World Facing Most Challenging Security Situation, Panel Hears

Various security threats to the Euro-Atlantic area, including Daesh terrorist attacks on European soil, conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, the refugee and migrant crisis, as well as hybrid and cyber threats were discussed at the Reinventing European Security panel at the BSF on Tuesday.

Mr Craig Kennedy, Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, highlighted that there was lack of trust in institutions in Europe, which is why leaders should reestablish their own faith in these institutions and transfer it to the public. He moreover finds it interesting that Europe is divided on key issues.

Dr Michael Carpenter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, US Department of Defense, meanwhile highlighted the importance of cooperation in overcoming security threats, including the terrorists hiding in Europe.

Mr Witold Sobków, Political Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, said that Europe should not be taken for granted, and that “global issues demand global response”. He did not miss the chance to criticise Russia’s actions, which has turned from a strategic partner to a strategic adversary.

H. E. Mr Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary-General, on the other hand turned his eyes to the world, saying this was one of the most challenging situations. He reminded the participants of the constructive cooperation between NATO and Russia in the 1990’s, which has however gone awry. “Divisions are growing, and there is no dialogue.”

Ambassador Tacan Ildem, Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy Division, echoed his words regarding the challenging situation, stressing that we were facing a complex security environment. He pointed to the importance of cooperation between NATO and the EU, which has to be taken to a new level.

H. E. Mr Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, highlighted two crucial issues Europe would have to face: internal and external security, and a debate on Europe’s defence capabilities.

H. E. Dr Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, meanwhile highlighted the importance of the relation between strategic and social communication.