Annual International Symposium (14)
Athens, November 24-26, 2005
On November 24-26 the Greek Association for Atlantic & European Cooperation (GAAEC) has organized its 15th annual Symposium on security and foreign policy issues, under the general theme: Stability and Cooperation in the EuroAtlantic area – Greece in the New Environment.
Since 1991, the year of the 1st International Symposium, a tradition has been established and has become well-known through the years.
The venue was the prestigious Amphitheatre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. GAAEC brought together Ministers, Ambassadors, Diplomats, Military Officers, University Students, and Representatives of national ATA's and the general public, covering the vast field of security issues concerning Greece and the World in the 21st century.
The Celebration Dinner
On the 24th November, the Annual International Symposium started with a celebration dinner for the 15th year anniversary at the Sarogleion Officers' Club. The approximately 95 guests who attended included most of the Ambassadors in Greece, businessmen, journalists, and members of GAAEC.
The guest speaker, Mr. Spilios Spiliotopoulos, Minister of National Defense, stated "...it is common understanding that the international geo-political and geo-strategic environment is characterised by dynamically evolving situations, unforeseeable conditions, antagonisms and new security threats and challenges, which undermine efforts of the international community to ensure progress and prosperity. The international situation demands co-operation of all countries and undertaking of initiatives with a common objective, in a spirit of mutual trust and solidarity"... He then stated "...Greece, being a member of the European Union, of NATO, of the Security Council for the current 2-year term and chairing the Cooperation Process in South-eastern Europe, seeks and works at all levels for the realization of our main target, that is to achieve security, stability, development and progress for the broader region. The cornerstone of our policy is the development of bilateral relations of equality and Greece's active role within the framework of international organizations, with an extensive participation in both planning and implementing their activities".
"...NATO remains open to European nations, which are willing and able to assume the respective obligations and responsibilities, deriving from the status of membership, thus proving that it is an international organization ruled by the values and ideals of the liberal– democratic model. Greece has supported and continues to do so, the European vision of all our neighbouring countries. We focus our action on this perspective, and commit significant part of our politico-diplomatic efforts, in order to enhance and facilitate the Balkan nations to become equal members of a dynamic and democratic European Union".
"...it is, therefore, obvious that nations candidate for accession, should take into consideration that the way to a European prospect requires full compliance to the criteria and principles, established in the negotiations context, along with the pre-assumption that the pending issues of the past must be resolved through consultation and mutually accepted solutions. We reiterate that unilateral demands and arbitrary interpretation or violation of the provisions of international law are not consistent with the European "acquis communautaire" and with the principles and values actually prevailing in the international community".
"...additionally, we actively participate in the procedure of NATO's internal reform and external adaptation, being part of programmes, missions and operations of the Alliance. NATO has gradually adapted itself to the new environment, exercising its political role and re-orienting its approach to military doctrine issues, sufficiency and readiness. The Alliance has proven in action all its impressive capability to adjust itself to new circumstances. NATO redefines its mission, in a way also to focus on the world fight against terrorism. This means that its member nations have to intensify their efforts to upgrade their military capabilities and further ensure their interoperability".
The first Day of the Symposium
"The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Association (NATO) have a catalytic role to play in terms of safeguarding security and peace, a task that Greece has contributed to and will continue to do so", Minister of Foreign Affairs Petros Molyviatis said, in his speech, following the welcome remarks of Theodossis Georgiou, President of GAAEC and of Troels Froling, Secretary General of ATA.
Petros Molyviatis also stated that "NATO is a particularly successful Organization, because it is obvious that NATO has succeeded in its mission. And for us, its mission is to preserve peace. Europe is already in the midst of the longest period of peace in its history, and the role of NATO and the European Union in this achievement is significant. More specifically, NATO played this role throughout the tensions of the Cold War era, and continues to play it today in an era of cooperation. It played this role during the Cold-War era through readiness for war – si vis pacem, para bellum – and is playing this role in today's era of cooperation by adapting to the new conditions, the new world, that took shape following the end of the Cold War. Today, NATO's old foes have become either members or strategic partners of NATO, and all together we are working for peace and jointly confronting new threats. Greece is among the oldest members of NATO. Our relations have not always been trouble-free, but throughout these years, with our active participation, we have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the establishing of security and the preservation of peace".
Theodossis Georgiou reiterated that 2005 is a very important year for the EU, on the European as well as the Euroatlantic front, and that the Symposium will be devoted on these two dimensions. He continued by mentioning that "Regarding NATO, three neighboring countries are intensely working on their integration process. The Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, in cooperation with the Atlantic Associations of Bulgaria and Romania, is ready and willing to extend our support to our colleagues in Albania, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Furthermore, the insecurity that is reflected in the current era due to International Terrorism, can only be confronted through collective efforts and with the capabilities that experienced collective International Organisations, like NATO, EU and OSCE can provide". The President of GAAEC also presented the new and enhanced role of NGO's, especially those of Euroatlantic Associations that can assist in solidifying an atmosphere of trust among nations. The new dimensions of security in our times make the question for new ways of communication between people, that much more important.
Troels Froling referred to the role of the Atlantic Treaty Association and transmitted a message from the President of ATA (Atlantic Treaty Association), Ambassador Robert Hunter who stated that "...you meet at an important time in the transformation of the NATO Alliance transatlantic relations, and the NATO-EU partnership. This is particularly true as NATO moves decisively "out of area," not just to the Balkans but to the Middle East and beyond. The Mediterranean region and its countries, on all its shores, have taken on a new importance, as have the nations of the Middle East. NATO's Mediterranean Dialogues and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, along with the EU's Barcelona Process, in our common effort to promote security, stability, cooperation, and development throughout the North Atlantic region and far beyond. Greece's role, always important in the Alliance, is taking on added significance. With its close allies and partners, it is playing a critical leadership role in this pivotal region; and what you are discussing at the Symposium goes right to the heart of our new agenda, our new set of challenges. The Atlantic Treaty Association, fresh from success at its 51st General Assembly in Tallinn, will profit from what the Greek Association is doing -- including the key emphasis not just on engaging people in this region but in involving a new generation of alliance leadership..."
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Jean Fournet, US and Russian Ambassadors to Greece Charles Ries and Andrey Vdovin, as well as former President of Austria's Parliament, Werner Fasslabend noted in their speeches that in order to effectively address emerging, complex threats, there is a need of coordination on an international level, through multilateral structural partnerships, and governed by consensus. This coordination must take into account the interests of each side which in its turn will have a specific role to play.
The first panel was moderated by Theodoros Kouloumbis, General Director, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), who also introduced the speakers.
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Jean Fournet emphasized that no country on its own is able to tackle the problems of the 21st century. Therefore, according to him, the new key word is cooperation in order to reach the desired level of collective security. He also stated that NATO has no intention to become the world's policeman, neither to be the servant of the United States. We need a "complex network with cooperation within the international community", he stated.
H.E. the Ambassador of the US to Greece Charles Ries stated that the contribution of Greece to NATO's successes was significant and also benefited the country. He reiterated the reasons that led to the US recognizing the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) by its constitutional name, "Republic of Macedonia" and called on Greece and its neighbor to agree on a new modus vivendi. He also expressed optimism regarding Kosovo and said he was against the creation of a so-called Great Albania. As for Turkey, Reis said that it had the ideal system within the Islamic world of ensuring the peaceful co-existence of Islam and Democracy, although he admitted that there was room for improvement.
H.E. the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Greece Andrey Vdovin described the potential for cooperation between NATO, the EU and Russia as positive, provided Russia's interests are taken into consideration, and he underlined the fact that Russia is actively involved in negotiations for peace in the Middle East. Regarding the Caucasus issue, Russia has asked that the involved parties resolve it with the help of third parties. However, Russia does not want any solutions imposed upon it.
These official statements were followed by Werner Fasslabend, MP, Former Minister of National Defence, Austria and Former President of the Austrian National Assembly who offered new practical concepts for tackling the current problems in a new security environment, dominated for the first time in history by international organizations, although there is a single dominator; the United States of America. According to Fasslabend, "terrorism is just a tactical method", the result of the shift of power from the conventional level towards the sub-conventional level, which cannot be named as terrorism. He expressed his deep belief that this is the time for Europe to be the exporter of security through military and civilian contribution.
In the next panel – NATO & EU: a strategic partnership? – in his introductory remarks Ioannis Bourlogiannis - Tsaggaridis, Ambassador a.h., Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister of National Defense, quoted "Don't sell your umbrella because it stopped raining", referring to the fact that NATO is needed even after the Cold War and in this new security environment we need to find the "optimum distribution of duties".
Vassilios Maghinas, MP, President of the Defence & Foreign Affairs Committee, Hellenic Parliament, highlighted the differences between the EU and NATO. According to him, NATO uses military means, while the EU employs political and economic means. The organisations' close cooperation would be more beneficial if Turkey did not obstruct it by refusing to recognize the Republic of Cyprus. He reiterated the support of Greece on Turkey's EU accession, saying that should Turkey become marginalized there is a greater risk of bilateral relations becoming strained. He also referred to Greek – Albanian relations, pointing out that certain behaviors have emerged recently "which are bothersome and cannot be accepted". As for FYROM, Maghinas reiterated that Greece will accept its neighbor in other international organizations only by the name FYROM or another name which both sides will agree on. Finally, he also referred to other foreign policy issues, noting that power and strength prevail in international relations rather than what is just. "Understanding this reality will help promote foreign policy".
In this panel, Werner Fasslabend had the floor also as a European Union political personality. He called the EU as a global actor and called the constitutional treaty as a pragmatic step towards the long desired political union. He also stated that there are European tasks in the world but we cannot become a No.1 power. Concerning the new enlargement he put the question "Will the EU mature to take over Turkey?" He referred to the EU constitution, predicting that it will not be ratified in its initial form and asked that the EU's political unity and military potential be promoted. Referring to Turkey, he said that Austria is not against its EU accession, although the country is not yet mature for membership, but also questioned whether the EU will be mature in 10-15 years when Turkey is set to join, to accept such a large country. On Kosovo, he said that a solution will eventually be found, taking into consideration the views of both the Albanian majority and the Serbian – Montenegro minority.
He was followed by the Former Minister of National Defence, Apostolos Tsochatzopoulos who stated that the concept of EU and NATO as strategic partners means taking decisions together on security strategy and specific methods of intervention. "If the US wishes to play a separate, autonomous role, this will weaken NATO's role, since this is the par excellence forum where security issues are discussed".
Sergiu Celac, Ambassador of Romania to Greece, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, called the NATO & EU as complementary assets, which have to work together to encourage the cooperation. Concerning Kosovo, he stated that a proper examination is being made so as to avoid future situations like this somewhere else in the world by some other parties.
The afternoon panel dealt with 'The New Security Environment & the Role of the Civil Society' moderated by Despina-Ino Afentouli, Liaison Officer for Greece, PDD, NATO HQ.
Jean Fournet, opened the session expressing the tasks and the assets of NATO Public Diplomacy to enhance the involvement of the civil society. He referred to the recent international exercise, organized by Greece and held within the framework of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue. He said that we need to convince the general public to be involved with security matters because their relatives are the ones who are sent to the battlefields' of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. Jean Fournet also stated that critical questions, critics and the media should play a more significant role concerning these issues.
Several representatives of the civil society – think tanks, NGOs, institutes – were also invited. Charalambos Papasotiriou, representative, Ιnstitute of International Relations (IDIS), and Konstantinos Ifantis, President, Hellenic Center for European Studies (EKEM), said that in Greece we are facing an underdeveloped civil society in comparison with its western counterparts. Athanasios Dokos, Director of Studies, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), said about the awareness of the general public that "If the world does not provide help [assistance] to Afghanistan, the rest of the world will need help because of Afghanistan, later on".
Charalambos Tsardanidis, Director, Institute of International and Economic Relations, (IDOS), mentioned the connection between NATO and the business sector as an aspect of social corporate responsibility, while Ioannis Parissis, Director, Institute of Defense Analysis, said that professional armies and mercenaries to some extent need to be regarded as part of the business sector.
After some critical questions – in Greece the anti-Americanism is quiet vivid – about the role of the United States in the world security, Dr Fournet said that there is " a gap [between Europe and US] because the US is running while we are lagging behind."
