GLOBSEC Trends 2019
The year of 2019 marks several important anniversaries for Central and Eastern Europe. While remembering 30 years since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the countries’ accessions to the EU and NATO, the latest report of Strategic Communication Programme, GLOBSEC Trends 2019, looked at the state of democracy through the eyes of citizens in Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
- Opening DAY 1
09:30 – 10:30
Values and Interests: The Realities of Transatlantic Partnership
Over the course of one presidency, the transatlantic relationship has gone from constructive and cooperative to reserved and strained, but panelists agree that these differences are likely superficial and will not change the long term relationship between the US and Europe.
Underpinning the rhetoric at the top is a strong and consistent relationship. – Baroness Catherine Ashton
America got rich because we understood that we will prosper only if everyone else prospers at the same time. It is simply not true thtat the EU was created as a US competitor, we wanted them to exist so we would not have to fight wars in Europe again and so it would make us rich. – Amb Daniel Fried
The US needs an ally in reforming the WTO, and so the US will collaborate with the EU in the end out of necessity. – Amb Jakub Wisniewski
13:30 – 14:30
Foreign Election Interference: Creating or Filling in the Cracks?
Election interference is part of a broader ongoing effort by authoritarian regimes to undermine democracy. This is primarily being done through information operations, most frequently seen today on social media platforms. A lack of regulation has allowed the spread of misinformation and disorganized method to counter it. The private sector cannot take full responsibilty for this, and regulation must be put into place by consulting all the relevant actors, to create a framework based on the protection of rights and the rule of law. Mechanisms for information sharing between not only countries but also intelligence communities and the public will be essential in the short term, while government must continue to emphasize the development of critical thinking skills in their education policy in order to build more resilience in their populations in the long term.
Accusation of regulating internet is undermining democratic views, what we need is open democracy. – Marietje Schaake
We have to take all the measures to make sure to rebuilt the public trust, we cannot afford so much time in order to find out what is fake news or what is not. - Marietje Schaake
Policy will always be slower than technology development. - Lisa Past
- Opening DAY 2
11:00 – 12:15
Vision for Europe
Current crisis the world is going through has a specific taste for the EU, not only because of Brexit, but also because its unclear direction when it comes to two-track EU, democratic backsliding of the V4, demographic decline, future enlargement of Western Balkan and the East-West divide. This divide should be bridged with concrete actions and clear vision, where the Central Europe should not be forgotten. It is important to get out of the “Brussels bubble” and recognize the importance of the regions and people, who don’t see the benefits of the EU membership. The EU is like a family, there are differences, but that does not mean there are no bounds between its members. In this respect, it is also crucial to reconsider the decision-making process to make the EU a global player and prevent it is being played by others.
We need create positive discrimination – countries of periphery not necessary only central Europe but Balkan as well can begin to build up their own excellence to participate in common different projects. – Amb. Jakub Wisniewski
The disruption of sovereignty led to a process which we call Brexit. – Amb. Jakub Wisniewski
13:30 – 14:30
Leading Europe: Challenges and Expectations
The V4 is growing on political and economic power. It views the EU failed on several fronts and took the power from the Member States. But at the same time, the V4 calls for united Europe speaking with one voice with a lot of potential mainly in areas of research, digitalisation, single market and investment. Concerning the current political climate, the V4 aspires to get one of the top three positions in the EU for Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, the European Council should be given more space, to act like a government of the European Union to assign the Commission, not vice-versa.
Our citizens do not seek simple answers or extreme solutions I believe, the prevailing feeling in Europe is not euro-scepticism but euro-pessimism. – H.E. Peter Pellegrini
The EU Council should be a coalition government of Europe. – H.E. Andrej Babis
- End of DAY 2
- Opening DAY 2
11:00 – 11:30
GLOBSEC Chat: American Leadership Going at It Alone
Ambassador Ron Johnson argued that contrary to popular opinion, from his perspective transatlantic relations remained strong. He argued that the US wants a zero-tariff world but only on the basis of reciprocity and fairness. In the China context, he believed that cyber theft of intellectual property was a huge issue of concern.
