Announcement – The 1st Webinar of “The V4 towards NATO Strategic Concept and Strategic Compass” grant will take place on the 15th of July at 12:00 CEST
We have the pleasure to inform you that the first of four webinars devoted to discussing the common position of V4 countries towards the most pressing issues within NATO, will take place on the 15th of July. The discussion panel will be entitled: “The evolution of international security environment and most important future threats and challenges for NATO from the V4 perspective,” and will begin at 12:00 CEST. The seminar is a part of the project entitled: „The V4 towards NATO Strategic Concept and Strategic Compass,” initiated by Casimir Pulaski Foundation, The Antall József Knowledge Centre, EUROPEUM and the Slovak Security Policy Institute. The project is aimed at supporting the coordination of the V4 group stance on works over a new NATO Strategic Concept as recommended by the “NATO 2030” report of NATO’s Secretary General, as well as on the idea of the EU strategic autonomy proposed by some European leaders. The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe. We would like to kindly inform you that participation at this event is by invitation only and will be held in English with no interpretation provided.
12:00 – 12:05 Welcome remarks – Péter Dobrowiecki, Director of Research Office, Antall Jószef Knowledge Centre;
12:05 – 12:10 Welcome remarks – dr. Tomasz Smura, Director of Research Office, Casimir Pulaski Foundation;
12:10 – 12:20 Presentation: The idea and goals of the project “The V4 towards NATO Strategic Concept and Strategic Compass” – Bartłomiej Kot, Program Director of Warsaw Security Forum, Casimir Pulaski Foundation;
12:20– 12:30 Presentation: The evolution of international security environment and most important future threats and challenges for NATO from the V4 perspective – Péter Stepper, PhD, Senior fellow of the Transatlantic and Security Policy program at Jószef Antall Knowledge Centre;
12:30– 13:00 Interventions:
- Balazs Martonffy, PhD – Director of the American Studies Research Institute in Budapest;
- Janusz Onyszkiewicz – Former Minister of Defense of Poland (1992- 1993, 1997-2000);
- Matej Kandrík – Director of Stratpol – Strategic Policy Institute;
- Jan Jires, Head of Defence Councellors at the Czech Delegation to NATO;
Moderator: Péter Stepper, PhD Senior fellow of the Transatlantic and Security Policy program at Jószef Antall Knowledge Centre;
13:00 – 13:50 Discussion;
13:50 – 14:00 Closing remarks.
IVF Webinar: “ The evolution of the international security environment and most important future threats and challenges for NATO from the V4 perspective.”
The said webinar took place on July 15th and was the first part of International Visegrad Fund’s grant entitled: “The V4 towards NATO Strategic Concept and Strategic Compass”, organized by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, as well as the Slovak Security Policy Institute, Antall Jószef Knowledge Centre and EUROPEUM. The discussion focused on the vision of the Visegrad Group states on the future role of NATO and the implications of European Strategic Autonomy. The project is aimed at supporting the coordination of the V4 group’s common stance on the new NATO Strategic Concept, as well as on the idea of EU strategic autonomy and its place within the EU Strategic Compass. The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe. The speakers that took part in the discussion included:
– Balazs Martonffy, PhD (Hungarian perspective), Director of the American Studies at the Research Institute in Budapest;
– Janusz Onyszkiewicz (Polish perspective), Former Minister of Defense of Poland (1992-1993, 1997-2000);
– Matej Kandrík (Slovak perspective), Director of Stratpol – Strategic Policy Institute;
– Jan Jires (Czech perspective), Head of Defence Councellors at the Czech Government Delegation to NATO;
The discussion was moderated by Péter Stepper, PhD Senior fellow of the Transatlantic and Security Policy program at Jószef Antall Knowledge Centre. He opened the debate by highlighting the importance of discussing on the common V4 position in relation to the NATO 2030 report. The document, which has been widely consulted in every member state including the V4, identified several key threats to NATO’s security. Amongst these were Russian’s activities such as cyber-attacks, information warfare, and intelligence operation that include but are not limited to assassinations and sabotages. Jan Jires mentioned that the Chinese activities also impact NATO security, thus being another emerging threat for NATO. He has also expressed his skepticism about the very idea of the common V perspective on threats to NATO. He claimed that “the V4 is not the most useful framework when it comes to discussing NATO strategic concepts”. He explained his reasoning by highlighting that “there is no real V4 perspective particularly when it comes to threat perception and security of the environment”. He also stated that when it comes to threat perceptions, Poland and Hungary represent the polar opposites in NATO. While Warsaw highlights the threat of Russia, Hungary is happy to cooperate and defend Moscow on more than one occasion. The issue of the non-existent V4 cooperation within NATO when it comes to threat perception was therefore the biggest obstacle in finding a common ground on threats to NATO within the V4 states. Matej Kandrík agreed with the previous speaker on the issue related to emerging threats for NATO. At the same time he claimed that what is really under the main attack from Russia and partially China, is the decision making process in our nation states, where the strong emphasis is put on disunifying and breaking the cohesion of societies. Both Russia and China play a vital role in this procedure. Balazs Martonffy has shared his thoughts on changing the security environment. He also addressed a question from the audience: “can you really turn NATO into a counter-China organization?” In his opinion this was a fundamental question that needed to be answered by NATO in order to move forward with the more efficient decision-making format of the organization. In his remarks, Janusz Onyszkiewicz concentrated on more practical issues, such as the dual strategic access between East and West, emphasizing different strategic needs for each state. In his opinion, “the differences in military potential of both sites are clear if, with NATO being a clear winner. However what would even more help NATO in being more reliable, would be the speeding up of the process of decision making within the Alliance.” He highlighted the importance of amending the decision making process in furtherance of countermeasures against threats such as cyber and terrorist invasion.
In the end the webinar participants did not come to similar conclusions as to the common stance of V4 on the key threats to NATO. Most of the speakers agreed that Russia is indeed a major threat to European security, while some remained convinced, that it is not Russia but rather China which we should defend against. However, in the course of discussion all the speakers agreed that the threats of cyber-attacks and their frequent reoccurrence is a threat to V4 and therefore needs to be addressed by NATO in any future doctrines. The Visegrad states would also like to see NATO dealing with the emerging threats using a more anticipatory approach. The discussions amongst Member States should not be restricted only to immediate issues and crises, but rather look into the future and the possible scenarios for the development of international situation.