The fourth panel during the first day of the conference was titled 'NATO's Transformation'. The chair of the panel, Arian Starova, Vice-President, Atlantic Treaty Association, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, President, Atlantic Association of Albania tried to give a full insight regarding the future prospects. According to Petri Karabina, Deputy Minister of National Defense of Albania, NATO is changing itself slowly through its enlargement process and broadened cooperation like the Partnership for Peace the Active Endeavor and the Mediterranean Dialogue. He also mentioned the peacekeeping contribution of Albania which is conducted in the spirit of a future NATO membership.
Fabrizio Luciolli, Professor, Center for High Defense Studies, Secretary General of Comitato Italiano Atlantico, expressed his belief on the need of an extended Mediterranean Cooperation in order to cover the whole area, although there is a risk of being accused of supporting non democratic countries. We, therefore, need a deeper ATA involvement to enhance coordination so as to reach a higher level of effectiveness.
Mary Bossis, Political Analyst, Specialist in Terrorism Issues, said that NATO needs information based operations and new level of cooperation in the fields of law enforcement, immigration, finance, interior and boarder policies to avoid new hot spots. According to her, we need 'Protection Plans' which could show us the weak points but also evaluate our mission capabilities.
The last speaker of the day was Bernandino Gomes, President of the Portuguese Atlantic Committee, who dealt with New Atlantic Security Issues, namely Energy Control and Natural Resources in the context of Africa. He focused on a small country, the Republic of Cap Verde, which is a case study of a free and democratic country in Africa, not to mention its strategic location at the South Atlantic. According to Mr. Gomes, this will be the next important region of the world regarding energy policy.
The Second Day of the Symposium
The first panel was 'NATO & the ATA – New Role, New Missions'. The first topic was moderated by Avgustina Tzvetkova, Vice-President, Atlantic Treaty Association of Bulgaria and was aimed to discuss the deficit of communication between NATO and the ATA.
Troels Froling and Theodossis Georgiou emphasized the role of education in order to create an open-minded next generation of leaders. After them, Francois Moreau De Balasy, Honorary President of the Atlantic Association of France, held his remarks in history. According to him, the participation and contribution of the civil society is very important so as to acknowledge democracy.
In the second panel 'Women's contribution in establishing security', focused on questions of gender involvement in issues of international security, was moderated by Ioannis Tzannetakos, journalist. Aliki Mitsakos, Chairperson of the Committee on Science & Education of GAAEC, presented the background on gender issues as they are dealt with the decisions and directives of the UN and the EU, also criticizing the language slanting on occasions. She also presented the Women In International Security (WIIS), an international NGO program promoting for more women involvement in the field of security, national and international.
She was followed by Rodi Kratsa - Tsagaropoulou, Member of the European Parliament, New Democracy Party, who said that today we have a 'female deficit', and this is an obstacle in expressing the whole society.
Katerina Marneri - Katsambe, Deputy Major of Athens, criticized the quotas regarding women and she said that there should be a "qualitative dimension not just a quantitative one".
Meropi Kaldi, President of the Research Centre for Gender Equality, called for greater women involvement in International Security because according to her the women are those who help 'create the conditions to win peace'. She said that women have the comparative advantage in the promotion of non-violence means in fighting terrorism.
Zehra Odyakmaz, Professor, Chairwoman of the Institution of Ombudsmanship Act Preparation Commission of Turkey, started her presentation with a quotation: "If you teach a man you taught an individual if you teach a woman you taught a nation". She asked several questions as well: "Why the women are not interested in politics? Why they are not part of politics? Why they cannot be a part of politics?" According to her the basic problem is lack of time and the lack of supporting mechanisms. She suggested elimination of discrimination and new training courses both to males and females because this can be the key issue. She sees the tasks of mothers to encourage their daughters and to teach their sons to avoid discrimination.
She was followed by Katerina Papakosta - Sidiropoulou, MP, Secretary of Women Department of New Democracy Party, according to who "women are not victims any more but they are the necessary means". She also underlined that through the new perspectives of the Ministry of National Defence, women have the opportunity to develop and acknowledge their capabilities through long-lasting educational programs. She also invited women to empower their presence professionally in security organizations.
The last speaker of the day, was Anna Karamanou, Former Member of the European Parliament, PASOK, Greece. She tried to reach the topic in a totally different way. She asked: 'What does man mean?' She quoted Fukuyama that "the world was created by men" and she stated that "most probably the more balanced distribution of power would create the more balanced world order".
1. Marianna Fyrippi, LLB/LAW, current student in Greek law,
University of Athens
2. Attila Homoki, Student of International Relations, Hungary
3. Katerina Loutzakis, Graduate student of Business Administration, Athens University of Economics and Business
Prof. Dr. Aliki Mitsakos – Georgiou MD, Chairperson of Education & Science Committee, GAAEC
December, 11 - 13, 2004
The Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation (GAAEC) held the 14th Annual Zappeion International Symposium on December 13th - 14th, 2004. Many distinguished personalities and dignitaries of The Greek and other Governments, members of the political, diplomatic, economic, academic and military community including active members of NGOs that presented the role of civil society in the respective panel, gathered in Athens to participate in this interesting event. A large number of qualified graduate & post graduate students attended also as part of their applied education.
The subject of the symposium was "New Developments for stability and cooperation in the Euro Atlantic area" divided into 7 round tables with special topics and expert speakers.
The 14th Zappeion Annual International Symposium focused on the developments as they were implemented at the Istanbul Summit and span from the NATO-EU enlargement to new security arrangements in the Balkans and the Middle East. During the discussions, it was appraised how these developments have affected or will affect the future of transatlantic relations, as well as Euro-Atlantic Integration.
Additional matters, of great importance to Transatlantic relations, that were discussed, was the new US Administration after the elections and reactions to it; the impact of economic diplomacy in international security and the role of NGO's in Public Diplomacy.
As in the previous years, subjects of importance to women and young people are included also, as their participation in international relations is becoming increasingly important in shaping world opinion. It is most often that women and young people have interesting perspective in matters such as security. Thus, as the Euro-Atlantic Associations have assumed the role of mediator between NATO and the public opinion, in order to enhance the role of the "New NATO," so have women and young people taken up the role of mediator in modern aspects of society.
The opening ceremony started with Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, the President of the Greek Association for Atlantic & European Cooperation, followed by the presentation of Mr. Vassilios Michaloliakos, MP, Deputy Minister of Defense of Greece. The next speaker was Mrs. Anna Diamantopoulou, MP, Former Member of the European Commission of Greece. The opening ceremony continued with the message of Mr. Jean Fournet, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy and ended with Mr. Troels Froling, Secretary General of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA).
Mr. Georgiou reiterated "that 2004 is a very important year for the EU, on the European as well as the Euro-Atlantic front, and that the Symposium will be devoted on these two dimensions.
He continued by mentioning that, "Regarding NATO, three neighboring countries are intensely working on their integration process. The Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, in cooperation with the Atlantic Associations of Sofia and Bucharest, is ready and willing to extend any support necessary to our colleagues in Tirana, Zagreb and Scopje.
Furthermore, the insecurity that is reflected in the current era due to International Terrorism, can only be confronted through collective effort and with the capabilities that experienced collective International organizations, like NATO, E.U. and O.S.C.E. can provide."
In conclusion, the President presented the new and enhanced role of NGOs, especially those of EuroAtlantic Associations, that can assist in solidifying an atmosphere of trust among nations. In addition, the new dimensions of security in our times make the search for new ways of communication between people, that much more important.
Mr. Vassilios Michaloliakos referred to the important strategic role and Greece's strategic objective to participate in the fundamental changes under way in the Balkans by establishing substantial and sincere cooperation with the neighboring states. "Greece should be the country that will be the guiding light across the Balkan Peninsula and must also pave the way for the Balkan states that are not E.U or NATO members. Into that serious effort Greece offers technical and financial aid as well as technical assistance with Greek officers to train their armed forces according to NATO's and E.U's standards. As a result Greece is a factor of stability for the given region and everybody is in profit when peace and the rule of law are reinforced". He concluded his speech by saying that Greece is working towards an autonomous Europe as far as security issues are concerned, but a smooth cooperation with NATO forces is always indispensable since NATO possesses the crucial know how, the experience and the loyalty for this kind of issues.
The next speaker was Mrs. Anna Diamantopoulou. She opened her speech by mentioning that the war nowadays has been transformed into a new form. She continued by stressing that Euro Atlantic cooperation would benefit the world, since many solutions would be given to the greatest problems of the humanity (famine, poverty, religious fundamentalism and less the nationalist interests of the past), which are the reasons of the transformed warfare. As a result, many global organizations are being transformed, such as NATO, and they start to build cooperational bonds with other organizations like OSCE and the U.N. That kind of transformation affects the nation states, as they have now to re-examine their doctrines, the way that they used to fight and the new standards for their weaponry. Mrs. Diamantopoulou referred to the importance of security as a factor of prosperity. Europe should take part in all the peacekeeping and therefore should create a common framework for such missions and must also find the proper resources to build its own army. If Europe decides to materialize those principles, it has to cooperate with NATO and the US in the fields of weaponry and military investigation and to focus on the modernization of the already existing forces.
The opening ceremony continued with Mr. Jean Fournet. Mr. Fournet in his message expressed NATO's ideas on "Public Diplomacy". As NATO continues to adapt to the changing security situation, the need to engage public opinion in member states and beyond is more essential than ever. To be credible and legitimate, every action NATO takes needs to be fully understood and supported by public opinion at home and in partner countries, because "it is the public that we are accountable to at the end of the day". He mentioned the basic ideas for NATO's future as they were delineated in Istanbul's summit last year, which are to re-convince publics on both sides of the Atlantic of the necessity of trans-Atlantic security co-operation through NATO; establish a new public perception of a transformed, future-oriented NATO dealing concretely with the new spectrum of security threats; stress the importance of NATO's operations; and encourage an active political debate between Allies as the Alliance is no longer a "Eurocentric" Alliance, but it is an instrument we can use wherever our common security interests demand it.
He then addressed a rhetorical question to the participants by wondering "what is NATO for". According to him security today is affected by a range of different risks and threats. Terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are perhaps the most lethal of these new challenges. It was proven in Afghanistan, that the failing states can cause instability in their own region and well beyond. With these changes, the Alliance has shown its preparedness, and its ability, to tackle the new challenges to our security head-on, when and where they arise. Challenges to security don't have borders. Meeting these challenges, and defeating them, requires the closest possible international co-operation and NATO is deeply committed to such a multilateral, co-operative approach. He then mentioned that only a few days ago, NATO terminated its Stabilization Force mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union assumed responsibility for stabilization operations. It is a turning point in Bosnia and Herzegovina's development. It is also proof of the developing cooperation between NATO and the European Union, he added. He pointed out that NATO is the unique transatlantic bridge -a permanent security forum for the Europeans with America. Concerning Greece, Mr. Fournet stressed its participation with troops in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and with naval forces in the Active Endeavour operation. It contributes to the Alliance's priorities in a very constructive way and during the Olympic Games the cooperation with Greek authorities was excellent. He concluded by saying that NATO's assistance was a clear demonstration of support and solidarity towards a member state. Assuring access to Alliance's capabilities is very important for our members while on the other hand, NATO' presence was a sign of NATO military readiness to contribute to the international community's fight against terrorism.
The Secretary General of the ATA Mr. Troels Froling mentioned the agenda and challenges that the ATA is dealing with. Together with the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) it is on a mission to create a public opinion profile and explain the new role of NATO. It is important for the ATA to make NATO visible and viable to the public.
That can be achieved by engaging the public, in the form of NGO's, think tanks and visits to NATO. Through seminars and conferences networking can be created that can help very much in explaining the new role of NATO. He characteristically said, "In my first year in office as ATA Secretary General I have discussed the ATA strategy in many associations, with emphasis on the Southern and South Eastern part of Europe. I have the strong impression of dedication in the ATA, and I thank everyone for taking the discussion on how best to engage the public, especially the successor generation in the necessary debate on new Atlantism. We see a very positive development in the youth field. I also look forward to develop cooperation with what I hope will be the Youth of Turkey and to welcome young people as members, in all of our national associations, national YATAs or youth committees. It is of the utmost importance that we get the new generations of decision-makers in the security field onboard the ATA. In Greece we see exactly this development taking place. nder the leadership of Dr. Aliki Mitsakos the first "Kernels of Our Future" program was launched in 2004 for young people of the age 14-18. A three weeks' summer Symposium, the first of its kind for this age group in all the ATA member associations. I thank you Aliki - and Theo - for the initiative and for the leadership in showing the way for a group, the teenagers which has not so far gotten the strongest attention among the ATAs. This is a most important part of the ATA education strategy and its activities with the teenage generation."
