GLOBSEC 2021 Bratislava Forum: Day 2 Recap

The second day of the GLOBSEC 2021 Bratislava Forum is past us and we are bringing you a brief recap of the most important moments and discussions that took place in both of our stages today.


9:00-10:00 - The Great EU Soul-searching: What Spot on the New Global Power Map? 

H.E. Ivan Korčok, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic  

H.E. Alexander Schallenberg, Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria  

Marina Sereni, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic

Daniela Schwarzer, Executive Director Europe and Eurasia, Open Society Foundations, Brussels  

Led by: Matthew Karnitschnig, Chief Europe Correspondent, POLITICO, Berlin 

The discussion focused on the positioning of the EU as a global actor and the perception it should deliver. The panellists agreed that the EU has the means to become a global player and the key to achieve it is a common value-based foreign policy. The EU also needs to perform very precise risk and threat assessments and gain the tools and possibility to act unanimously.




9:00-9:45 Lessons Learned from the Pandemic: Re-designing Health Care System

Opening remarks:

H. E. Vladimír Lengvarský, Minister of Health of the Slovak Republic

Panel Discussion: 

Francesca Colombo, Head of Health Division, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Johanna Hanefeld, Head, Centre for International Health Protection, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin

Martin Smatana, Associate Fellow, Health, Economic Growth and Sustainability Programme, GLOBSEC, Bratislava  

Gabriele Grom, Public Policy Lead, Mid-Europe Region, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Vienna  

Led by: Sarah Wheaton, Chief Policy Correspondent, POLITICO Europe, Brussels  

Pre-existing weaknesses in our health systems have been exposed by the pandemic. The need to improve, innovate and invest in our health care systems to ensure fluid and resilient systems has never been greater. Innovations and research in data analytics and data systems, diagnostics, and telemedicine have been highlighted as key elements in health systems transformation.




10:05 -10:55: Towards the EU that Delivers 

Martin Klus, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic  

Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic  

Monika Hohlmeier, Chair, Committee on Budgetary Control, European Parliament (virtually)  

Led by: Ania Nussbaum, Reporter, Bloomberg, Paris

The EU needs to get closer to its citizens and it needs to make sure the finances from the recovery plan will be spent on research, innovation and the recovery itself. But that is not enough. The EU needs to think long term and act more strategically. We need to be also more united on corporate tax or China, otherwise, we will be left behind the others. What the EU cannot afford is to have another lockdown and closed borders. We have to find a common European solution to the pandemic and hopefully, the French presidency can contribute to that. 




10:35 -11:20: Strategic Autonomy vs. Global Supply: How to Secure Value Chains 

Sébastien Miroudot, Senior Trade Policy Analyst, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Seoul

Thomas Wieser, EU Representative, Panel on Resilience, G7, Vienna

Michał Krupiński, Senior Advisor at Warburg Pincus LLC, Member of the Board of GLOBSEC  

Gordon Bajnai, Partner and Chairman of the Global Advisory Board, Campbell Lutyens; Member of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC

Led by: Soňa Muzikárová, Chief Economist, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava

Disruption in global value chains did not start with Covid but the pandemic has accelerated pre-existing trends such as scepticism over globalization, lack of cooperation and a lack of solidarity between countries. The crisis has also caused a shift in the demand for products and services. Resilience is not about avoiding disruption but about recovering quickly from a crisis. True resilience arises from reliable, diverse and co-dependent supply chains. 




11:15-12:05: Geopolitical Europe at Crossroads: Western Balkans in the Post COVID-19 Era

H.E. Anže Logar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia  

H.E. Gordan Grlić-Radman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia  

H.E. Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia 

Miroslav Lajčák, EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues, Brussels  

Led by: Maithreyi Seetharaman, Founder, Facultas Media Limited, London

North Macedonia has been waiting to start the accession negotiations, however, the EU seems to be disunited again. The national interests of the member states prevent the EU from being a credible partner and global player. The EU has to stick with its promises and should move away from a problem-oriented strategy to a solution-oriented strategy.  