“NATO is a defensive alliance; it is not meant to go to the offense .” – Hon. Ron Johnson
“We need to call China out on the cyber theft. That is the first line of defence.” – Hon. Ron Johnson
12:00 – 12:30
GLOBSEC Chat: Space Race: New Frontier of Hybrid Threats?
In the next five years, our dependence on space assets would increase at least three folds. There is a distinction between militarization of space and weaponization of space. The international regime on space needs to be updated as it does not have the capacity to deal with private sector stakeholders.
This debris (from shutdown satellites) are already causing problems many methods were tried but they are extremely costly. – Amb. Sorin Ducaru
Our dependence from the space is already extremely profound , its like breathing air. – Amb. Sorin Ducaru
- End of DAY 2
- Opening DAY 1
12:30 – 13:00
GLOBSEC Chat: U.S. and Europe Still in it Together?
The US and Europe are unlikely to part ways any time soon. The advantages of NATO are too great to walk away, and transatlantic security too valuable to be put to the test. The very fact that China and Russia are gaining influence would strengthen the partnership between the US and Europe. A rexamination of trade relations and institutions is necessary, not just between the US and Europe, but also across the globe
Criticism without engagement can lead to estrangement.
We have different threat perceptions and we always had. And that is what the alliances, and events like this (GLOBSEC), are all about – exchanges perceptions of threats
15:00 – 16:00
Partners, Competitors and Rivals: The Future of Global Order
The future of global order has a myriad of moving factors and influences, but general consensus is that we are unlike to see the fall of US leadership any time soon. The forces of trade, nationalism, globalisation, national security, and technological advancement are all challenges within the current order, but as the potential exists to revise the system itself, it is unlikely it will be overthrown. The will to overthrown the system can only be found in Russia, as China is actually one of the biggest winners of the current system and is not interested in discarding it. Once institutions and regulation regarding new technology are updated to fit the changing world, the system may very well settle back down. This process of renegotiation however is the political and cooperative challenge of our time.
“We share with Europe values which we don’t share with Russia and China” – Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
“International order is in peril, and some international organizations are falling apart” – Hongjun Yu
“Europe will be never be a centre of the world, let‘s be realistic.” – Martina Larkin
“We need to demonstrate that liberal democracy Is not only most virtuous but also most effective.” – Bobo Lo
“Problem with American exceptionalism is that it encourages exceptionalism of another world powers.” – Bobo Lo
- Opening DAY 1
15:00 – 16:00
5G: Geopolitics of the Network
There are significant security and economic issues at stake in relation to the 5G network. The Chinese firm Huawei, a key player in the network’s development, will be a means for Beijing to increase its strategic power. The debate surrounding 5G’s rollout, and Huawei’s role in it, will intensify as state and non-state actors consider how states ought to behave.
“Telecommunications was used by many powers as an asset and it will continue to be used in this way.” – Timo Koster
“In the wifi world you could connects to hundreds of sensors, in wifi world to thousands, in 5G to millions of them.” – Margaret Peterlin
- End of DAY 2
- Opening DAY 2
09:15 – 10:30
EU’s New Political Landscape
More fragmented political landscape in more uncertain world situates the EU in front of various challenges. Its internal division undermines in credibility outside, especially in the context of Enlargement and Neighbourhood policy. On the other hand, this division resulted in increased interest of the European citizens in European issues and attractiveness of European topics including climate change or digital revolution. That, however, should not prevent the EU to strengthen the role of communitarian institutions as well as the member states. It is important to stick with the principle of subsidiarity and our fundamental values and needs. At the same time, Europe needs to avoid nationalistic interpretations of the current issues, and rather connect the discussion of leadership to the one of political and strategic agenda setting.
“Don’t stigmatise people who are anti-mainstream as anti-European. If more and more represent anti-mainstream, it might become the new mainstream.”– H. E. Peter Szijjártó.
“One of the most important challenges for the EU is how to be a credible partner player.” – H.E. Tomas Petricek
“If we do not have a soft power in the region, how can we be a global power?” – H.E. George Ciamba
“Europe does need migration, we have declining demographic trend but we need to manage this properly according to our means and traditions. We need an EU border, we need to work with the origin countries and we need to digest some migration according to our values.” – Maria João Rodriguez
“Having strong member states, it does not mean we have weak communitarian institutions. We need to promote changes in this time. (…) It means to focus on crystallisation of competences executed at the national and communitarian level.” – Mikulas Dzurinda
“We should not overestimate each individual member’s competence to change things on their own.” – Daniela Schwarzer
13:30 – 14:00
Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue: Getting to the Core
Kosovo – Serbia dialogue is one the crucial points in the Euro-Atlantic integration process for both parties. The dialogue goes through a huge crisis, some would say it is a dead end, due the rejection of Serbia to allow Kosovo to become a member of Interpol and UNESCO and the subsequent reaction of Kosovo to increase the tariffs for Serbian goods. Both parties are, however, ready to resume the dialogue if it will be based on compromise and not tendential conditions. The core problems rests with the different position on Kosovo’s independence, while Kosovo and countries that recognized it consider Kosovo a sovereign territory, Serbia and countries not recognizing Kosovo consider it still part of Serbia. However, this issue does not have only a bilateral dimension, but also regional and European one and the EU has to take more responsibility for the future of the region and not to allow third parties to take the lead.
“There can be no dialogue if we condition the process, like Serbia is doing.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“I think it is important that Europe recognize its huge responsibility in this.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“I believe that the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia can be reached this year.” – Thaci
“To reach this agreement we need coordination between EU institutions and United States of America.” – Thaci
“The world is split, half the world recognized Kosovo’s independence, and the other half have not.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“It is very crucial for us reaching an agreement. I don’t want to represent this country that is suspect to the international community. Everyone is else is angels and saints and Serbs are devils.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“We are a mediator not facilitator, this is between the two parties they need to decide where their landing filed will be.” – Angelina Eichhorst
14:00 – 15:00
Western Balkans: Drifting away from Europe?
It is being said that the regional cooperation in the Western Balkan is decreasing, however, there is not plan B for Western Balkan countries in terms of their geopolitical direction. However, that does not mean that the EU should be not focused more on the region and provide better conditions for the countries than China or Russia. Bulgarian examples shows that even though the reforms hurt they were worth it and the results can be seen today. Enlargement is a win-win process and countries need to be convinced about that. Because without the Western Balkan membership, the EU will be not considered full.
“I would have to invite the EU and NATO to do their job in our region.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“China is taking the space, the room, that Europe leaves empty.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“We are an unstable region and the instability is due to the intolerance in our region.” – H. E. Milo Dukanovic
“We don’t have an alternative, but I think we need to stick to each other much stronger than it used to be.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“We [Balkans] can stay on our EU path, if you want us – take us, and if you don’t want us, we can take care of ourselves.” – H.E. Aleksandar Vucic
“EU should not organize once every 15 years and meet all the leaders of the Balkans but should continue to support the integration of western Balkans.” – H.E. Ekaterina Zaharieva
“We need to improve our institutions to develop sustainably to be in line with the EU path.” – Majlinda Bregu
16:30 – 17:15
Brexit and European Security
Brexit and the negotiating process still pose a lot of questions. With the PM May stepping down, the whole EU is waiting for a new leader. But there is almost no chance that the withdrawal agreement will be renegotiated. What can be renegotiated though, is the agreement on future relationship between the EU and UK, where there several frameworks for cooperation, especially in the area of security, defence and multilateral cooperation. The main problem persists and so the “backstop”. From the EU’s perspective, it firstly needs to protect the people, peace and stability and secondly the single market. The “backstop” is an insurance for that, but it is not planned to be used. Brexit as such is deeply regretted in the EU, but the EU will respect the wish of the British people.