Lastly, Mr Froling mentioned the objectives of ATA for 2005 by asserting the goals for this year, which are: Becoming more proactive (ATA, Secretariat, ATA & YATA members.), setting up Secretariat in Brussels, improving the internet platform, upgrading the Educational Strategy, setting up the Public Affairs, PR & Branding advisory committee; reaching out to our neighbours, developing cooperation with our members and organizing a Mediterranean Dialogue Conference by G.A.A.E.C. in cooperation with ATA.
The first round table topic was "NATO & EU, Current Dilemmas and future roles", chaired by Mr. Ioannis Bourloyannis - Tsangaridis, Ambassador, a.h., Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister of National Defence of Greece. The speakers were Mr Paul - Reitre Brouwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Greece (Presidency of the EU), Mr. Thomas Miller, Ambassador of the US to Greece, Mr. Alexei Rogalev, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Greece, Mr. Werner Fasslabend, MP, Former Minister of Defense, Former President of National Assembly of Austria and Mr. Loic Bouvard, MP, Former President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Mr. Ioannis Bourloyannis-Tsangaridis, introduced the subject of Euro-Atlantic relations in respect to the rest of the world. He stressed the importance of a European defense and a more active EU role in International relations while at the same time reaffirming the necessary role of NATO.
To begin with, the first 3 Ambassadors stressed the importance of the solid and concrete cooperation of NATO and their countries. All of them praised the role of the EU in FYROM, Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Democratic Republic of Congo but they also stressed that this is not enough for the EU since ESDP has not been fully developed yet.
The outgoing US Ambassador stressed out that Europe has to cooperate with NATO in a firm way, as this military organization is the most experienced institution worldwide. Mr Miller pointed out that the US and EU have a common background and they are against terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and regional conflicts but sometimes there are some disagreements regarding the right approach or the best course of actions for certain problems.
Mr Brouwer agreed that this cooperation is inevitable since the Dutch government and the majority of the European governments cannot afford to develop two different arrays of armed forces (one for the EU and another one for NATO) considering that duplication should be avoided. Mr Brouwer also mentioned that acting in the EU presidency, Netherlands has taken up a challenge of cooperation with NATO and EU secretariats and other Mediterranean states. He referred to the Althea operation (the follow-on operation to the NATO SFOR-operation in Bosnia Herzegovina) according to which European and NATO troops are cooperating for a common goal, in a very productive way for both sides. As a consequence the Dutch Ambassador supported a more broadened and deeper cooperation with NATO.
Mr Rogalev said that it is inconceivable for Europe to go on without Russia's aid and continued, "The future of Europe is inconceivable without Russia," noting "there is no all-powerful means of protection from threats." He added that the discussions are continuing for the unified European space and the gradual Russia-EU approach as Russia and the EU have put forward four common areas of discussion which concern the economy, freedom, justice and internal security, foreign security and education and culture."
"Transatlantic relations, QUO VADIS?" was the topic of the next round table. The presentations were by Mr. Francois Moreau de Balasy, Honour President of the Atlantic Association of France, Mrs. Maria Wagrowska, Vice President of the Polish Euroatlantic Association, Dr. Radovan Vukadinovic, Professor at the University of Zagreb and Dr. Kostantinos Ifantis, Ass. Professor to the University of Athens.
Mr Balasy who took the floor first made a brief historical reference concerning the cooperation between France and the US. He then tried to analyze the basis of the temporal Euroatlantic cooperation. He pointed out that the keys for a stable and sincere cooperation are the common ideals and values shared, the threats and the background. Nevertheless he stressed out that nowadays the public opinion in Europe is influenced by anti-American feelings, even if both communities believe that they share the same values but strongly disagree on the use of weapons for peacekeeping. He continued by saying that we have to maintain our democratic traditions, to give a flexible and coordinated response to the ever evolving threats and to protect our security and our common background.
Mrs Wagrowska and the two professors agreed with Mr Balasy pointing out that the cooperation that has been talked so much in the conference should be undertaken on terms of equality and sincerity otherwise we will not be able to talk for cooperation but for patronization.
Mrs Wagrowska and Mr Vukadinovic said that the societies of their origin are not so mature to accept the European perspective as an equal to NATO's but they hope that in the near future this preoccupation shall be weakened.
The round table that followed was "NGO's and their role in Public Diplomacy; enhanced security and Cooperation in the Balkans and the Middle East. Are there further perspectives on these common issues?" chaired by Dr Aliki Mitsakos, Chairperson, Education & Science Committee, GAAEC, followed by Dr. Pantelis Sklias, Ass. Professor and President of the Greek Committee of NGOs for Development, Mrs. Avgustina Tzetkova, Vice Chairman of ATA, Secretary General of Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and Mrs. Elia Chatziyanni, Political Analyst and Lobbying specialist.
Dr Aliki Mitsakos begun by analyzing the role of citizens' - civil society and therefore the NGOs in the new international environment. The development of the NGO sector is an important part of the development of civil society and the prevention and management of political and social tensions. NGOs are as plural and diverse as society with different visions, methods and scales of operation. They are active in attempts to improve human security and social, economic and environmental affairs, and their numbers have mushroomed in recent years. NGOs flourish because the traditional policies are not as efficient nowadays and the active involvement of citizens supplements the grassroots needs in the field, ranging from political development to economic sustainability. "The effect of public opinion in all International Organizations is probably the single and only so powerful and so inconspicuous effect that is so often misunderstood". The actions of NGOs reflect flexibility, relations of confidence, solidarity, independence, and maintenance of the system applying Democracy in Practice or Collaborative Government sustaining the values and objectives, providing "Care" and controlling or collaborating with the other two sectors of society i.e the administrative and the economic sectors.
Mr Sklias referred to the national platforms, a system which was designed in UK first and then adopted by the rest of the European states. According to that, all the NGOs are divided into groups regarding their goals, their statutes and their structure of course. He then observed that active NGOs in the fields of Development are getting multiplied, especially in Greece, a country that has not supported its NGOs enough. To justify this position he presented many financial charts and tables that prove that the funds given to NGOs for such kind of tasks are dramatically increasing, a fact that depicts the continuously increasing responsibility of NGOs as well.
Continuing, Mrs Tzvetkova talked about the situation of NGOs in Bulgaria, and she pointed out that they have an important job since the number of NGO is small but very active.
Finally, Mrs Chatziyanni talked about the meaning and the reasons of lobbying. She defined lobbying as the process of trying to intervene into the legislative process or to have an impact on specific people. Even though there is a misconception that it is immoral, it is but a duty for every well-respected NGO. She also said that the US is the most lobbying tolerant country as it is applied by various national groups. Then she analyzed the steps that a lobbying process should follow and she finished by mentioning Greece' moves ahead but also the improvemnts that should be done on this field.
THE WORKING DINNER WITH BUSSINESSMEN
A working dinner was incorporated in the works of the Symposium. The participants invited were various personalities from the industrial and commercial business world, focusing on the defence industries. During this working dinner a panel with the title: "Euro - Atlantic Defense Modernization: An opportunity for Industrial Development & Cooperation" chaired by Mr Evangelos Tsirkas, Lt General, President of the Defense Analysis Institute, presented the views on industrial development and cooperation of Mr Anastassios Tenekoudis, Director General of Hellenic Defense Industries and Research, Mr Spyros Moulias, President of SEKPY (Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material Association), Mr Dennys Plessas, Regional Vice-President Europe, Middle East, India & Africa, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics/International Company, Mr. Christian Hadjiminas, Chairman of Epicos S.A. and Mr. Stefanos Costopoulos, President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. The opening remarks were presented by Mr Theodossis Georgiou, President of GAAEC.
Mr. Evangelos Tsirkas started by saying that in our days, the global security system presents a visible liquidity, which has been reinforced by the instability in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South-central Asia and the Middle East, and has a peak in the wars of the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq. He continued by saying that by this kind of instability the national interests cannot be really safeguarded. There should be a strong and thriving defense industry. That is the reason, the defence industry sector was and still is an essential factor for the safeguarding of national interests. The existence of a defence industry is modern, effective and competitive. Moreover, it constitutes a very important element of national defence, since first, a dynamic and competitive defence industry represents a significant contribution to the technological and industrial development of a country and secondly, the products of defence industries are not only useful for the armed forces of the country itself, but also for exports, serving political as well as commercial purposes. He concluded by referring to the European dimension, and he seemed to be very optimistic for the future.
Next speaker was Mr Tenekoudis. He referred to the importance of fighting terrorism and he recognized it as of the highest priority. Into this context a program concerning an armament project was endorsed. This program would give NATO more surveillance capabilities and intelligence services as well as a better capability in crisis management. He also referred to the Prague Summit where members of NATO adopted a package of measures that will strengthen NATOs preparedness and ability to take on the full spectrum of security challenges, including terrorism. He then pointed out the significant role of Euro-Atlantic Defense Industry on this field, as it provides technical support and it also produces new defense systems that enhance the global security. He concluded by saying that the contradictions between the EU and the US may be overcome and the European Defence Agency is bound to move towards that direction.
Mr Moulias stated the goals of SEKPY, which are; Promotion and protection of the legal interests of its Members which include all the Greek Defense Companies state and private, summing up to more than 150 members, Development of the Greek Defense Industry, Promotion of exports for reducing the enormous negative balances that Greece faces in the defense materials sector, Facilitation of cooperation, and facilitation of foreign companies' search for Greek subcontractors. Then he referred to the progress of the Greek defense industry in the fields of indigenous constructions of defensive material, since Greece is now capable in producing from ammunition and explosives to arms and arming systems, ships for the Hellenic Navy, military and armored vehicles, electronic telecommunications and electro optical materials, as well as other products, such as inflatable ships, etc. During his speech Mr Moulias mentioned to how an agreement concerning the production of defence material should be materialized.
Mr. Plessas and Mr. Hadjiminas reffered to the utmost importance for both Lockheed Martin and Epicos respectively, to maintain high standards concerning their defensive material since they are two companies that pave the way in their fields. Especially in Lockheed's presentation the success of the company was shown by the popularity of its products. Epicos is following the continuously evolving technology and not only fulfils that goal but also establishes strategic cooperation with other companies with global influence. Both companies are beneficial for the world's defensive capability and Greece itself.
The final speaker Mr. Costopoulos rejected the idea of an autonomous Europe on the sector of defensive industry since there are no "national" companies anymore having lost their national identities. On the other hand, he mentioned, "we can see lots of transatlantic commercial merges and this is how the world of defensive industry must act in the future". He also stressed that the military means are not enough to preserve the peace and he supported the new role of NATO. Finally he mentioned the increasing funds on research programs and he wished that the Hellenic-American relations are strengthened in the fields of defensive industry and of «know how" transfer to the Greeks.
The symposium continued the next day, December 14th, and the first round table of the day continued on the topic "NGOs and their role in Public diplomacy; enhanced security and cooperation in the Balkans and the Middle East. The Youth Vision" chaired by Mrs. Avgustina Tzvetkova, Vice Chairman of ATA and Secretary General of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria. The speakers were Dr. Christos Frangonikolopoulos, Lecturer, Aristoteleion University, Mr. Grigorios Vallianatos, Member, Center for Strategic Development "Dimitra" and Dr. Zehra Vildan Serin, Professor, Fatih University of Turkey.
Mr. Frangonikolopoulos talked about the perspective of NGOs in Thessaloniki where students are very active on issues dealing with the existence of NGOs and their plans. He also supported that students should be motivated on that direction as the national platforms of NGOs can create a tremendously efficient network of cooperation and database environment, from which everybody could benefit.
Mr. Vallianatos informed us about NGOs. He said that NGOs could be divided into 2 groups based on the tasks that they plan to carry out: the local and the international. Then, he pointed out that 27% of the global wealth is distributed by NGOs whereas the percentage of aid for development (which is addressed to the developing world mainly) is 10% worldwide! He said that is really important for the NGOs to be considered as a new player in the international system. He concluded by stressing out that NGOs help in establishing world peace and stability in a multicultural environment.
Mrs. Serin started by saying that there are prejudices and problems between the Turkish and Greek nations on the Cyprus issue, the continental shelf claims, the population exchange and the minority rights. These political issues resulted in misunderstandings and lack of communication between the two neighbouring countries. It is of pivotal importance to activate NGOs of both nations to act with a vision to eliminate those prejudices and create an environment of mutual understanding and peace. She added that NGOs will affect all the citizens and both governments. She supported the slogan "think globally, act locally", considering it sufficient to resolve the conflicts in Balkans. Then she mentioned that many European programs for young people may increase young people's awareness on common interest issues and as a result the successor generation will become more and more tolerant and cooperative.