12:15-13:00: Big-tech & European Regulations 

Olivier Guersent, Director-General of Directorate General for Competition, European Commission

Anu Bradford, Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization, Columbia Law School, Columbia University, New York City

Hendrik Bourgeois, Head of Government Affairs Europe and Russia, Apple, Brussels (virtually) 

Led by: Anett Numa, Digital Transformation Advisor, e-Estonia, Tallinn 

This panel focused mainly on the global power map and questioned how we could achieve the great EU soul. All panellists also discussed regulation and the role of the European Union. Regulation of big technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Spotify, or Amazon is still a big question. In recent years we could see an effort of European PMs to regulate the companies mentioned above. 




13:10-13:50: Cities in Lockdown

Matúš Vallo, Mayor of Bratislava  

Gergely Karácsony, Mayor of Budapest

Vít Rakušan, Chairman, Mayors and Independents, Prague  

Led by: Joshua Posaner, Senior Policy Reporter, POLITICO, Berlin 

The discussion focused on the recovery of cities after the pandemic as well as the learned lessons from the past year. The panellists agreed that there is a need for local governments to have more responsibility and that cooperation between different local governments can help to achieve a good outcome in a crisis. One of the key lessons learned from the pandemic in regards to cities is the need for good and clear communication between all engaged parties; local government, state government and the citizens.




13:05-13:50: Climate Change & Global Security: A closer relationship Than One Might Think 

Kate Guy, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Climate and Security, Washington, D.C. 

Janani Vivekananda, Head of Programme Climate Diplomacy and Security, Adelphi, Berlin

Alexander Verbeek, Editor, The Planet, Brussels

Brian Moran, Vice President, Global Sustainability Policy & Partnerships, Boeing, Chicago

Led by: Rachel Rizzo, Adjunct Fellow, Center for a New American Security, Washington, D.C.

The nexus between climate change and global security is closer than thought. Climate change is already eroding not only the environment but also all aspects of social life, where its security implications stem from. When rebuilding the post-pandemic societies, it is necessary to consider climate change and undertake ambitious steps to prevent the phenomenon from worsening. 




13:50-14:00: GLOBSEC Talk: Human Brain-Scale Artificial Intelligence 

Radoslav Danilák, Co-Founder and CEO, Tachyum 

AI technology is an approaching future and we need to have discussions about its application otherwise it might cause risks of humanity not being able to adapt quick enough. 



14:20-15:10: Political Extremism Goes Virtual and International 

David Ibsen, Executive Director, Counter Extremism Project, New York City

Daphne Halikiopoulou, Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Reading, Reading

Michael Chertoff, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, The Chertoff Group, Washington, D.C.

Ivan Bartoš, Chairman, Czech Pirate Party, Prague

Symeon Tsomokos, Founder and President, Delphi Economic Forum, Athens  

Led by: Roland Freudenstein, Polciy Director, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies

This session discussed the variety of aspects that fuel extremism as well as the many factors that required ineffective response to extremism. Leadership by politicians needs to be exercised better coupled with strong socio-economic policies focusing on the people. In addition, the key issues discussed were how to re-establish the eroding trust and how to regulate social media platforms without encroaching on freedom of speech. 




14:00-14:50: Growing the Digital Economy in CEE

H.E. Veronika Remišová, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Investments and Informatization of the Slovak Republic

H.E. Andres Sutt, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of the Republic of Estonia

H.E. Boštjan Koritnik, Minister of Public Administration of the Republic of Slovenia

Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard, Washington, D.C.   (virtually) 

Jeff Bullwinkel, Associate General Counsel and Director of Corporate, External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft Europe, Brussels  

Led by: Tyson Barker, Head, Technology and Global Affairs, German Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin

How to rebuild the world after the pandemic? This panel focused mainly on the question of how we can grow the digital economy in CEE. All agreed significant investments are needed to rebuild the economy after the pandemic situation. All panellists also said there is still a space for more specific cooperation between all European countries regarding the digital economy. 