“Brexit has been a great demonstration of the European unity. If we can manage Brexit together, we can manage other issues as well.” – H.E. Miroslav Lajcak
“We regret the Brexit for many reasons, we will deliver the Brexit if the UK still wants to leave in an orderly manner.” – Michel Barnier
“If we don’t go back to why people want Brexit in the first place, we need to make sure that any deal actually solves the issues of why people wanted Brexit.” – Rt. Hon. Seema Malhotra
- End of DAY 2
- Opening DAY 2
08:50 – 09:30
GLOBSEC Chat: NATO’s Readiness for Disrupted Security
NATO’s objective is to create peace in perpetuity and in that regard, there are three components. Improving indications and warning, improving command and control, and finally improving mission command. NATO is in the early stages of embracing the cyber domain, and it has to be done from a military perspective, a whole government perspective, and from a national perspective. Time will tell if the Sino-Russian cooperation will go beyond political statements.
“My first concern when folks mention Russia and China is vigilance.”- Gen. Tod D. Wolters
“We have to ensure that we see the battlespace better tomorrow than we did today. -” Gen. Tod D. Wolters
09:30 – 10:30
NATO at 80″: Alliance Navigating Disrupted Partnerships
Contrary to common perception, NATO is as relevant as ever today and needs to modernize ifself. If the European pillar of NATO is stronger, NATO is stronger. Expanding European security capabilities is important to tackle asymmetric threats, hybrid and cyber threats, nonstate actors, and the challenge to stay united as the western community.
“NATO at 80 will have new challenges, and the same goals, the same stability.” – H.E. Radmila Shekerinska
“I am optimistic that the UK would stay militarily engaged in Europe.” [regarding Brexit] – H.E. Jacek Czaputowicz
“NATO’s success is due to its adaptability. We are confronting ourselves with different threats and a 360 degrees approach is something we keep close to our hearts. NATO is focusing more and more on innovation, with a focus on allied command coordination.” – Amb. Tacan Ildem
“When we are stronger here in the European pillar, we are a stronger NATO.” – Vice Admiral Joachim Rühle
14:00 – 15:00
European Strategic Autonomy: Which Muscles Should the EU Flex
European strategic autonomy is significant since EU’s objectives need EU forces. But these capabilities are not aimed at competing with NATO, rather their objective is to contribute to the goals of NATO. The US needs to realize that they are not the global hegemon anymore. US and Europe need to sit down and define burden sharing.
“The strategic missions of the EU are perfectly consistent with the core task of NATO. Autonomous space for EU is perfectly consistent with NATO. The maximum level ambition of EU is to run peace enforcements along NATO.” – Gen. Claudio Graziano
“There is a muscle mess when you look at Europe – we do not have the right muscle developed and we do not have the capabilities to flex them.” – Anna Wieslander
The EU defence cooperation has taken a more pragmatic turn that is the way we should continue to work. We cannot flex muscles if we do not have them.” – Olivier de France
“It takes 20 years to get something done. (…) We (EU) should bring something new to the table now and fast. (…) It takes long and (EU) voters are not happy.” – Frank Haun
15:00 – 16:00
Security Architecture in the Middle East: Building on Sand?
The future of warfare continues to race along the tracks of technological advancement, and the NATO Allies must be able to not only keep up but also foresee these developments in order to best tackle them and preserve peace in the future. NATO Allies must retain their advantage in flexibility, speed in innovation, and interoperability, in the domains of Artificial Intelligence, autonomy, big data analytics, and quantum computing. Developing military applications of civilian technology and methods to counter them is inevitable, as due to the proliferation of knowledge and technology our adversaries are doing so. The best option is to be as far ahead as possible, and retain military superiority through technological superiority. We must pick up the pace to make these improvements.
“While the international community has done a good job tackling terrorism, we have not done enough in countering extremism.” – H.E. Anwar Mohammed Gargash
“Historically, my country was not in favour of nuclear weapons. Can you get everybody at the table to talk about that?” – Nasser Judeh
“Do not look at it [architecture of the ME] in the classical sense of NATO or the Pentagon, we live in an era with the primacy of domestic politics.” – Amb. Cameron Munter
“There is also multiconceptual world – lack of hegemony, different future outlooks that have made its way to the core of the world vision of security in the MENA region.” – Mirek Dusek
- End of DAY 2