The last round table's topic was "Developing NATO's and the European Union's Future Roles in South Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean: The views and perspectives of the Actors." and presented the views of Mr. Luan Hadgaraga, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Mr. Neven Madey, Ambassador of Croatia to Greece, Mr. Blagoj Handziski, Ambassador of the Liaison Office of FYROM to Greece, Dr. Dusan Batakovic, Ambassador of Serbia and Montenegro to Greece, Mr. Alper Coscun, Head of NATO department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Ram Aviram, Ambassador of Israel to Greece and Dr. Magda Shahin, Ambassador of Egypt to Greece. The chairman of that panel was Professor and General Director of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Mr. Theodoros Couloumbis.
The majority of the Ambassadors stressed out the utmost importance for their countries to enter NATO and the E.U, and they mentioned the new role of NATO in the new environment, which emerged after the 9/11. Concurrently they referred to the problem of terrorism (especially the Ambassadors of Israel and Egypt to Greece) and they agreed on the need for stronger cooperation and the process of building an environment of prosperity. Mr. Aviram also stressed that soft law practices are useful only where the use of power is on backup while Mr. Batakovic did not approve NATO practices in peacekeeping and peace building skills.
Specifically, the Ambassador of Croatia to Greece praised the progress the Balkans have made to date on stability and growth but also acknowledged that some problems still persist, such as nationalism, racism and open bilateral issues. However, Ambassador Madey pointed out that this does not mean that Balkan countries should not become members of Euro-Atlantic structures. "Croatia is on the threshold of NATO and the EU. Our example is very positive for other countries. We are fulfilling the Copenhagen and Partnership for Peace (PfP) criteria," he said.
The Ambassador and Liaison Officer of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) continued that "FYROM's strategic goal is NATO and EU accession while the EU has a share of the responsibility regarding what happened in Yugoslavia, due to a lack of policy". He referred to how Euro-Atlantic cooperation should focus on formulating a common strategy in the region; fighting crime, corruption, terrorism, trafficking; strengthening regional cooperation; and supporting economic growth in the region. According to Mr. Handziski, if Albania, Croatia and FYROM join NATO, then a step towards further stability in the region will have been taken.
The Ambassador of Serbia-Montenegro to Greece noted that Serbia has made achievements in the past four years even though the Hague was one of the greatest obstacles; since its actions helped radicals and extreme nationalists in the country, while the government could not do something. Furthermore, he referred to Kosovo. "Kosovo is a very difficult problem. Decision 1244 mentioned a multicultural and democratic society, but until today 250,000 Serbs have been deported, 170 churches have been set on fire, and there is no freedom of movement even for Serb MPs, calling Kosovo a "time bomb. For five years there have been unacceptable tactics and no one cares. It's difficult to understand how of 45,000 Serbs in Pristina there are now only 200 being protected by KFOR" he said. And specifically speaking for Montenegro, Ambassador Batakovic said that a referendum is scheduled for 2006. According to a US survey, 41%-43% of those questioned want independence. He concluded that Serbia wants a referendum quickly.
Alper Coskun, that continued, outlined the advantages that Turkey can offer to NATO and the EU, by contributing to stability, security and defense. Coskun pointed out that Turkey is active in EU operations in Southeast Europe and EUROFOR.
The Ambassador of Israel to Greece said that any 'moderate' policy is effective only if the exercise of 'harsh' policy is certain. He mentioned that in 2005 a change would be seen in the Palestinian issue. According to Ambassador Aviram, the greatest dangers are terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. "We must not fail regarding Iran's nuclear program," he said, while "when Europe expressed concern, Iran felt pressured", adding that only a joint, trans-Atlantic position can be effective.
The Ambassador of Egypt to Greece, finally, called on Europe to increase its political weight, as it could be a balancing force vis-ΰ-vis the US, and an active player in the Middle East peace process. According to the Ambassador, the cause of international terrorism is not just poverty but military occupation as well. Egypt trusts the EU and talks with the EU, but cooperates less with NATO. "To conclude, Egypt believes that for a successful dialogue to take place the NATO members should recognize that the real danger emanates from the fact that we cannot reach a just and durable solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is on one hand. On the other hand, the NATO is suffering from a confidence problem among the peoples of the South. Such mistrust and augmenting suspicion in the region towards the NATO are real and one should deal with them as such, if we are sincere about making progress in the ongoing dialogue and cooperation. In this context, the NATO may show signs of good intention if it can convince its membership to enter into serious negotiations regarding the problem of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and help make the ME region free of these weapons, without any exceptions. This is vital if we are serious in maintaining security in the region. It is also incumbent upon us to thrive to apply the principle of transparency and refrain from adopting policies of double standards in this regard."
At the end of the Symposium there was a special session during which Mr. Vassilios Maghinas, MP, President of the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament and Mr. Andreas Lykourentzos, MP, Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Founding Member of GAAEC made some last remarks.
Mr. Maghinas talked about Greek and Turkish national strategies taking into consideration that is hard to predict the future, since there are lots of political tendencies currently and no one knows which one is going to prevail. He supported the enlargement of the EU to the East, but he also reminded that Turkey has to comply with Acquit Communautaire since it desires to become an equal European member. Generally, what is likely to happen until the conclusion of the "power game" in Turkey, is to affront new Turkish challenges, as that kind of practice offers stability and cohesion to the current Turkish political system which is ruled by the military officers.
Mr. Lykourentzos agreed with Mr. Maghinas and added that the Greek side should be ready and aware to face challenges of the kind in the future. Consequently its military power should be fortified and Greece must invest in military research too.
Finally, Professor Athanassios Dokos, Director of Studies of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, summed-up the highlights of the symposium and Mr. Theodossis Georgiou made the closing remarks.
1. Katerina Loutzakis, graduate student Business Administration, Athens University of Economics & Business
2. Apostolis Mandralis, student International Relations, Panteion University
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Aliki Mitsakos - Georgiou M.D., Chairperson of Education & Science Committee, G.A.A.E.C.
Day 1st, Friday, December 12th, 2003
The 13th Zappeion Conference of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation (GAAEC) commenced with the opening speech from the President of the Association, Mr. Theodossis Georgiou.
Mr. Georgiou reiterated "that 2003 is a very important year for the EU, on the European as well as the Euro-Atlantic front, and that the Symposium will be devoted on these two dimensions.
He continued by reminding that, "In Prague, a year ago, leaders of the Atlantic Alliance invited 7 European nations to become members of NATO. On that same spirit, the enlargement of the EU was decided at the Summit in Copenhagen and was implemented during the Greek Presidency, here in Athens, last April. It is important to keep in mind though that there still are countries that remain outside of the enlargement process and must be integrated too."
He added that, "Regarding NATO, three neighboring countries are intensely preparing for starting their integration process. The Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, in cooperation with the Atlantic Associations of Sofia and Bucharest, is ready and willing to extend any assistance necessary to our colleagues in Tirana, Zagreb and Scopje.
Furthermore, without wanting to underestimate the dangers International Terrorism poses, the insecurity that is reflected in the current era can only be confronted through collective effort and with the abilities that experienced organizations, like NATO, provide."
He mentioned that, "Concerning the security of the Olympic Games, in Athens, NATO will contribute AWACS, the dissemination of information and forces that will be on stand by in neighboring countries. We, at GAAEC, are confident that everything will go as planned and that the government will do its best to overcome NATO stereotypes of the past and appropriately inform public opinion."
He continued by emphasizing that, "At the Summit of the Ministers of Defense, last October, in Colorado the organizers distributed a t-shirt that said on it 'this NATO ain't your daddies NATO' which is true. Although NATO and the EU have started cooperating with each other, it is important to be realistic. We as NGOs must inform public opinion that NATO and the EU have to work together and that the creation of a European Defense won't undermine NATO's role. However, it is important for our friends on the other side of the Atlantic to become less suspicious. The new millennium requires greater Euro-Atlantic cooperation if we are to face common security threats."
In conclusion, The President presented the new and improved role of NGOs, especially those of Atlantic Associations that can assist in solidifying an atmosphere of trust among nations. In addition, the new dimensions of security in our times make the search for new ways of communication between people, that much more important.
His Excellency, the President of Albania, Mr. Alfred Moisiu, and former President of the Atlantic Association of Albania was not able to be at the Symposium. He sent a message though, stressing the important role that Atlantic Associations play in spreading the values that the Euro-Atlantic community shares and also creating an environment of trust among nations.
Honorary Ambassador Mr. Dimitrios Nezeritis, Acting General Director of the Minister of Defense Staff Directorate (EPIETHA) and a Representative of the Minister of Defense Mr. Giannos Papantoniou, conveyed his greetings and regret that the Minister could not be present due to prior engagements. Mr. Nezeritis spoke about current dangers to security (i.e. terrorism) and that they require a concerted effort.
He stressed, that Common European Defense Policy is a common goal and that all must work together to achieve. Greece, during her 12-month tenure at the EU Presidency, tried to promote European Defense and cooperation with NATO. For example, the results of that effort were the change of command in FYROM and operation "Artemida" in the Congo.
Mr. Nezeritis remarked that all these attempts are necessary but that there implementation is inhibited. For instance, at a recent conference in Berlin he mentioned that there were many worrying positions concerning European Defense and subscription to the EU.
Although, there is an evident lack of political will, he remained positive that the current that supports the evolution of a European Defense through the cooperation of the EU and NATO will prevail.
He emphasized that although there is suspicion in the Euro-Atlantic Alliance, regarding European Defense, its promotion can be beneficial to both.
Then followed MP and Responsible for the Defense Sector of New Democracy (Opposition Party) Mr. Spilios Spiliotopoulos. He mentioned that there is concern over the difference of opinion in Europe, regarding the European Security and Defense Policy, relations between the EU and the US and the weakened role of the UN. In this respect, it is essential to reprioritize EU-US relations and support the creation of an environment based on respect and renewed trust.
He continued, adding that an independent Europe in the field of defense, working in a complementary role with NATO is important. Mr. Spiliotopoulos explained that Europe can play an important role as a soft power, regarding the promotion of the rule of law and supporting nation building through financial assistance. The recent agreement between France, England and Germany can work as a springboard towards the future of European Defense.
He concluded by emphasizing the common values the US and the EU share and that the must work in concert not in competition, taking into account the role of the UN.
The newly elected Secretary General of the ATA and Advisor to the Danish Ministry of Defense Mr. Troels Froling, mentioned the new agendas and challenges that the ATA is dealing with. Together with the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) it is on a mission to create a public opinion profile and explain the new role of NATO. It is important for the ATA to make NATO visible and viable to the public.
That can be achieved by engaging the public, in the form of NGO's, think tanks and visits to NATO. Through seminars and conferences a kind of networking can be created that can help very much in explaining the new role of NATO.
Mr. Stefan Sofianski, Mayor of Sofia and former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, remarked on the progress the Balkans are making towards European integration. He mentioned that development of democratic institutions and economic cooperation is the key to peace and stability in Southeastern Europe (SEE).
Finally, he stressed contacts at the local level, are very important for regional and trans-border cooperation. In that framework, it is very important for Southeastern European nations to continue their integration processes in NATO and the EU.
The next speaker was Ms. Marietta Gianakou, MP and Representative of the Greek Parliament at the Convention on the Future of Europe, who reiterated that without a European Defense structure the vision of a common European Foreign Policy cannot be achieved. For that goal to be implemented there needs to be a harmonized defense market between the EU and the US thus increasing Euro-Atlantic cooperation.
In that framework Ms. Giannakou presented four possible scenarios that could either further improve or harm EU-US relations:
- A unilateral approach by the US, based on its military might, and a parallel adoption of a European Constitution and defense structure by the EU will create two opposing poles, resulting in loosening of relations.
- A unilateral approach by the US again, but this time without any European implementation will result in an undefined relationship.
- A unilateral approach by the US and the implementation of a more active role by the EU can only lead to competition.
- The complementary role of the EU in relation to NATO seems like the most beneficial to all.
Keeping in mind the above scenarios the Euro-Atlantic Community should move towards a role the will create all the conditions necessary for international security, stability and the prevention of threats.
The next speaker was supposed to be the Albanian Vice-Minister of Defense Mr. Pavli Zeri, but due to his absence his speech circulated.
