Adapting to a changing security landscape

20 September 2018 - 09:15 - 14:30
Jens Stoltenberg, Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska, Zaina Erhaim, Lowri Evans, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Edvinas Kerza, Julian King, Mary Wareham, Elham Saudi

Friends of Europe’s annual Policy Security Summit is the flagship event of our ambitious peace, security & defence programme. Bringing together senior decision-makers with out-of-the-box movers and shakers, this occasion allows for in-depth and innovative discussions on today’s most pressing security and defence issues. 

Taking place right after the 2018 NATO Summit and ahead of the 70th anniversary of NATO, this year’s summit is particularly timely to launch and promote new visionary ideas on the future of NATO, European defence and security, and current security developments shaking our world.

The summit will present and discuss the recommendations of our Debating Security Plus online brainstorm that took place on 19-20 June. Gathering a unique coalition of several thousand participants from around the world, it is the only platform that permits a truly global whole-of-society consultation providing fresh and innovative recommendations to global security challenges.


Welcome coffee & registration




Continuing conflicts in its eastern and southern neighbourhood - and beyond – are challenging Europe’s capacity to act collectively to shape global events. Will new security and defence capabilities currently being developed allow the EU to respond more effectively to external conflicts and crises and play a greater role in fostering peace? To the South, what can be done to stop the agenda being dominated by migration and security concerns and foster a longer-term approach to stability, security and prosperity in the region? To the East, should the EU play a bigger role in conflict resolution processes in the numerous ‘frozen conflicts’ of the post-Soviet space, including in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova? Further afield, can the European Union assist in the peace process and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula?

This set of parallel masterclasses will look at some of Europe’s biggest foreign policy challenges, seeking to learn both from conflicts and crises and their resolution. 




The European Union is wrestling with an array of old and new security challenges as it seeks to tackle rapid technological developments from Artificial Intelligence to robotics which are changing the global military and security landscape and the nature of warfare. New EU moves to develop defence capabilities, including the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and the European Defence Fund (EDF) are central pieces of a new political and institutional jigsaw puzzle which has the potential to provide EU nations with better and more interoperable defense capabilities to address a multiplicity of threats.

  • The international community has raised concerns over the lack of human control in modern warfare. Where do we draw the line on autonomy and warfare? 
  • Are the new European security and defence capabilities, along with revamped NATO structures, adapted to the different security threats we face? 
  • Has Europe already lost the ‘arms race’ for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics for defence applications?

Coffee break ​​​​​




NATO unity is being tested by US President Donald Trump’s stepped-up demands for an increase in European defence spending and his apparent preference for bilateral security arrangements over joint Alliance operations. As highlighted by the NATO summit in July, the Alliance also continues to juggle its long-standing commitments to theatres like Afghanistan, increased tensions with Russia and counter-terrorism efforts with new and increasingly sophisticated threats posed by hybrid warfare as well as cyber-attacks which threaten to disrupt crucial infrastructure, businesses, and privacy. As it nears its 70th anniversary, NATO is under pressure to transform an old Alliance into a more modern and efficient organisation ready to take up new challenges in a fast-changing security landscape. 

  • What changes does NATO need to embrace to be able to meet the security and defence challenges of the 21st century, including relations with China? 
  • How does NATO see European efforts to build closer defence cooperation, and what can be done to make sure NATO and EU efforts reinforce each other?
  • How should EU member states and NATO allies adapt to the threat of a less internationally engaged US?
Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary-General
At the helm of NATO since 2014, Jens Stoltenberg has been leading the Alliance to strengthen collective defense at a time when it is facing some of its greatest challenges since the end of the Cold War. A key Norwegian politician, he previously served as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, among other leading positions. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Norway became one of the Allies with the highest per capita defence expenditure. Stoltenberg was also instrumental in transforming the country’s armed forces, through a strong focus on deployable high-end capabilities.
Iryna Brunova-Kalisetska
Executive Director of the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research
Iryna is a Ukrainian civic activist and political expert with more than 15 years of research and teaching experience in identity-based conflicts. Originally from Crimea, she was an outspoken critic of Russian annexation and fled the region to avoid arrest, taking refuge in Kiev. She currently runs the Integration and Development Center for Information and Research, a non-governmental organisation, which focuses on training government officials and journalists in diversity management, on misconceptions and on stereotypes.
Zaina Erhaim
Award-winning Syrian journalist
Zaina Erhaim has reported extensively on the Syrian revolution, and was among the few female journalists reporting from within the country. Erhaim was named the 2015 journalist of the year by Reporters without Borders, and one of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women by Arabian Business in 2016. She has also received the first Annita Ausuburg Award for Rebel Woman Against the War of the Women International League for Peace and Freedom. Currently a Senior Media Specialist at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, she has trained hundreds of people to be citizen reporters, especially women.
Lowri Evans
European Commission Director-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
In her current position, Lowri Evans is instrumental in the development of the European Defence Fund and other initiatives to support European industrial cooperation in defence research and the joint funding of defence capabilities, and provide a strong industrial base for the EU’s common security and defence policy (CSDP). With over 30 years of experience at the Commission, Evans has worked in several policy areas, notably in maritime affairs and fisheries, competition and employment. She started her professional career in audit and accountancy with Deloitte.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs and NATO Secretary General (2004-2009)
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is a Dutch politician who prominently served as the 11th Secretary General of NATO. Previously, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Dutch delegation at NATO headquarters in Brussels. He now works as President of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) of the Netherlands, an independent body which advises government and parliament on foreign policy. Furthermore, he was appointed to the Pieter Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Law and Security at Leiden University.
Edvinas Kerza
Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Defence
In his current role, Edvinas Kerza is responsible for the Baltic state’s national cybersecurity policy and is spearheading Lithuania’s PESCO project to set up EU Cyber Rapid Response Force teams. An IT professional and an expert in all things cyber, Kerza was previously in charge of managing key information systems projects at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, and has participated in several international conferences on this subject. Kerza also previously served as Chief Specialist at the Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the European Union.
Julian King
European Commissioner for the Security Union
A British diplomat with more than 30 years of experience at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Julian King previously served as a the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU Political and Security Committee, Ambassador to France and Ireland, and Director General of the Northern Ireland Office. In his current position as European Commissioner for the Security Union, King has been responsible for steering the EU’s anti-terrorism strategy, building a sustainable Security Union, and strengthening the EU’s joint response to security threats including organised crime, radicalisation, terrorist propaganda and cybercrime.
Mary Wareham
Global Coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots
In addition to coordinating the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, an international coalition of NGOs working to preemptively ban fully autonomous weapons, Mary Wareham is the Arms Division Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch, leading advocacy against weapons posing a significant threat to civilians. She previously served as Advocacy Director for Oxfam New Zealand, leading efforts to secure an arms trade treaty and the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, and also worked for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, assisting Jody Williams in coordinating the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.
Elham Saudi
Director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya
Elham Saudi has been actively working on investigating human rights violations in Libya since 2011. She has advised a number of Libyan, European and international bodies in relation to the conflict in Libya, including the National Transitional Council in Libya on a number of matters of international law, including drafting of its guidelines for opposition fighting, and is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. She is a regular commentator on the situation in Libya on the BBC, Radio 4, Channel 4 News, and Al Jazeera. 

This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media. 

Clotilde Sipp, Senior Programme Manager
Email: clotilde.sipp@friendsofeurope.org

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Event starts
20 September