The first day of GLOBSEC 2020 Bratislava Forum started at the Maria Theresia stage with Madam President Zuzana Čaputová calling for unity under common goals and working on healing processes that go beyond the health and focuses on making things better. The discussion continued with the ongoing crisis of COVID-19 pandemic, which has had over 35 million cases reported worldwide. The economic and social impact has been felt by all countries even though 10 countries are responsible for 70% of cases and 3 countries are responsible for half. We need to act quickly to prevent similar scenarios in the future. But in these times of crisis, the multilateralism has been under pressure and society’s mistrust in organisations has only deepened.
The threats we are facing today are different from what we have faced in the past. But organisations such as NATO need to focus on resilience, not only the resilience of societies but also technological resilience. The goal is to strengthen NATO, its member states, allies and international cooperation, especially with the EU. From education to health care to protection of cyberspace of state, public institutions as well as private actors and data protection, digital transformation plays a crucial role in preparing for the future. The pandemic showed not only this but also the vulnerabilities in each of the EU member states. It provides us with the opportunity to accelerate the digitalization process and improve the skills of EU citizens. This progress and flexibility need to be reflected in EU structures such as the new unique organization of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which works to unify legislation within all EU member states, in the realm of white-collar crimes and fraud, and strengthening the rule of law through transparency and cooperation.
We must make clear that respecting the rules and enjoying the benefits, including the EU funds, come always and strictly together. And that one without the other will not be possible. #Globsec2020 #RuleOfLaw pic.twitter.com/7nSxwhSUCu— Zuzana Čaputová (@ZuzanaCaputova) October 7, 2020
“Our militaries cannot be strong if our societies are weak, so our 1st line of defence must be strong societies” - #NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg @GLOBSEC #NATO2030— Oana Lungescu (@NATOpress) October 7, 2020
In parallel, the Habsburg stage carried out discussions predominantly devoted to the non-traditional challenges of today and tomorrow such as those of 5G, hybrid threats and climate challenges. The day wrapped up with an intriguing panel about the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
The future of transatlanticism, the role of populism and Euroscepticism within the EU as well as the V4 region stimulated the first discussion at the Habsburg stage. What are the current challenges on both sides of the Atlantic? How is the pandemic attacking our everyday lives? Is the transformative potential of 5G becoming the next imperative? Many non-traditional challenges ruled the discussions and we heard the panellists reconfirming that hybrid threats to democracy still prove how fragile international cooperation is, especially when it comes to regaining the public trust.
Can any conference on international affairs do without bringing climate change into the debate? Climate crisis continues to progress, and delays in action could have detrimental effects for the most vulnerable communities across the globe; what is next for the environment? Circling back to the debates during the whole day, we wrapped up with a panel acknowledging the impact of the potential results of the U.S. presidential election for the old continent and U.S. alike.
GLOBAL PANDEMIC: LESSONS LEARNED AND LOOKING TO THE FUTURE (12:30-13:35)
MARIA THERESIA ROOM
Dr Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyesus, Director-General WHO
Marek Krajčí, Minister of Health of Slovak Republic
Robert Mistrik, Consultant HighChem
Nathalie Moll, Director-General The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations
Francesca Colombo, Head of Health Division OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development)
There have been over 35 million COVID-19 cases reported and all countries have been affected by social and economic impacts. 10 countries are responsible for 70% of cases and 3 countries are responsible for half. We need to act quickly to prevent similar scenarios in the future. The EU recently accepted several ambitious plans and arranged 9 billion euros to strengthen the health care system across the Union.
FROM FORESIGHT TO RESILIENCE, NAVIGATING OUT OF THE PANDEMIC (12:40-13:35)
Nathalie Tocci – Director Instituto Affairi Internazionali
Florence Gaub, Deputy Director, EU Institute for Security Studies
Jakub Wizniewski – VP for Strategy Studies, GLOBSEC
(Lead) Tom Nuttall – Berlin Bureau Chief, The Economist
The pandemic brings a lot of challenges not only to internal policies of the EU member states, but also for the EU itself including but not limited to fighting populism and Euroscepticism, a renewed debate on the constitutional conference and further integration as well as transatlantic relations with the US in the context of upcoming US presidential elections.
DEFRAGMENTING THE WORLD – ENVISIONING A MORE COOPERATIVE FUTURE (14:00-14:55)
MARIE THERESIA ROOM
H.E. Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Kazakhstan
Martin Klus, State Secretary Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
John Allen, President of Brookings Institute, Washington
Ditmir Bushati, Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairperson in Office
(Lead) Stephanie Liechtenstein, Diplomatic Correspondent & Freelance Journalist, Vienna
Multilateralism has been under pressure and Coronavirus only deepened society mistrust in organisations. A way forward should be embedded in dialogue and global cooperation where international institutions have a strong presence and provide a platform for dialogue.
5G: MEDICINE FOR POST-CORONA RECOVERY (14:00-14:55)
Heli Tirma-Klaar, Ambassador at Large for Cybersecurity
Lise Fuhr, Director General European Telecommunications Network Operators
Joyce Hakmeh, Senior Research Fellow International Security Programme; Co-Editor of Journal of Cyber Policy, Chatham House
Anthony Whelan, Digital Advisor to President of EC, Ursula von der Leyen
Ulf Pehrsson, Head of Government and Industry Relations of Ericsson
The transformative potential of mass roll-out of 5G is unquestionable. It has the power to drive not only the economic growth but also the economic recovery of the post-COVID world. The current pandemic delayed the deployment of 5G but emphasised the need for its implementation. 5G can fulfill its potential to act as the central nervous system of the 21st century while supporting the green transition across a variety of industries.
