bounty program, called “Hack the Pentagon.” As Senior Security Strategist Lead at Microsoft, she worked on leading initiatives such as Microsoft’s bug bounty programmes and Microsoft Vulnerability Research. She is a visiting scholar with MIT Sloan School, a New America Foundation Fellow, and Harvard Belfer Affiliate. She serves on the CFP review board for RSA, O’Reilly Security Conference, Shakacon, and as an advisor to the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Anna Rathsman
Anna Rathsman

Director-General at the Swedish National Space Agency and Chair of the European Space Agency Council

Show more information on Anna Rathsman

Anna Rathsman is a space engineer with in-depth knowledge and experience of space technology, business, space science and a wide range of national and international space projects. She has worked on several satellite projects, including the development of the Astrid-1 satellite and the Freja satellite. Prior to her current position, she was Technical Director at the Swedish Space Corporation, SSC. She was also Development Manager at Ericsson Radio Access.

Jiří Šedivý
Jiří Šedivý

Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA)

Show more information on Jiří Šedivý

Jiří Šedivý has extensive experience in the defence domain, having served as Defence Minister of the Czech Republic, Deputy Defence Minister, NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Defence Policy and Planning and Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to NATO. He also was Deputy Minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic. Prior to his current position, Šedivý was appointed by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as special representative for resilience and new threats. As an expert, he played an important role in the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO.

Despina Spanou
Despina Spanou

Head of Cabinet of European Commissioner for Promoting Our European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas

Show more information on Despina Spanou

A lawyer by training, Despina Spanou has spent most of her career at the European Commission, where she had the chance to cover different portfolios, spanning from consumers rights to competition law, health, digital and cybersecurity. In her current position, together with European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas, she proposed the creation of a European Health Union to jointly respond to current and future health crises and strengthen Europe’s crisis management against cross-border health threats.

Graham Turnock
Graham Turnock

Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency

Show more information on Graham Turnock

Graham Turnock has extensive experience in science and policy at the national and European level. He guided the UK Space Agency throughout its recent expansion, playing a key role in the development of the UK launch, GNSS and National Space Innovation Programmes. Turnock has also been a strong proponent of space coordination at the public level, leading to the recent creation of the National Space Council and commitment to a National Space Strategy. He previously held a number of different government capacities, including leading the Better Regulation Executive, where he was the leader of the Transport Spending Team.

Jody Williams
Jody Williams

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Show more information on Jody Williams

Jody Williams was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize together with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) for her efforts to ban the use and deployment of antipersonnel landmines and destroy existing ones. After receiving the award, she led the United Nations High-Level Mission to investigate human rights abuses in the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur, joined the faculty of the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work as Professor of Peace and Social Justice, and authored several books. Williams is now part of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, advocating for an international treaty forbidding machines that can target and kill human beings without requiring a person to pull the trigger.

Tod Wolters
Tod Wolters

Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)

Show more information on Tod Wolters

General Tod Wolters has been assigned to numerous operational command and staff positions and has completed nine overseas tours, including two tours in Afghanistan. He commanded the 19th Fighter Squadron, the 1st Operations Group, the 485th Air Expeditionary Wing, the 47th Flying Training Wing, the 325th Fighter Wing, the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan, and the 12th Air Force. General Wolters previously served as Commander Allied Air Command, Commander of US Air Forces in Europe, Commander of US Air Forces Africa and Director of Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany.

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