Third Annual Security Conference: Security Risks and Transformation -Euro-Atlantic and Regional Perspectives

The Third Annual Security Conference of the Center for the Study of Democracy took place on November 19-20, 2005 in Sofia. The forum aimed to give more prominence to ideas, concepts and policies which dominate the agenda of NATO, the EU and the wider international community in this field. The Black sea and Southeast European regions have been chosen as sources of only some security problems, which complement the wider spectrum of concerns underlying the new security theories and practices.

The conference benefited again from the participation of leading NATO and EU representatives, as well as government ministers.

The debate was structured in three sessions. The first, NATO and EU response to new security risks – conceptual and practical approaches benefited from the participation of Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, SACEUR General James Jones, prof. Sergei Karaganov from Russia, Gen. (ret.) Klaus Naumann, Former Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Gen. Nikola Kolev, Bulgarian Chief of Defense Staff, Maj. Gen. Alberto Notari, DCOS ACT, Maj. Gen. Thomas Matthews, USJFCOM and Dr. Andrzey Karkozska, Director SDI, MOD Poland. The speakers commended NATO and its member nations which have embarked on an ambitious programme to adapt their concepts, forces and capabilities to match the changed security environment. They also underlined that the future of the Alliance depends on the depth and speed of the transformation. Although many relevant decisions have been taken since 2002, much remains to be done in terms of national contributions, political will and capacity to overcome legacy thinking. Among the conclusions, which may be drawn is that the time up to the next NATO Summit in 2006 should be wisely and actively used for the preparation of the relevant decisions in the field of transformation.

The second session, devoted to security issues in the Black Sea and the Caucusus regions was based on the contributions of Mr. Ivailo Kalfin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Anton Buteyko, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Prof. Dr. Ioan Pascu, MP from Romania and Rear Adm. Cem Gardeniz, Turkish Navy HQ. The keynote speakers covered a wide spectrum of security issues, ranging from geopolitics to specific security issues in the Black Sea. Among the important conclusions is that the security problems, related to the Black Sea in terms of traffic control are manageable with present security instruments. It was interesting to note, that the remaining problems, which pertain mainly to coordination and co-operation among littoral nations in the area are mainly of political nature and require comparatively little investment.

The third session focused on the security in the Western Balkans. As the nature of security had changed from military to non-military, the debate was joined by Mr. Rumen Petkov, Minister of the Interior of Bulgaria. Further, the participants received a thorough review of the current security situation in a briefing on behalf of Gen. Valotto, ComKFOR. A deep political analysis of necessary steps was presented in the contributions of Mr. Petrit Karabina, Deputy Minister of Defense of Albania and Lubomir Kyuchukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. Generally, it was widely agreed that the conflict potential in the Western Balkans is reduced far below critical levels. NATO and the EU continue to play a key role in the security in the region, although questions persist as to whether the current conceptual and security framework is adequate to the new risks and threats, like residues of ethnic hatred, organized crime, trafficking and the like. States, which emerged from the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia are in the process of rebuilding or reforming their security institutions, which brings additional vulnerability to those risks, as well as possibilities for spillover of regional and wider European scale. There was a general consensus, that the NATO and especially the EU should accelerate the integration of the regional countries as a key instrument for change.

Information about the conference
Agenda (MS Word, 132 kb)
Agenda (Adobe PDF, 163 kb)

Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD Chairman
Gen. James Jones, SACEUR
Gen. Nikola Kolev, Chief of General Staff of Bulgarian Army
Gen. (ret.) Klaus Naumann, former Chairman of NATO Military Committee
Anton Buteyko, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine
Rear Adm. Cem Gürdeniz, Chief Plans and Policy, Turkish Navy HQ
Lieutenant General Giuseppe Valotto, Commander KFOR (presented by Maj. Gen. Alberto Notari, DCOS, Supreme Allied Command Transformation)PowerPoint (Part 1, Part 2)

More presentations (in Bulgarian)

Photo gallery:
Opening and first panel
Second panel
Third panel

Media coverage
Previous security conferences

Share this post