He pointed out that Albania is working hard, through the PfP program, to upgrade her Armed Forces so in the future she can participate more actively in the fight against new threats. She is also trying hard to constantly upgrade her operational capabilities in order to achieve the best possible cooperation with NATO. Albanian forces have proved their dedication by participating in SFOR and KFOR as well as in the operation "Iraqi Freedom."
Mr. Zeri added that the creation of a Defense University as well as the constant improvement of taught English courses are being continued, in order to meet NATO's requirement for military and operational capabilities. He also stressed Albania's active role in SEE, with her participation in the "US-Adriatic Charter" and the South East Defense Ministerial (SEDM).
In closing he remarked on Albania's commitment to fight corruption, organized crime, illegal trafficking, terrorism and promote a free market economy.
1st Ambassadors Forum: "Stability and Cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic area."
Chair & Introduction by Ambassador and Director of the Center of Analysis & Planning for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Alexandros Philon.
Who in a brief introduction outlined areas of conflict where NATO is involved (i.e. Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq). He then mentioned NATO's future strategic goals; which are to include as many nations as possible in its Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) programs as it expands its "out of area" missions.
The Ambassador of Italy to Greece, Mr. Gian Paolo Cavarai, spoke first on the new situation that the Alliance is confronted with and the new responsibilities the EU has to assume. He expressed himself positively regarding the relations between the EU and the Alliance in 2003, mentioning the "Berlin Plus" agreement. With the implementation of that agreement (i.e. transfer of power in FYROM from NATO to the EU and in Bosnia in 2004) there can be further political consultations and security improvements in the Balkans, Afghanistan and the Mediterranean.
The EU, taking into account her new responsibilities, can play a more decisive role in confronting new threats (i.e. terrorism, WMD), so the New NATO can expand in out of area missions (i.e. Afghanistan).
The Ambassador of France to Greece, Mr. Bruno Delaye, spoke about the threats to stability in the EuroAtlantic area. From nationalism and religious fundamentalism to social and economic inequalities, which led to the explosion of terrorism, nationalistic conflict and illegal migration.
In front of these threats, a robust Europe is imperative. Today, 25 countries and 450 million people are working tirelessly in the largest program of integration that was ever attempted, with peaceful means.
The second most important element, concerning security in the EuroAtlantic area, is a relationship with the US, that is based on trust, equality and respect, with an appropriate allocation of responsibilities between the EU and the US. The Eurodefense plan is part and parcel of that same plan. A Europe with greater financial, political and military clout will become a more reliable partner. It is obvious that crisis management and the fight against terrorism now, require a more collective effort. A confrontation between NATO and the EU has no meaning. In the NATO military structure different EU tools can be added, including military capabilities can be used where NATO and the US do not wish to engage.
On the other hand, our neighbors stability, guarantees our stability. Development, the elimination of poverty and education are the answer to desperation, which feeds fanaticism. This peaceful approach must be shared with our neighbors, Russia and the Ukraine, as well as countries of the Southern Mediterranean. The enhancement of these partnerships with NATO will upgrade stability around Europe whilst the expansion of these partnerships into unknown frontiers will lead to the loosening of the Alliance.
We wish a balance in transatlantic relations that will bring a multi-polar international order with its permanent guarantor, the United Nations. The promotion of a global democracy, resisting the temptation of unilateralism, the foundation of harmonized and balanced relations between regional peripheries do not constitute a utopia. This is a political plan based on the challenges of today's world.
The Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Greece, Mr. Jacob Walles, reiterated that the Alliance will endure the current pressures it is experiencing, because it is comprised of nations that share the same values. Those same values are transmitted through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) programs in an effort to approach nations in the Caucasus, Mediterranean and Central Asia and exchange ideas.
Mr. Walles developed the following four subjects that the Alliance must deal with:
- New Challenges (i.e. ISAF operating outside of Kabul, possibility of greater NATO role in Iraq).
- New Directions (i.e. PfP nations that participate in NATO led operations, like Iraq or Afghanistan and the Balkans).
- European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) has already taken its first steps with the transfer of power in FYROM.
- Evolution of NATO and its ability to face current difficulties (i.e. air to air refueling, strategic airlift, military transformation).
Mr. Walles also noted, that NATO has never committed troops so far away. He then emphasized, that that common vision will be reaffirmed by all 26 members of the Alliance in Istanbul, in June 2004. Furthermore, through a common approach to the above matters the US is looking forward to working together with Europe.
In the discussion the following subjects were put to the floor: A) Role of the UN in Iraq. B) Convergence of views on defense, concerning the war against terrorism. C) Euro-Atlantic cooperation in the defense market. D) Evolution of NATO. E) ESDP program and how it affects European integration of countries, such as Albania. F) American skepticism regarding European hesitation and indecisiveness.
Mr. Walles explained that the main actor in collective security is NATO. It is important at this point, for NATO and the EU to workout the final details on how to operationalize the "Berlin Plus" agreement. As far as a UN role in Iraq is concerned, the security situation does not allow it at this point. It could, in the future, play a humanitarian role though. Regarding the convergence of views in fighting terrorism, Mr. Walles explained that the fundamental basis for cooperation is there. As far as the defense market is concerned, the EU and the US have been cooperating for the last 30 years, Mr. Cavarai pointed out. Mr. Cavarai also mentioned, that Italy is in favor of Albania's European integration and stressed that the criteria is purely economic.
2nd Ambassadors Forum: "NATO and the Mediterranean countries."
Chair & Introduction: French MP and Former President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Loic Bouvard.
In a brief introduction he outlined the three main subjects this round table discussion would proceed on. A) The importance of the Mediterranean to NATO and the upgrade of political cooperation with the MD. B) Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. C) The post-conflict era in Iraq.
The Ambassador of Jordan to Greece, Mr. Atef Halasa, started this round table by pledging the commitment of his country to cooperate in combating terrorism. He stressed that Jordan is modernizing its armed forces to be able to cooperate with NATO forces in the future. Jordan through its modernization program and participation in NATO led operations (i.e. Bosnia and Kosovo) wants to provide and work to strengthen peace and security in the Mediterranean region.
Mr. Halasa added that public support for Jordanian initiatives, such as the above, is high and he reminded that identifying terrorism with Islam is a mistake, because peace can be assured with the contribution of religion as well. That is proof that fanaticism cannot be eradicated with military means only. The Ambassador emphasized that an important precondition, to quell extremism, is to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
The Ambassador of Israel to Greece, Mr. Ram Aviram, supported his Jordanian colleague emphasizing that NATO must move to ensure stability on its Southern flank. He then called upon nations to join Israel and assist in fighting this evil (i.e. terrorism). Israel has already developed good relations with member countries of the PfP program. It wants to continue that, by supporting the MD program, and is looking forward to cooperating with Mediterranean countries. Mr. Aviram noted that cooperation between NATO and MD countries can become a useful tool for preventive diplomacy and can set the foundations for future cooperation (i.e. military exercises, search and rescue operations, maritime security and safety, medical evacuation, humanitarian relief).
In conclusion, he reiterated that terrorism is the new challenge of the 21st century and that we must all work together to combat it, for it knows no borders and strikes without warning.
In the discussion that ensued the following subjects were developed: A) The "Geneva Accord." B) Increase in terrorist activities after there is an agreement (i.e. Oslo Accord). C) The impact the war in Iraq will have on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. D) Arafat's role.
Although both, Mr. Halasa and Mr. Aviram acknowledged the "Geneva Convention," which proves that people are tired of the bloodshed, they stayed committed to the existing "Road-map." Regarding the increase in terrorist activity, after an agreement, it is essential to distinguish between terrorism and resisting occupation (which the Palestinians are doing), Mr. Halasa cautioned. On the other hand, Mr. Aviram stated that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are on the EU terror list, and that whoever aims at innocent civilians, intentionally, is a terrorist.
Concerning the war in Iraq, Mr. Halasa said that if one situation improves it will have a positive effect on the other. For example, if there is a positive outcome in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that depicts a genuine US role, then things will affect Iraq in a positive way and vice-versa. Mr. Aviram mentioned that, regardless of the connection, a threat to Israel has now been removed. Finally, Mr. Aviram pointed out that although Mr. Arafat did recognize Israel in 1993 and went through with the "Oslo Accord", since then he has been nothing but an obstacle, failing to curb terrorism.
"Asymmetrical Threats/Combating Terrorism. The role of NATO and/or the EU."
Chair & Introduction: Former President of ATA and President of the Atlantic Committee of Portugal, Mr. Bernardino Gomes.
In a short introduction he mentioned the need to define terrorism, for it is a subject of great discussion in the UN, because it is important to have a clear idea, when speaking about it. Then he moved on to the evolution of terrorism, from internal to global and the need to deal with it.
Political Analyst, Ms. Mary Bossis, emphasized the profile of the "New Terrorism," which is based on nationalism, violence and spectacular attacks (i.e. 9/11). She noted, that one of the most important reasons for this "New Terrorism" is the situation in the Middle East. She also mentioned, that by branding pariah nations (i.e. Iran, Iraq, Syria) and using the "war on terrorism" as a vehicle to fight it, terrorists cannot be defeated.
Ms. Bossis, then talked about asymmetrical threats and the methods that terrorists use (i.e. WMD, money laundering, drug trafficking). An important observation, was the fact that today's terrorists are better educated and better connected, with the use of new technologies.
To combat this evil, Ms Bossis, suggested the wider use of diplomacy, better cooperation among nations and with the UN, exchange of information, as well as the development of underdeveloped nations. Important developments she noted; are NATO's enlargement and its closer cooperation with Russia. Finally, she emphasized the need for a better preparation and development in the field of new technologies, and measures in crisis prevention must be taken, in order for there to be a record of new asymmetrical threats.
The President of the Atlantic Association of France and former Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Gerard Marcus, talked about the roots of terrorism. He mentioned the nationalistic nature of terrorism (i.e. FLN, IRA) and identified it with the transformation of terrorism. Using as a point of departure the struggle of the Mujahedin, in Afghanistan, who the US and Europe supported and trained; he explained the phenomenon of International terrorism. The "New Terrorism" is a way of expression for the people of Islam. The fanaticism it exports is a way of antagonizing the West and everything that is Western.
Unlike nationalistic terrorism, which was local, International terrorism knows no borders and is based on a balance of terror that is fed by the "war on terrorism."
Then, Assistant Professor at Panteion University and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Relations, Mr. Haralampos Papasotiriou, talked about the dangers and use of asymmetrical strategies in the past. For example, he explained the way in which these threats forced the US and Israel to reevaluate there Foreign Policies, in the Middle East and elsewhere. The result was for the US to withdraw its forces, due to terrorist attacks, from Lebanon in 1983, Somalia in 1993, Saudi Arabia (after 9/11), and Israel from Lebanon in 2000.
Mr. Papasotiriou, then remarked on the unpredictability of the "New Terrorism," which is based on a policy with no reason. Its divine mission is the elimination of any kind of Western influence in the Arab world, coupled with the replacement of all moderate governments in the Middle East. He emphasized, that this situation was created because the Muslim world failed to modernize and now ruled by oligarchic and authoritarian governments, the majority remain without modern education and are illiterate. On the other hand, the West (i.e. US); which is at fault for these conditions as well; has decided to install socio-economic change through military power. The EU, on the other hand, needs to engage the Arab world more, because it has not shown that it is up to the challenge yet.
In closing, he reiterated that terrorism cannot be combated with military means only, but with better police measures. Through investigating terrorist cells and networks and by eliminating their communication and financing terrorism can be better dealt with.
The discussion that followed was focused on one particular subject: Whether the 2004 Olympic Games can be a terrorist target?
Mr. Marcus said that a terrorist attack, during the Olympics, would be a way to hit the West and its values. Then, Ms. Bossis examined the reasons for such a terrorist hit. She explained, that such a spectacular hit would achieve great publicity, a goal of the terrorists. In turn, she mentioned, that the more security is heightened the more insecure people feel. On the other hand, she noted that at such an event many Muslim athletes would be present as well, therefore making such a hit a dilemma.
Concluding, Mr. Papasotiriou reiterated that such a hit would achieve great publicity and that the aim would be to hurt the spirit of the Olympics. He stated though that the International Community cannot risk such a possibility and must be prepared for any eventuality, because this can be a worse tragedy than the attack in Munich.
Then, Assistant Professor at Panteion University, Mr. Alexandros Koutsis, summed up, explaining that the new role of NATO will be substantially curtailed, regarding the "war on terrorism". He noted, that the asymmetrical nature of the "New Terrorism" cannot be confronted with military means. He also pointed out, that terrorists are not a big threat as long as they are not united, but with the US in Iraq, it gives them a reason to unite.
