On 27 of September 2017, EESC together with Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence and partners organized the third annual International Security Experts Conference “Eastern Partners in European Security and Defence – Putting EU Global Strategy into Practice”.
The focus of the Conference was on security environment in and around Europe, as well as on ways to take forward EU engagement with Eastern Partners in security and defence. The invited participants reflected on partner countries’ contribution to EU crisis management efforts, as well as on the possibilities for the EU to support resilience of Eastern Partners, their security sector reforms and capacity building efforts.
The Conference gathered government officials, members of civil society, as well as security and defence experts from six Eastern Partnership countries, European Union Member States, and representatives of the EU institutions. Raimundas Karoblis, Minister of Defence of Lithuania, hosted the welcome dinner. The guest speaker for the opening dinner was Arnoldas Pranckevičius, Head of European Commission Representation in Lithuania.
The Conference was opened by keynote address of Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Levan Izoria, Minister of Defence of Georgia.
The first session “Security threats and opportunities in the EaP region“ hosted the following speakers: Clara Ganslandt, Head of CSDP, Partnerships and Agreements Division, Crisis Management and Planning Directorate, EEAS, Dmytro Khrystoforov, Deputy Director, Department of Military Policy, Strategic Planning and International Cooperation, Ministry of Defence, Ukraine, Marta Ayvazyan, Deputy Director, Centre for Democracy, Security and Development, Armenia, Pavel Usov, Director, Centre for Political Analysis and Prognosis, Belarus and Ion Tabarta, Analyst, Institute for Development and Social Initiatives, Republic of Moldova. This session was moderated by Eglė Murauskaitė, Senior Researcher and Simulation Developer, European Affairs, ICONS Project START, University of Maryland.
The second sesssion “EU and EaP cooperation in framework of the Global Strategy“ consisted of the following speakers: Władysław Zawadzki, EU Security Policy Section, International Security Policy Department, Ministry of National Defence, Poland, Daniela Cujba, Chief, Directorate General for European Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Republic of Moldova Hennadiy Maksak, Head, Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism” & Co-Chair, Steering Committee, Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, Ukraine, Gulshan Pashayeva, Deputy Director, Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Irakli Porchkhidze, Vice President, Institute of Strategic Studies, Georgia. This session was moderated by Jan Cingel, Research Fellow, European Neighbourhood Programme, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Slovakia.
The last panel “Building resilience and security of the societies“ consisted of Matti Saarelainen, Director, European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Finland, Piret Pernik, Research Fellow, International Centre for Defence and Security, Estonia, Oleksandr Sukhodolia, Head, Energy Security and Technogenic Safety Department, National Institute for Strategic Studies, Ukraine and Jakub Kalensky, East StratCom Task Force Member, EEAS. Discussion was moderated by Brian Whitmore, Senior Russia Analyst, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.
The Conference was co-organised by the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence and the Eastern Europe Studies Centre in close cooperation with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. It was held in the framework of the Panel on co-operation in the area of CSDP within the EaP Platform on Democracy, Good Governance and Stability, and was co-funded by the European Commission. This event is third of a kind, the previous conferences were held in 2014 and 2016 in Vilnius by the same organizers.
To see more photos from the event, follow this link.