ALWAYS ADAPTING: NATO’S 2030 AGENDA AND FUTURE ALLIED SECURITY (15:00-15:35)
MARIA THERESIA ROOM
Jens Stoltenberg, Security General NATO
(Lead) Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large The Hill
NATO was established to tackle the threat of Soviet Union. But the aim of NATO in the future will be to focus on resilience, not only the resilience of societies, but also technological resilience. The goal is to strengthen NATO, its member states, allies and international cooperation, especially with the EU. The 2030 agenda is about making NATO stronger and adaptable to current situations and global challenges.
A COMPASS OF STABILITY – NATO’S AGELESS UTILITY (15:55-16:55)
MARIE THERESIA ROOM
H.E. Jaroslav Nad’, Minister of Defence of Slovak Republic
H.E. Artis Pabriks, Deputy PM and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Latvia
H.E. Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence of Canada
(Lead) Sylvie Kauffman, Editorial Director & Columnist, Le Monde
Living in uncertainty is harsh but is the reality. This reality can be used to test the resilience of armed forces and NATO when it comes to the adaptation to new circumstances. A focus on cooperation also requires a focus on quality, and there is a need externally to promote a rules-based order, with greater predictability and established mechanisms.
HYBRID THREATS TO DEMOCRACY (15:55-16:55)
MARIE THERESIA ROOM
Lea Gabrielle, Special Envoy and Coordinator of Global Engagement Center, Washington
Veka Modebadze, Director Strategic Communications Department at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Teija Tiilikainen, Director European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, Helsinki; Finland
Katarina Klingova – Senior Research Fellow Democracy & Resilience
Annabelle Chapman – Journalist
Hybrid threats of misinformation critically impact our democracy, creating an overwhelming stress on nations and underlining how fragile international co-operation is. The key is to honestly collaborate, share data and continue to build a cyber safe environment. The essential message needs to be more personalised in order to gain public trust. With solidarity and by coordinating the positive information flow and strategic communication, we will be able to move forward.
EU IN THE DIGITAL AGE: A POST-PANDEMIC RETHINK (17:00-17:45)
MARIA THERESIA ROOM
H.E. Veronika Remisova (Deputy PM and Minister for Investments, Regional Development & Informatization of Slovak Republic)
H.E. Marek Zagorski (Minister of Digital Affairs of Republic of Poland)
Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl (Director-General, DIGITALEUROPE)
Zsuzsanna Zsofia Matrai – Regional Director Government Affairs Lead for CEE Region – Microsoft
Anett Numa (lead) – Digital Transformation Advisor, e-Estonia
From education to health care to protection of cyberspace of state, public institutions as well as private actors and data protection, digital transformation plays a crucial role in preparing for the future. The pandemic showed not only this, but also the vulnerabilities in each of the EU member states. It provides us with the opportunity to accelerate the digitisation process and improve the skills of EU citizens.
THE GREAT RECONCILIATION – ECONOMIC RESCUE AND THE CLIMATE IMPERATIVE (17:00-17:45)
MARIA THERESIA ROOM
H.E. Mark A.G. Brantley – Premier of Nevis and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation for St. Kitts and Nevis
Martin Hojsik – Member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament
Youba Sokona – Vice-Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Geneva)
Rachel Kyte – Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford
With the global pandemic dominating the political and societal concerns and the postponement of COP26, climate change is no longer at the forefront of debate. Yet the climate crisis continues to progress and delays in action could have detrimental effects for the most vulnerable communities across the globe. There are positive signals showcasing commitment to achieving carbon neutrality from key emitters, such as China and the EU.
ASK THE EUROPEAN CHIEF PROSECUTOR (17:50-18:20)
MARIA THERESIA ROOM
Laura Codruta Kovesi, European Public Prosecutor, Luxembourg
The European Public Prosecutor’s Office is a unique organisation where the flexibility of the structure is one of its main strengths. It works to unify legislation within all EU member states, in the realm of white collar crimes and fraud (related to EU finance), and strengthening the rule of law through transparency and cooperation.
U.S. ELECTION COUNTDOWN – WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR EUROPE?
Joe Pounder - CEO Bullpen Strategy Group, Washington
Torrey Taussig - Research Director Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Harvard Kennedy School
(Lead) Alex Martin - Head of Brussels Office GLOBSEC
The US election has almost the same level of importance for the EU and US. There will be political challenges with either of the presidential candidates. With perhaps a different perspective on Chinese trade, both the EU and US share the value of increasing and boosting European R&D and innovation. It will be essential to see how the situation will progress in the upcoming weeks.
Many thanks to Ministers @Pabriks ???????? and @JaroNad ????????, and journalist @SylvieKauffmann for the engaging @GLOBSEC panel, where we discussed how @NATO can work together and coordinate to adapt the Alliance to today’s challenges. pic.twitter.com/CmDjsv6WeS— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) October 7, 2020
The most inspiring ending for the first day @GLOBSEC Awards to Karel Schwarzenberg and @Tsihanouskaya Inspiring speeches by both - “Please fight for the human rights, liberty and rule of law. Thats all that matters. Now more than ever.” pic.twitter.com/Lus9IYZvUk— Anett Numa (@Anetttu) October 7, 2020
Stay tuned for all the sessions of the Day 2. You can watch them live here.