GLOBSEC 2021 Bratislava Forum: Day 3 Recap

The 16th edition of the GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum has officially come to an end and we are bringing you a brief recap of the most important moments and discussions that took place during the third day of the conference. Follow us for more news in the upcoming days to follow up on the most interesting moments of the venue.



9:00-9:40 - Strategic Foresight for Resilience: the EU and NATO in a Post-Pandemic World 

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, European Commission  

Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (virtually) 

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

Resilience lies in the heart of current and future EU-NATO cooperation. The EU strategic compass and NATO Strategic concept need to be converging and complementary. Yet, the struggle lies in protecting democracies against authoritarian regimes, foresight and risk assessment. 



9:45-10:05 - GLOBSEC Chat: AI in Cybersecurity - A Blessing or a Curse? 

In conversation with: Richard Marko, Chief Executive Officer, ESET, Bratislava  

Led by: Patrick Tucker, Technology Editor, Defence One, Washington, D.C. 

Artificial Intelligence is a huge help, but at the same time, it can be misused for criminal activity in a variety of ways. Yet we have to realize that it is humans who train the AI and we should try to better understand and explain how the AI works and how it reaches its decisions and conclusions. We need to ensure there is sufficient investment in the research into the area of cybersecurity in order to be better prepared and reactive. 




10:05-10:50 - A 5G Future: Not Just Smoke and Mirrors 

Michel Van Bellinghen, Chairman, BEREC Riga

Pearse O'Donohue, Director, Future Networks in the European Commission, DG CONNECT, European Commission

Ulf Pehrsson, Head of Government & Industry Relations of Ericsson, Stockholm

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

 The pandemic has shown us the rising importance of 5G as a consistent flow of data or manufacturing and so that full connectivity is very crucial and important. It is one of the primary goals for the next 5 years. The 5G agenda is becoming part of the recovery plans of many countries yet it still needs a push in terms of its awareness and application not just amongst businesses but mainly for society. The important role in terms of the rollout will play governments and businesses as the key case studies. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that 5G is not just a part of technology and innovations but it is an instrument for the economic recovery as well as the green revolution. 




10:05-10:45 - Defeating the Infodemic

Henry Collis, Deputy Director, National Security Communications, Cabinet Office and Prime Minister’s Office Communications, Government of the United Kingdom

Melinda Frost, Technical Officer for Risk Communication & Community Engagement, World Health Organization

Miroslava Sawiris, Research Fellow, Democracy & Resilience Programme, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava 

Led by: Julia Belluz, Senior Health Correspondent, Vox, Vienna

The discussion focused on the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories around the vaccination against COVID-19. It further delved by addressing the effect disinformation has on vaccine rollout and ways in which trust can be built around vaccination. The debate ended by focusing on some solutions, and all panellists agreed that the key to fighting disinformation is through efficient strategic communication. 




11:15-12:00 - Regenerating Democracy Worldwide 

GLOBSEC Trends 2021 presentation by: 

Dominika Hajdu, Research Fellow, Democracy & Resilience Programme, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava 

Katarina Klingova, Senior Research Fellow, Democracy & Resilience Programme, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava  

Followed by discussion: 

Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia; Member of the Board of Directors, GLOBSEC 

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C.

Neelam Deo, Director and Co-Founder, Gateway House, New Delhi

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Fourth President of the Republic of Croatia  

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

The GLOBSEC research showed that trust in democracies and their respective national government is decreasing. Democracies need to adjust to current security, demographic and societal changes. We need to engage with people, to deliver and restore democracy, despite its imperfections.




12:00-12:20 - Democratic Change in Russia: How to Increase the Odds 

Leonid Volkov, Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager to Alexei Navalny, Vilnius

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

Despite the actions of the Russian government to make the political opposition less visible, the dissent in Russia is growing. All fundamental factors of protest are not gone and will not disappear. The future is bright with the young generation being politically aware and conscious their human rights are being taken away from them. The policy recommendation of Navalny's campaign is to try a different approach with Putin as previous attempts to 'reset' the relationship between Russia and the West have not worked. 



12:50-13:40 - Great Power Competition in East Asia 

Yasuhide Nakayama, State Minister of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Japan

Bruno Maçães, Senior Research Associate, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, Lisbon 

Torrey Taussig, Nonresident Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and Europe, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

Kinga Brudzinska, Policy Director, Centre for Global Europe, GLOBSEC Policy Institute, Bratislava  

Led by: Emily Tamkin, U.S. Editor, New Statesman, Washington, D.C.  

With its rapid economic growth and various international initiatives, including assertive foreign policy, China is becoming a concerning actor for many. Not only in military competition, but also in terms of its geopolitical and technological expansion. The European states and the United States should no longer focus solely on the transatlantic relations, but try to formulate a joint strategy on approaching the region of East Asia.



12:30-12:55 - The United States, Central Europe and Global Democratic Agenda

Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, US State Department

Led by: Valerie Hopkins, Moscow Correspondent, The New York Times 

The debate with the Under Secretary for Political Affairs of the US State Department, Victoria Nuland, largely focused on the relationship between the US, EU and Russia. She delved into the meeting between President Biden and President Putin at the recent G7 summit and discussed the potential future relationship between the two nations. The debate also covered the US-EU relationship, along with its issues and potential solutions. 



13:45-14:20 - Political Leadership in Climate change: United States 

David Livingston, Senior Advisor to U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, Amsterdam

Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation, Paris

Nick Bridge, Special Representative for Climate Change, Government of the United Kingdom

Led by: Kathleen Koch, Author, Journalist, and Founder, LeadersLink, Clarksville

Although there are positive signs that came out of the recent G7 Summit, we need more commitment from developed countries and a quicker pace for completely phasing out fossil fuels and halving emissions by 2030. The focus for the next 6 months ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, should be on working with and supporting developing countries in their climate change ambitions. A strong collaboration between the US and Europe coupled with ambitious climate change goals will be key in achieving net-zero globally. 



12:50-14:20 - NATO 2030: How to get there? 

Expert's insights by:

Amb. Christopher Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations

Katrina Mulligan, Acting Vice-President, National Security, Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.

Amb. Baiba Braže, Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy, North Atlantic Treaty  Organization

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

Followed by a panel discussion:

H.E. Jaroslav Naď, Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic 

H.E. Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence of Canada

H.E. Radmila Šekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia  

H.E. Tibor Benkő, Minister of Defence of Hungary  

Led by: Kim Dozier, CNN Global Affairs Analyst, Washington, D.C.

The NATO2030 agenda and the recent NATO Summit reassured of the strong bond and values which bind the Alliance in the world of great power competition. Bracing for the future black swan events, resilience is key. The Allies need to build stronger cooperation with the private sector and utilise the wealth of its citizens’ talents to maintain a technological edge as well as resilient capabilities