"The Euro-Atlantic Integration of South Eastern Europe."
Chair & Introduction: Secretary General of the Atlantic Treaty Association and Advisor to the Danish Ministry of Defense, Mr. Troels Froling.
In a brief introduction he mentioned the responsibilities and new realities that NATO and EU enlargement has created in SEE. Although there has been a lot of progress in trans-border cooperation, democratization and the economies of the countries in the area; the divisions created after the Bosnia and Kosovo crisis are still very much evident. That is why, in order to preserve the Confidence Building Measures that have been achieved NATO must maintain its presence in the area.
The Liaison Officer of Greece in the Public Diplomacy Division at NATO, Ms. Despina Afendouli, spoke first about NATO's success in the Balkans, the last 10 years. She also mentioned the contribution of the EU, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as that of SFOR and KFOR. In that context, she noted the importance of the strategic partnership between NATO and the EU.
In addition, the integration of countries from SEE (i.e. Bulgaria, Romania) should enhance the stabilization process in the area. Important developments are the rapprochement of Croatia, FYROM and Albania, by NATO, as well as the accession talks with Serbia & Montenegro concerning the PfP program. Thus, the above countries, by making sacrifices and adopting Euro-Atlantic values can assist in securing peace and stability in the region.
Next, the National Coordinator for the Stability Pact of Bulgaria, Mr. Milen Keremidchiev, stated that his country is working hard to promote stability and trust, by organizing meetings between Ministers of Defense in the region. Bulgaria, supports the 2 plus 2 format (Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Greece) as well as the trilateral meetings between Bulgaria, Romania and Greece and Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
Furthermore, Bulgaria is hosting the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, in Plovtiv, for four years and is participating in NATO led peacekeeping missions. It is also participating in the Black Sea 4 Group and is cooperating with other countries of the Black Sea.
In addition, Bulgaria supports the enlargement of NATO and the EU in SEE, in order to strengthen stability. Another priority of Bulgaria, is integration into the EU. In the mean time it is supporting the accession of Serbia & Montenegro as well as Bosnia & Herzegovina into the PfP program.
Then, Brigadier General and Deputy Undersecretary in the Ministry of Defense of Romania, Mr. Tudor Munteanu, talked about the modernization efforts his country's Armed Forces are undergoing. He mentioned, that Romania's integration into NATO is a big challenge and responsibility that it gladly accepts. He also noted, that public support and support from the political parties is strong in Romania.
He continued, by stating that Romania is participating in NATO led peacekeeping operations (i.e. Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq) and is committed to combat terrorism.
Next speaker, Professor, from Fatih University, Ms. Zehra Vildan Serin, talked about Turkey's role as a strong NATO member in the Post Cold War era and the impact of trans-cultural exchanges.
Ms. Serin emphasized Turkey's strategic importance and that despite all the developments in the Middle East (i.e. war in Iraq) Turkey remains a bridge between East and West. Turkey is still very much interested in keeping her contacts (i.e. political, financial, military, historical and secular) with Europe intact.
She noted, that in order for an environment of peace and stability to be cultivated and maintained the exchange of ideas, on a cultural and academic level, are important. She proposed for something like that to happen through the Media and NGOs.
MP, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the Albanian Atlantic Association, Mr. Arian Starova, spoke about the goals Albania has set, in order to become a member of the Euro-Atlantic community. For Albania, integration into NATO is much higher priority than the EU. Albania has proven its commitment by participating in NATO led missions in Bosnia, Georgia, Afghanistan and Iraq. In that framework, Mr. Starova reiterated that the modernization process of the Albanian Armed Forces will be completed by 2010.
Furthermore, Albania; despite its years of democratic deficit and poor economic situation; is doing everything it can to fight corruption, organized crime and illegal trafficking. In that context, it is promoting cooperation with its neighbors (i.e. Serbia & Montenegro, FYROM) and aside from its membership in PfP she is a member in the "US-Adriatic Charter."
In this effort, Albania is receiving a lot of support from its political parties and public opinion.
Then, Ambassador and Liaison Officer of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Greece, Mr. Blagoj Handjiski, took the floor.
He noted, that it was his country's intention to begin its integration process to the EU and NATO since 1992. FYROM, has diplomatic relations with the EU since 1995 and is a member of the PfP program since 1996.
Furthemore, as a member of the "US-Adriatic Charter" it is working hard and in cooperation with other members of the charter to ensure collective security, to fight corruption, organized crime and illegal trafficking. Mr. Handjiski, emphasized that regional partnership is a vehicle with which ideas can be exchanged and cooperation can be promoted. In addition, FYROM is in the last stages of modernizing its Armed Forces and from a receptor of military assistance and security (i.e. Mission Concordia) it now participates in Afghanistan and Iraq.
FYROM will also formally apply, for into the EU, in February 2004. These common goals are supported by 80-90% of the population.
The Ambassador of Serbia & Montenegro to Greece, Mr. Dusan Batakovic, concluded the 1st day of the Symposium and spoke about the rapprochement efforts of his country towards NATO. In that framework, he mentioned the access it is providing to NATO troops and weapons, to reach Kosovo. In addition, it is cooperating with KFOR in the fight against organized crime, illegal trafficking and terrorism in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244. He also stated, that Serbia & Montenegro is cooperating with The Hague Tribunal for the apprehension of fugitives, wanted for war crimes. Furthermore, he reminded that lawsuits still pending, from Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, must be resolved.
Mr. Batakovic, also mentioned that the modernization of his country's Armed Forces and Police has been completed and that troops have been offered to participate in NATO led missions (i.e. Afghanistan).
He cautioned, that at this moment Serbia & Montenegro has observer status at NATO's Parliamentary Assembly and that his country's goal for Euro-Atlantic integration is irreversible. Therefore, it would be in everybody's interest for it to become a member of the PfP program as soon as possible.
Finally, Mr. Batakovic clarified that Serbia & Montenegro will never grant independence to Kosovo, but is prepared to work for its autonomy in accordance with UNSCR 1244.
In the discussion that followed the subjects that were put to the floor were: A) The reappearance of Milosevic and Seceli in the upcoming elections. B) If regional cooperation is meeting expectations and if it is helpful in establishing stability in SEE?
In response to the first question, Mr. Batakovic was clear, that although an odd decision by the parties, it wont affect the outcome of the elections. He also clarified, that although they have been charged and are on trial at The Hague Tribunal, they have not been convicted and thus Serbian law does not forbid them to run in the upcoming elections. It must be noted, that all the speakers expressed themselves positively regarding cooperation in SEE, given the fact that are looking forward to becoming members of the Euro-Atlantic Community. In that respect, trans-border cooperation has been high, from military affairs (i.e. SEEBrigade hosted by Bulgaria) to political consultations (i.e. 2 plus 2 format, trilateral meetings), as well as the democratization of nations in the region. In conclusion, it was mentioned that it is important to always keep in mind the contribution of the civic society in building confidence among people, through our Atlantic Associations.
Day 2nd, Saturday, December 13th 2003
"Security and the citizens' society in the 21st century."
Chair: The Hon. President of the Atlantic Association of France, Mr. Franois Moreau de Balasy.
Mr. Balasy made a brief but very full historical and philosophical dissection of what collective security and solidarity mean. The investigation of this matter, started from conversations in academic philosophical and political circles in the age of the interwar period in countries of Western Europe, including Germany. Unfortunately, the start of WWII postponed these thoughts, but they started to become a reality again, with the creation of International Organizations, which used them as their foundations.
He then proceeded to mend collective security and solidarity, with the acceptance of public opinion, giving emphasis on the role that Atlantic Associations must play. His long implication with these Associations, as well as his experiences, were proof enough that is what the founders of the Atlantic Treaty Association were aiming at. To make the need for collective security and solidarity a simple matter of comprehension.
The first speaker was, President of the Rudolf Steiner College, Vice-President of the European Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA) and a member of the Board of the Atlantic Association of Sweden, Mr. Par Granstedt. He started, by stating that today's threats are very different from the threats the Cold War posed. Then, threats were visible and clearly defined, now the threats that International Terrorism poses today come from a badly defined enemy and less visible.
Furthermore, Mr. Granstedt cautioned that terrorism cannot be defeated with military means only. The role of civic society in security matters has never been more urgent.
He insisted, that although it is important to have military capabilities and policing measures to investigate terrorism, it is also important to examine what causes terrorism. The causes and effects of terrorism can be found, Mr. Granstedt noted, in the foreign policy choices of the West, more specifically that of the US. That is why, it is important to reach out to the 3rd world and developing countries and to communicate and cooperate with them through civic organizations.
"NATO and NGOs. New missions, new roles, new challenges."
Then, Executive President of CASA NATO in Romania, Mr. Alex Serban, talked about the need to educate civil society, concerning NATO'S new role. He clarified, that citizens must be educated through think tanks, the media and academia. Interconnected strategies, involving all social and political entities must be created in order to make people aware of their rights and responsibilities.
In addition, NGO's play a vital role in communicating the Alliance's decisions and can stimulate participation, by involving the youth of the Atlantic Treaty Associations, in order to enhance understanding of the Atlantic Alliance. An important player in this campaign can be the Business community, whose involvement can provide assistance in more ways, than just financial.
"Security Perceptions through age."
The Executive Director of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, Mr. Brad Minnick, spoke first. He started by mentioning the need for young people to be better informed about global threats (i.e. terrorism). He noted, that youths in the US and Europe share the same view about current threats but feel differently about how to respond to them.
US citizens, really felt their personal security being threatened only after 9/11. A world of instant gratification, engulfed by Star Wars and violent computer games, was the reason US youths had become oblivious to the threat terrorism posed. Mr. Minnick added, that regardless of the gap between Europe and the US, both youths had trouble locating areas of conflict on the map.
Therefore, it is important to face reality and admit that young people are not as informed as we would like. In order to remedy this, it is important to promote student exchange visits, trips to NATO and a greater involvement by the ATA with the youth.
The next speaker, Representative of the Atlantic Association of Lithuania, Ms. Kristina Baleisyte, spoke about the opportunities young people have today and how "soft security" affects them. She mentioned that, the youth are responsible for the security of tomorrow. For that to happen though, it is important to promote the education of young people on matters of security.
Furthermore, "soft security" is the basis for a future with quality for young people. That happens through the strengthening of family values, which in turn provides young people with the necessary tools in order to create a secure environment. In that mission, NGO's (i.e. YATA) can be the motivating factor for young people to participate and learn, through seminars, conferences (i.e. Prague Atlantic Student Summit).
"Security Perceptions through gender."
Chair & Introduction: Responsible for educational matters of GAAEC, Ms. Aliki Mitsakos.
Ms. Mitsakou introduced the panel, by saying that: "Responding to current concerns, we decided this year, to include in our program the subjects of age and gender, to see how they relate to matters of security, foreign policy, peace and development. We hope that this initiative, with the participation of young people and women, will assist in promoting very much needed cooperation, concerning crisis prevention and peace-making, in the political agenda."
She continued by mentioning: "That the Women's branch of GAAEC has started cooperating with the International Organization 'Women in International Security' which is in Washington D.C. The President of 'WIIS' Ms. Pamela Aals had nominated (the first woman, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to NATO) Ms. Ginte Damusis to represent the 'WIIS' in the 13th Symposium. Due to prior engagements, though, Ms. Damusis was unable to attend.
The President of the International Federation of Mass Media Workers, Ms. Zoe Lanara, spoke first about women's fragile place in society. She noted, that play a defining role in cementing peace, because they are mothers.
Women are the key to the survival of the family, that is why unfortunately, they are the primary target in violent conflicts. According to statistics 90% of refugees are women.
Ms. Lanara also mentioned that, it is important for the monopoly that men have in politics to be overcome if women are to attain any positions in decision-making bodies. Another startling statistic is the fact that only 14% of Parliamentary seats, globally, are obtained by women.
She concluded, mentioning that the media is to blame as well, for constantly misrepresenting women's role, by creating stereotypes.
Next speaker was, the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Equality, Ms. Efi Bekou. She hailed the progressive legislation in Greece, but reminded that women's role needs to be promoted more in International Organizations, such as the UN, EU and NATO.
She mentioned that the majority of refugees are women and, the sad fact, that the trafficking of women is 3rd on the list, behind arms and drug trafficking. On the other hand, she announced that Greece is doing everything in its power and recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with the UN, to accelerate the procedures, regarding women that have been raped and are seeking asylum, pregnant women.
In concluding, she reiterated that it is important women are promoted to decision-making levels soon, due to their keen interest and sensitivity, concerning the environment, peace and welfare.
The Secretary General of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, Ms. Avgustina Tzvetkova, spoke about the women's role in the Armed Forces. She started by mentioning a very important year for women in the Alliances Armed Forces. In 1976, the NATO Military Committee validated the 1973 NATO Women's Committee.
Ms. Tzvetkova, then proceeded to explain women's status in the Bulgarian Armed Forces. Today, more than 2000 women, serve in the Bulgarian Armed Forces and although the Armed Forces are modernizing, becoming more flexible and downsizing the number of women will continue to rise, she added. She noted, that men still occupy all the command posts and that women are seen only in PR, logistics, medical, administrative and technical positions, but that is bound to change. Important, for that to happen, is to change the way society views women in the military. In Bulgaria, society still considers the military a male oriented job and that women's inclusion, more so, their death in the battlefield, is a sensitive issue.
Ms. Tzvetkova is optimistic, that with the help of NGO's (i.e. promoting the participation of women in peacekeeping operations) women's status in the military will change.
This round table was concluded by the President & Founder of the Biopolitics Organization, Ms. Agni Vlavianou-Arvaniti. She approached the matter of security from the perspective of respect for life and the human ability to create. She noted, that NATO has a unique opportunity to become the bearer of life, to defend life.
For that to happen it is important to abandon philosophies of the past; "that if you do not have an enemy create one." NATO's new role is to protect life and its rich diversity. It must take the initiative and become the uniting bond between people. Then, through education, we must learn from each other's experiences and establish a new security of happiness. In that respect, the woman's role is not only useful but necessary.
"The role of economy concerning security and stability."
The Vice-President of Business and Development Initiatives in Europe, the Middle-East, India and Africa of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Mr. Dennys Plessas, spoke about military transformation and interoperability in the 21st century.
Mr. Plessas started, by mentioning the most important step technology has made today, and that is cost effective cooperation's.
That cooperation has been achieved by merger acquisitions, multinational industrial partnerships and trans-border cooperation. He stated, that an integrated defense market place ensures interoperability and a harmonized procurement process. He pointed out, that today "No country has a monopoly on good ideas or talented people." For example, in the Joint Strike Fighter program 11 countries participated. Through this cooperation and integrative approach better global security can be achieved.
Then followed, the Educational Advisor of the Kokkalis Foundation, Ms. Monica Carlos-Michalopoulou. She spoke about NATO and EU enlargement as well as the spread of technological innovation. She remarked on the free movement of goods and people with the end of the Cold War and how important it is to integrate the countries of the former Soviet block.
Ms. Michalopoulou emphasized today's threats (i.e. International Terrorism, WMD) and the difference, between the US and the EU, in military might and application. She remarked on the toll terrorism is having on transportation and telecommunications, because of the gap between the US and the EU. She noted, that security cooperation, between the US and the EU, should be understood in terms of international stability and democratic governance. Furthermore, by having new and improved relations, the US and the EU will be able to focus on investing in the developing Eastern European countries. Thus, assisting in the development of their infrastructure in the energy sector, transportation, telecommunications and education. In this framework, stability and democratization in Eastern European countries can proceed unfettered.
In conclusion, the enlargement of the EU demands the integration of the markets of the Eastern European countries.
"European Defense, Atlantic Solidarity and the rest of the world."
Chair & Introduction: Ambassador a.h. and former Permanet Representative of Greece to NATO, Mr. Ioannis Bourloyiannis-Tsangaridis.
Who briefly mentioned some important dates regarding Euro-defense and transatlantic cooperation.
November 1998, Tony Blair states that diplomacy has no role if it isn't back by military power.
December 1998, Shirac and Blair sign an agreement regarding Eurodefense.
Helsinki 1999, EU Summit 60000 men strong Rapid Reaction Force plan is announced.
At a later date, Mr. Rumsfeld announces that this move could signal a divorce between the US and the EU. April 2003, "Initiative of the Four" (France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg), with their headquarters in Brussels, is announced. It is stated, though, that this is not an action taken to antagonize NATO, rather to complement it.
September 2003, Shirac, Shroeder and Blair meet and Blair accepts the "Initiative of the Four"; a few days later he enlists the UK's participation in this plan.
November 2003, Meeting, in Rome, of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the decision to abandon separate HQ idea.
December 2003, Decision to abandon "Initiative of the Four" idea.
According to his opinion, the vision of a Eurodefense is abandoned.
Mr. Bourloyiannis noted, that an independent EU able to defend its values and have a more active role in International Relations, is imperative, but at the same time, respecting the responsibilities of fellow NATO members.
Senator, Former Secretary General of the WEU and Representative of the Dutch Parliament at the Convention on the Future of Europe, Mr. Wilhelm Van Eekelen, was the first speaker. He remarked, that the division of Europe is now over, that the vision of a Europe whole and free is becoming a reality with enlargement, but he cautioned on the dangers outside Europe.
Mr. Van Eekelen reminded, that not all the members of the EU are members of NATO and vice versa, and that this dichotomy must be overcome. He mentioned the importance of security and that without it you cannot have development, making the role of NATO that much more important.
The Senator continued, posing some interesting questions. Are our common values (i.e. Human Rights, Kyoto Protocol, International Criminal Court) being maintained or are they eroding? Does the US want to continue its leadership or is it content with going it alone?
However, he clarified that the guarantees are there (i.e. ESDP, NATO peacekeeping operations, "Berlin Plus agreement, and also the ability for an independent EU operation). In addition, based on the Solana paper, concerning common threats (i.e. WMD, terrorism, failed states, organized crime) that the US has accepted; there should be cooperation.
A division of labor is necessary if dangers outside Europe are to be tackled.
The speech of MP and Chairman of the Romanian Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Radu Podgoreanu, was read. It started, by mentioning Romania's commitment to fighting common threats to the Euro-Atlantic Community, such as terrorism, WMD and organized crime, through common strategies (i.e. information sharing). Romania is also committed to promoting the values of the Euro-Atlantic Community (i.e. rule of law, democracy and tolerance), forging cooperation at the regional level.
It was noted, that Romania is participating in Afghanistan and the reconstruction of Iraq and is looking forward to bringing a solid contribution to both NATO and the EU.
The Scientific Director at the Defense Analysis Institute, Mr. Dimitrios Chryssochoou, talked about the developments concerning European Defense. He remarked that, it is important for Europe to develop a more competitive defense market, a common vision for the future, strengthen cooperation and develop a sound definition of how it intends to enforce peace. On the other hand, goals that have been set must be maintained and pursued, such as a political will and a common defense.
The President of the Rudolf Steiner College, Vice-President of the European Parliamentarians for Africa and a member of the Board of the Atlantic Association of Sweden, Mr. Par Granstedt, reminded everyone that the end of the Cold War was not the end of history. He spoke about the importance of public opinion and the need to include and inform it about current threats and the prevention of crisis (i.e. violent conflict, poverty, development, terrorism). He noted, that the creation of functioning democracies is the vehicle for stability, peaceful conflict management and development.
Concluding, Mr. Granstedt repeated, what previous speakers had, that in order to maintain stability in Africa traditional ways of conflict prevention must be adopted (i.e. diplomacy, rule of law, development, financial support).
This round table, was concluded by the Special Advisor to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Andreas Kintis. He remarked that, US-EU relations in the future, will be determined on whether their foreign policy ambitions will be competitive or not. Mr. Kintis added though, that common goals do not always translate into identical defense budgets.
He noted, that the CFSP and ESDP programs were developed to give the EU independence and make it a coherent international actor and that is something the US has to understand. Moreover, although the US spends more on defense and military operations than the EU, the EU spends three times as much as the US on diplomatic initiatives. Therefore, it is important for the EU to develop a more multidimensional strategy but for the US to recognize and also act in concert with the EU. As Mr. Kindis put it, "Shared interests, require common actions."
In the discussion and comments that ensued, the following subjects were addressed: A) A common approach concerning conflict management, especially the phenomenon of terrorism. B) Cooperation and common strategies between NATO, the EU and Arab nations. C) Europeans aim for a multidimensional world where institutions function. On the other hand, Americans estrangement with those institutions (i.e. UN), which they help built. D) The possibility of another pole forming, in the international system.
Mr. Kintis tackled question D, stating, that maybe China or the EU and Russia could form poles. What is important is that NATO and the EU work in concert. It is time the US and the EU to start focusing on their similarities and not on their differences.
As far as a common approach to combat terrorism is concerned, the view that the EU is better placed to deal with terrorism was expressed, because it uses traditional means of conflict management (i.e. diplomacy, financial aid). In respect to the US's estrangement with the institutions it help built and what it should do; it would be in the US's best interest to engage the mainstream of International Relations again and start abiding by International Law. On the other hand, Europeans need to be prepared to be responsible. The US and the EU need to find common ground, in order to work together.
The synopsis of the Symposium was given by the Director of Studies of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Mr. Athanasios Dokos. He remarked, on the relationship of the US and the EU as well as current problems our societies face (i.e. migration, AIDS, environment, overpopulation).
After making a brief comment on the conflicts that are ongoing (i.e. Balkans, Iraq, Middle-East, Kashmir) he noted Europe's problems as well. Europe is getting older and young people are not entering the labor force fast enough, due to unemployment and the fact that people die older. In any case, the approach to this problem has been schizophrenic at best. On the one hand, there is an evident need for immigrants to stimulate the economy, but on the other hand they are put on a strangle hold by strict immigration laws. Then, Mr. Dokos, turned to the problems that are caused by terrorism and organized crime, suggesting a calmer approach.
He concluded, by calling for a necessary definition of the US and EU role. The US, is a military power, who defines things as more black and white and the EU, a diplomatic soft power, who defines things as more gray. In that context, the relationship needs to be redefined and a return to a more multilateral world, with the contribution of the UN, needs to come into place.
The Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation (GAAEC) organized its 11th Annual International Symposium at the Zappeion Conference Hall on November 30 and December 1, 2001.
Several dignitaries participated at the Symposium including Ambassadors, MPs, Former Ministers, Army Officers and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Defence. In addition, young students from the Balkans, Eastern, Central and Western Europe, the Caucasus and the Middle East also attended the Symposium as participants at the 2nd Academic Seminar, which was organized by GAAEC parallel to the Symposium.
Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, President of GAAEC and former President of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), and Mr. Alan Lee Williams, President of ATA, made the opening remarks. Mr. Georgiou in particular, after welcoming the participants at the Symposium, referred to the very important role NGOs are playing in the current international setting in promoting stability and cooperation. Mr. Williams referred to the common efforts carried out by Mr. Georgiou and Amb. Bayulken (President of the Turkish Atlantic Association) to bring about a closer relationship between Greece and Turkey. He mentioned that this is an example of how a non-governmental organization can be helpful for their governments and sometimes being three moves ahead of official thinking. With regard to NATO, he mentioned that "...today is the most challenging situation for the Atlantic Alliance, which has undergone fundamental changes. NATO is both, a collective defence organisation, as well as the collective security organisation. They are not the same thing, but they are not incompatible. Peacekeeping and peace enforcing, on behalf of the UN is now an indispensable role for NATO. Including a counter international terrorist strategy as we have witnessed with evoking of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty...."
He then went on to point out that security as a concept has become even more complex and in an anarchic and decentralized environment, it can never be absolute and subjective, but it appears relative, with global dimensions, and suggeted that constructive diplomacy should be the policy, however difficult this may be, and NATO has a central role to play in this environment as an enforcer of security.
The opening address was delivered by H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr. George Papandreou and H.E. the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and Honorary President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, Mr. Solomon Passy, who was the guest of honor of the Greek Association.
Mr. Papandreou began his speech by pointing out that NGOs have "an important role in developing democratic sensitivities, participatory institutions, the ability to bring up a new leadership around the Balkans, a new leadership which is today giving a new hope to the wider region". With regard to the role of NGOs in the Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Papandreou added that: "...Certainly, in the recent Greek-Turkish rapprochement, Non-Governmental Organizations have been playing and still are playing a very important role and will continue to do so. The people's diplomacy, as we call it, has been crucial in creating a very different climate and I could say in developing a sense that there is a mandate from below for our governments, for the governments of the two countries, to continue on the path of cooperation and our attempt to solve very difficult problems..."
He then went on to stress the importance for common security of the Balkan countries in a wider Euro-Atlantic context through the enlargement of NATO, especially towards Bulgaria and Romania. NATO enlargement to include the Balkans, he said, would be the key to stabilizing the region in general and continuing its ambitious progress to join European Institutions. "We talk about common security in NATO today but without the Balkan states we cannot also argue of a common security for Europe".