15:15-16:00: Winners & Losers of the Pandemic

Ángel Gurría, former Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Harry G. Broadman, Partner and Chair, Emerging Markets Practice, Berkeley Research Group LLC and Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.

Alexander Stubb, Director, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence (virtually) 

Led by: Vazil Hudák, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC

We are all losers of the pandemic, what differs the countries in the world is the impact the pandemic has and what lessons we have learned from it. We need to use this situation to build a greener, more equal and more resilient societies. The pandemic has been an eye-opener also for the industries to realize how complex the supply chain is and to realize that it needs to rethink it. 




15:15-16:05: A view from central Europe: Future of the EU 

H.E. Ivan Korčok, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovakia  

H.E. Jakub Kulhánek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic  

H.E. Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary  

H.E. Zbigniew Rau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland  

Led by: Terry Martin, TV News Anchor, Journalist, Berlin

The discussion focused on the Visegrad 4 countries and their perception of the future of the region and the EU. The four foreign ministers discussed the future of the EU after the pandemic and the lessons learned from it. They also delved into the debate around the upcoming conference on the future of Europe. 




16:30-17:15: EU Climate Diplomacy Leadership and the Carbon Border Tax 

Pascal Canfin, Chair, Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament

Christian Egenhofer, Senior Research Associate, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence & Associate Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies  

Jennifer A Hillman, Senior Fellow for Trade and Intl’ Political Economy, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C. (virtually) 

Led by: Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large, the Hill, Washington, D.C.

When it comes to the carbon border tax, there is a concern that Europe is evolving in one direction and the United States and other countries are evolving in another. The lack of coordination and alignment, even though there might be similar carbon goals between the EU and the US, creates complexities for transnational companies. Overlooking the fact that the devil will be in the details, the current EU proposal is sophisticated and commendable.




16:05-16:20: US-EU DIgital Marketplace: Bridging the Gap 

Brad Smith, President, Microsoft

Led by: Eline Chivot, Senior Digital Advisor, European People´s Party, Brussels

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft spoke about bridging the gap on data agenda between the US and EU. The world runs on digital technologies and data. It is going to be vital each and every year. The issues are playing a visible and explicit role across the Atlantic. 




16:20 -17:15: The New Transatlantic Agenda: Trumped No More 

Led by: Christine Ockrent, Journalist, France Culture, Paris  

General John Allen, President, The Brookings Institution  

Jim Lindsay, Senior Vice President, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.

Thomas Bagger, Director of Foreign Policy, Office of the Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany

Bruno Maçães, Non-Resident Fellow, Hudson Institution  

The change in the White House brought relief to the European capitals. Since Joe Biden took office, there have been many positive developments, however, the doubts of Europeans will not disappear easily. The nature of future Euro-Atlantic relations will be based on how to tackle China and how the EU will continue to work on the defence and military capabilities.   




17:20-18:10 - Vaclav Havel Transatlantic Dialogues: The Russia Challenge - Where to Now? 

Andrey Kortunov, Director General, Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow

Andrew Weiss, James Family Chair and Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C.

Alena Kudzko, Director, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava  

Amb. Michael Žantovský, Executive Director, Václav Havel Library, Prague  

Led by: Elena Lazarou, Head of External Policies Unit, European Parliamentary Research Service 

The recent events have significantly strained the relationship between the European states and the Russian Federation. Though the European standpoints on Russian politics vary, European Union has some means to put in the play against Russia - leverage that can be used with the help of the Biden’s administration, which is clear in its approaches towards the Russian Federation.




17:40-18:15: Bridging the Rift and restoring Trust in Politics and Societies

Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, Stanford

Sandra Breka, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Berlin

Amb. Jakub Wisniewski, Vice President for Strategy, GLOBSEC, Bratislava  

Led by: Robin Shepherd, Vice President, Halifax International Security Forum, Washington, D.C.

The discussion centred around why politics, politicians and political systems have seen a considerable deterioration in trust by societies. The panellists delved into the issues of democracy caused by technological development and how this cleared a pathway to disinformation and a consequential societal divide. The panellists compared and contrasted these issues in different societies, mainly the CEE region, western Europe and the US.