The 9th annual CEPA Forum will take place in Washington D.C., on Thursday and Friday, September 21-22, 2017. The CEPA Forum is the leading annual transatlantic conference in Washington D.C., representing the largest gathering of Central European officials, experts and leaders in the United States. This year’s Forum will focus on Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change.
Panels will cover a range of pressing policy issues from “Reforming NATO for the 21st Century” to “Strengthening U.S.-Central European Relations.”
Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Arrival and Breakfast
Atlanticism is under strain as priorities shift, old ties fray, and memories fade. Yet a strong security relationship between Europe and the United States remains vital—for both sides. This year’s CEPA Forum looks at the looming threats to the Atlantic Alliance, and at the efforts all parties must make to adapt and renew it.
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Welcome & Introduction
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Strengthening the Visegrád Four
American priorities in Central Europe remain focused on security. Yet the cohesion of the Visegrád group has come under increasing scrutiny, with different emphases and approaches in Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw. Expertise within the region remains formidable and the geostrategic location is crucial. But for what? How far do the strains within Visegrád, and its rumbling disagreements with the European Commission over migration policy and other issues, affect relations with Brussels and Washington? What can the V4 countries do to restore their role in the transatlantic security architecture? How does the V4 relate to more pressing security worries in the Baltic Sea region, the Black Sea, and Ukraine? How should the V4 approach American priorities within NATO?
MODERATOR: Sławomir Dębski, Director, Polish Institute of International Affairs
, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
Ivan Korčok, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia
10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Reforming NATO for the 21st Century
Even though NATO is the most successful military alliance in human history, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. From “out of area or out of business” to the restoration of contingency planning and territorial defense, NATO now faces new challenges as it responds to the Trump administration’s focus on countering terrorism, and develops new capabilities in cyber and information warfare. The administration’s insistent demand for higher defense spending requires most NATO members to rebuild the political consensus which sustained alliance efforts during the Cold War. How should NATO decision-makers react?
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Future of Transatlantic Relations: The Impact of U.S.-Russia Relations on Euro-Atlantic Security
America has a superpower’s priorities; the frontline states have theirs. The task for Atlanticists is to minimize and manage the tension between these two sets of goals. Worries about a sudden grand bargain between the United States and Russia have abated in 2017, but what might the next phase in this relationship bring? Washington has urged Moscow to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine, to join a common effort against terrorism, and to stand in the defense of Western civilization. How should transatlantic leaders interpret the administration’s opening moves; and where do the biggest risks and opportunities exist for synchronizing interests with allies on core issues like energy and security?
Károly Grúber, Head of Department of Common Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Kurt Volker, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, United States
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
BREAKOUT SESSION 1
The War of Narratives in the Information Age
Doom-mongers proclaim a “post-truth” era. But the battle with disinformation is long-running, and is far from lost. Western countries are belatedly waking up to the threat from Russia and other adversaries, though granular information about the reach and impact of hostile, trust-corroding narratives is still scant. How do information attacks fit into the broader picture of hybrid warfare? What emphasis should we place on countering specific disinformation, and how much on improving our overall resilience? What are the roles of the private and public actors in the information space? And how, if at all, should we counter-attack?
Daniel Kimmage, Acting Coordinator, Global Engagement Center, Department of State, United States
Jukka Savolainen, Director, Community of Interest “Vulnerabilities and resilience,” European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats
Jānis Sārts, Director, NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence
Brian Whitmore, Senior Russia Analyst, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
BREAKOUT SESSION 2
Migration and Security: U.S. and European Perspectives
Controlling borders is a central element of sovereignty, and sharing public goods is a fairly crucial legitimizing factor for democratic decision-making. Yet the flow of people across national frontiers results from complex economic, historic, humanitarian, and legal factors too. How can the United States—a country built by immigrants, but simultaneously wanting to prioritize security—best discuss migration with Central European allies?
Márton Ugrósdy, Deputy Director of Strategy, Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade