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September 22, 2011
The need to know: European information-sharing

October 20, 2011
European Defence Conference 2011

November 7, 2011
SecDef'11: Re-thinking Europe's security priorities

About the SDA

The Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) is the only specialised forum in Brussels that regularly analyses and debates European and transatlantic defence and security. It raises awareness by anticipating the political agenda and focusing attention on European and transatlantic policy challenges. Its gathers representatives from NATO and the EU, national governments, industry, academia, think-tanks and the media. The SDA places emphasis on topical, lively and innovative debates giving all stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions.

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September 22, 2011

The need to know: European information-sharing

Registration

Intelligence, counter-terrorism and private security stakeholders all rely on the timely and accurate delivery of information to “front-line” staff. In most major security breaches, although relevant data was available it failed to reach the right person in time. Information-sharing to reduce vulnerabilities is vital, so why has intra-European cooperation remained so limited? Do EU and NATO member states mistrust each other when dealing with sensitive security information, or is it security sector rivalries that obstruct cooperation? The Lisbon treaty is meant to unify EU security policies, but coherence on information-sharing remains elusive. How can Europe better harness its information-sharing resources?

October 20, 2011

European Defence Conference 2011

Registration

The SDA is a proud partner of the 2011 Defence Conference. This year's conference, held in Warsaw, will focus on research and development issues in European defence. The European Defence Conference (EDC) aims to foster cooperation in the defence and security sector between private companies, knowledge institutes, governments and international organizations. The conference format provides opportunities for discussion on policy and procedures, briefing of practical technical results and proposals for future cooperation. Speakers and audience range from European politicians to national government authorities and from researchers to multinational industry representatives.

November 7, 2011

SecDef'11: Re-thinking Europe's security priorities

Registration

Europe’s security thinking is to undergo an overhaul once the EU’s new diplomatic arm - the European External Action Service (EEAS) – formulates its responses to fast-moving security challenges, including those of the Arab Spring. How best can these EU-level responses be reconciled with member states’ national interests and policies, and can recent initiatives such as the Franco-British defence agreement or the informal Franco-German-Polish “Weimar Triangle” give Europe’s defence drive fresh impetus? How can European countries’ situation-awareness be improved as a means of developing a coherent security strategy? What can Europe do to improve civ-mil cooperation aspects of its crisis management? Above all, will the financial crisis and defence cuts at last yield progress on pooling and sharing? And on emerging and future threats, what must Europe do to tackle its cyberdefence shortcomings while also addressing its weakened maritime security?

These are among the issues to be addressed on 7 November at the Security & Defence Day conference, co-organised by the Security & Defence Agenda and CEIS, where keynote speakers include Radoslaw Sikorski, Polish Foreign Minister; Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services and Gérard Longuet, French Defence Minister. The conference will be chaired by Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, SDA co-president and former NATO Secretary General.

Past events

 

June 29, 2011

Shaping NATO’s reform agenda

Registration

After the turbulent spring of 2011 and the command assumption of the Libya mission, NATO members once again have found themselves in a balancing act between capabilities and commitments. In three sessions, the SDA conference will address current key challenges for the alliance and its members. The first session will raise the question of national defence cuts on both sides of the Atlantic. Can substantial budgetary constrains positively affect the future alliance force structure through streamlined modernisation? Which reforms could provide for more efficient coordination without compromising capabilities? NATO-Russia cooperation and missile defence will be the focus of the second session. Can common threat assessments provide enough ground for the two actors to enter a new era of cooperation, and what consequences will a closer NATO-Russia partnership have for other countries? In a final session, experts will debate NATO’s strategic capabilities. The alliance’s new responsibility in Libya underlines the significance of flexibility of structures and equipment. Should members reform rigid procurement methods to foster technological development? How can American concerns over European capability shortcomings be reconciled in the face of current budgetary realities?

June 1, 2011

New challenges in urban security

Registration

The majority of the world's population today lives in cities, and they are expanding at an unprecedented pace. Security challenges are growing more complex, from terrorism and organised crime to political and economic unrest, raising questions about the resilience of critical infrastructure, energy security and the effects of climate change. Urban security requires a comprehensive strategy that spans the police and judiciary as well as other administrations at local and global level, and addresses internal and external threats. How can communications between police, military and intelligence communities be improved? What new technologies can improve urban security? Where should governments draw the line between security guarantees citizens’ privacy? Is the EU giving urban security enough attention, or should this remain a local matter?

May 3, 2011

Towards an EU security industry strategy

Registration

Counter-terrorism technologies have made encouraging advances, so now it’s the lack of more coherent EU-wide policies that is the problem. The time has come for EU member states to abandon competing national practises and devise common standards and a shared approach to research and innovation. Could public-private partnerships better develop the next generation of technologies, and if so, would that ensure that end-users get the right solutions at the right price? Society’s chief line of defence against terrorist attack is technology, but increased screening procedures of both passengers and freight cannot guarantee 100% protection. To what extent has front-line defence against terrorist attack fallen to the private sector?

April 27, 2011

Controlling the internet: Balancing limits with guarantees of citizens' freedoms

Registration

The so-called ‘Twitter’ or ‘Web 2.0’ revolutions in the Arab world have sparked fierce debate on the right of governments to shut down the internet. This has been paralleled by criticism of Iran and China for their use of social media to track political protesters and for propaganda. The storage of data on these platforms greatly increases public and private vulnerabilities to attack. Does switching off the internet constitute a breach of freedom of speech, and if so, should the EU develop capabilities to prevent this? Does NATO’s cybersecurity policy include this issue and what kind of actions or sanctions might be considered? Should the UN take the lead on a cyberspace treaty and should NATO and the EU at the same time work towards a centralised regulation system? Could an EU platform for cooperation between public and private actors contribute to regulating cyberspace, and could such a platform enable governments to stay up to speed with technological developments?

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