He also explained that the kind of problems and threats presented today, such as terrorism, are very different compared to those of the past, creating new challenges that call for revising relations between countries and overcoming past rivalries. The enlargement of the EU, generates hope for building a new kind of international community with a common vision and the participation of all.
In this context, he concluded, issues such as the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem, will be dealt with in a completely different way, the signs of which are already apparent.
Dr. Solomon Passy stressed the importance for Bulgaria to join NATO, saying that it is a prospect that now seems more realistic and is backed by the majority of politicians in his country.
"There are no more borders in the global village" and added that the fight against terrorism requires a global force and that NATO's enlargement is the best way for achieving this goal. Dr. Passy also stressed that there are several positive developments in the Balkans and the goal is now a peaceful undivided Europe, which many countries now recognize as a means of making the transition to a market economy.
After his speech, Mr. Georgiou presented GAAEC's mark of distinction to Dr. Solomon Passy for his longstanding dedication to the Euro-Atlantic ideals.
Then followed the "Ambassador's Forum" with the participation of the Ambassador of the United States in Greece, Mr. Thomas Miller, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Greece, Mr. Mikhail Botcharnikov, and the Ambassador of France in Greece, Mr. Jean Maurice Ripert.
Ambassador Miller said that terrorism is both a threat and a challenge for reinventing alliances and relations, while he pointed to previously unthinkable new alliances between the US and Russia, China, Iran and Syria. The overriding concern at this time is the national interest, which in the case of Greece and the US coincides. He went on emphasizing that despite the war in Afghanistan, issues such as the Middle East crisis, the Aegean, Cyprus and the Balkans continue to attract America's attention.
The Russian Ambassador to Greece said that the new key word for Russia is "wider security", in the context of which Russia is ready to completely restore its relations with NATO and accept innovative mechanisms for Russia's participation in the Atlantic Alliance. "We are talking about finding a new mechanism within the format of 20, in participating in the adoption of major decisions and in sharing responsibility, in the fields of common interest that have to be agreed upon".
He added that Russia could play an important role in preserving peace in Europe. Concerning the Balkans, he mentioned that security and stability in this region depend on Europe.
The French Ambassador in Greece indicated that the terrorist attacks of September 11 hurt the consciousness of the whole global population. He added that these attacks also prove that the assumption that democracy and human rights have finally prevailed after the end of the cold war is wrong. "In the combat against fanatism and terrorist violence, the international community must engage with solidarity and resolution. It is not a conflict between civilizations and religions. Nevertheless, the combat must end with an immense effort for peace, development and eradication out of inequalities". He also referred to a constructive conclusion of the conflicts in the Middle East with the eventual creation of a Palestinian State and the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Mr. Ripert characterized the decision of NATO to activate Article 5 as historical adding that this action shows exactly why the Alliance is still considered as the corner stone of our collective defence. Nevertheless, it also reinforces the American argument for "burden sharing" which can only be achieved through the development of a European Security and Defence Policy, a goal to which France is fully committed.
Following the three Ambassadors, the Head of the Liaison Office of FYROM in Greece, Ambassador Ljupco Arsovski, read a statement, representing the Ambassadors in Greece of the countries of the Vilnius Group (the ten European countries aspiring for NATO membership). In this statement, the Ambassadors had put in plain words this aspiration, by making clear that unless NATO's enlargement takes place in order to include all interested states, we will never be able to speak of a Europe full and free and he repeated the statement made at Vilnius, at the first meeting that: "...the ten countries are ready to take responsibility and burden sharing of NATO membership and are already coordinating their defence structure and policy with those of the Alliance. They are contributing de facto in the most efficient way to the political and military activities of NATO. They are dedicated to make practical and political efforts in order to advance specific qualifications of the states, including the full implementation of the Membership Action Plan. Each and every country has to be judged by its own merits although they believe that accession of all states, means also success for all Europe and NATO."
The first round table of the Symposium was dedicated to the issue of NATO's Enlargement. The President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, Mr. Alain Lee Williams, chaired the session.
The first speaker was Mr. Francois Moreau de Balasy, Honorary President of the French Atlantic Association and Vice-President of ATA. Mr. Balasy recollected the years just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He recalled a mission headed by him that payed visits to several countries of the former Warsaw Pact, trying to establish Atlantic Associations in those countries. From the meetings he held he made 5 observations which are still relevant today: a) that the Atlantic Alliance was considered as the winner of a war not made, b) that it was expected that NATO would extend its military protection to those countries from one day to the other, c) that the history of the Alliance, its birth, its historical context, the elaboration, the functioning were of no big interest, especially the democratic process and the solving out of difficulties, not to mention the idea they carried on the equation NATO=USA, ignoring the European perspective d) that there existed a consensus that global security was not doubted anymore, because of the stability, the predominance of good intentions and the military power of the west. They were not thinking about their contribution, their reciprocal actions. Instead the countries of Central and Eastern Europe expressed e) the certainty that the economic prosperity of the west would quickly cover all of them.
Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov, Acting President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, presented a qualitative and quantitative model, which can produce an indicator for measurement of the readiness of a candidate state to join NATO. In this model, seven sets of criteria have been chosen which after elaboration can be assigned a numerical value. The criteria chosen were: political, economic, regional, military capabilities, defence reform tempo, civil-military relations and contribution to NATO essential tasks. In this way the added value of each candidate country's accession to NATO could be estimated with an objective tool beyond the political considerations, which according to Dr. Ivanov form the base of any decision on enlargement.
Amb. Tihomir Ilievski, State Advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of FYROM, began by proposing that the events that happened in our Region in the course of the last 10 years have undoubtedly proven that the security of Europe is intrinsically linked with the security and stability of its Southeastern part. He then noted that the developments that are expected to follow will further impose the need for concerted engagements of all relevant factors of the international community.
Concerning the indeed difficult year that FYROM has been through he commented that they have made huge efforts to overcome the crisis by cooperating with International Community but also by changing the constitution of the country. He did mention however his fears that the recent elections in Kosovo have shown that the Yugoslav province is sliding towards independence, which is totally opposite to the standpoint of non-alteration of existing borders. This and other pending issues in the region make it imperative that South Eastern Europe is not left aside in the process of enlargement of the Euro-Atlantic zone, which in turn would contribute to the consolidation of democracy, prosperity and stability. Responding to the big question of what to expect in November 2002 in relation to NATO's enlargement, he said that it is now safe to foresee that there will an enlargement after all. "The recent tragic events of September 11 will further shift the strategic focus of NATO southward, making the integration of South Eastern Europe not only a political but also a strategic imperative. FYROM in this respect having passed the difficult test of maturity again with success has proven that it is a stability producer and it deserves an invitation for membership".
Mr. Peteris k. Elferts, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia gave the Northern perspective. He repeated that NATO's enlargement couldn't be addressed without addressing issues generated with the attack of September 11. He added that we can stand against terrorism and face all other new kind of threats only by uniting the powers of our democracies and by defending our common values and only in cooperation. Concerning Latvia and the other candidate members, Mr. Elferts disagreed with the common view that they will only be consumers of security. He did state a number of arguments which show that they will also act as security providers. Finally, he presented the cooperation of his country with the rest Baltic States, with Russia and presented the vision of Latvia which is a Europe without dividing lines.
Mr. Gabriel Kopecky, Director General at the Section of Defence Planning and Management of Resources at the Ministry of Defence of Slovakia began his speech by stating that Slovakia is actively seeking NATO and EU membership. By participating in NATO-led operation and PfP programs Slovakia further contributes to the stability in Europe. In this respect, Slovakia has set forward a major Reform attempt for its army which will on the one hand cover the security concerns of the state and on the other hand reflect the need for modernization according to NATO standards, focused on mobility, flexibility, new technology, communications, information management, intelligence, and sustainability.
Dr. Konstantinos Ifantis, Ass. Professor at the University of Athens was the commentator of the first round table. Dr. Ifantis compared the first to the second wave of the post-cold war enlargement of NATO. He said that the first wave of 1999, focused on three issues: first, the geostrategic importance of the new members, second the really fast democratization processes that took place in the three new members and third on the ability and the prospects of the ability of the new members to develop contributive capabilities to the Alliance mission, which has as a major mission the issue of collective defence.
The case for the second potential wave is more problematic and there exists less enthusiasm and consent. Dr. Ifantis however made clear that the Alliance must move on with an enlargement because NATO has committed itself to that. It is a matter of credibility and added that there is nothing more important for an Alliance than its credibility. He did however mention ten "must" that have to be fulfilled with the second wave of enlargement: a) it must promote the strategic capability of NATO, b) it must under no circumstance create further feeling of exclusion for Russia and Ukraine, c) it must not undermine the military capabilities of NATO, d) it must not bring about a more inelastic decision making process of the Alliance, e) it must not create uncertainties on security guarantees that new members are expecting to enjoy, f) it must not undermine the continuation of securing Balkan stability, g) it must take place only after the problems created with the first wave are absorbed, h) it must take place within an agreement on how to minimize the military gap between the US and Europe and i) it must in any case secure the high quality of the integrated administrative structure of the Alliance. Dr. Ifantis ended his presentation by stressing that only if the above are fulfilled will we have the biggest political success.
The second round table was on terrorism in general and on terrorism as an out-of-area issue for NATO. Dr. Bernandino Gomes, President of the Portuguese Atlantic Commission, and former President of ATA chaired the table. Mr. Gomes prepared the discussion by putting forward 6 questions and issues which according to him are important. The first one concentrated on whether, after the developments following September 11, states will prefer going on their own instead of finding an institutional backing. The second question concerns NATO, which has in fact been used to legitimize international response but which actually does not have a specific role in the fight against terrorism. Therefore, Dr. Gomes wondered what will be the role of NATO in the future, when it will be enlarged and unanimity will be much more difficult to achieve. Then he posed the same question for the EU, which is practically absent from the scene. He went on to question whether the globalization model will continue to function in the same way as it has done until now and moved to the next issue which is the clash of civilization. A concept so widely used but the fact is that most of those using it have never read the book. Mr. Gomes asked: "Is there a standardized model that can be applied everywhere? Do we have the right to intervene in the name of a civilization?". He ended his opening remarks with a very crucial question that will certainly trouble us seriously in the future: "Is security a justification for the restriction of human rights?"
With that, he gave the floor to Mr. Loic Bouvard, French M.P. and former President of the North Atlantic Assembly. Mr. Bouvard concentrated on the institutionalized dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean, which proves that the West is not trying to impose but instead to discuss. According to Mr. Bouvard the tragic incidents of September 11 may have raised suspicion and fear but did have positive traits too: the strengthening of solidarity between the supposed enemies of West and Islam, the reinforcement of the will of the EU to move further into new areas of integration and the rapprochement of Russia to the West and vice versa. Concerning the future he did mention that we must take into consideration two important issues: the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the demographic and economic developments at the two shores of Mediterranean.
Dr. Magda Shahin, Ambassador of Egypt in Greece, associated the issue of terrorism with the situation in the Middle East: "...I would like to share with you why Egypt felt so adamantly that the world solidarity gathered against terrorism should be instrumental in bringing about at last a just and durable solution to the Middle East problem..." She then went on to explain that terrorism is not a new phenomenon. She commented on the simplistic equation that exists in the West: Islam-Fundamentalism-Terrorism, three concepts being used interchangeably as synonyms. "...Terrorism exists in every society, but why terrorism committed by a Muslim is always being linked directly to his faith while for other non-Muslim we are content to call them simply terrorists without classifying them according to their religion and faith?...".
Egypt, Mrs. Shahin continued, "firmly believes in the idea of an International Conference which will address the issue. Such a view is further strengthened by what we witness today as a possible fragile coalition led by an individual country action. Terrorism remains a complex phenomenon triggered by a mix of factors and motivations. We have to deal with the root causes.It is also a product of poverty, illiteracy and unfair economic and social inequalities within and between states. Today's terrorism is a global phenomenon that needs concerted global actions".
Amb. Ioannis Bourlogiannis-Tsaggaridis, former Permanent Representative of Greece to NATO, said that after September 11 the word terrorism has invaded our daily life. The fight against this scourge has been transferred at a global level in which the UN must play a leading role. Concerning NATO, he mentioned that the new strategic perception of the Alliance did include terrorism as a potential threat. In the case of the activation of article 5 and the need for out-of-area operations, he supported that there does not exist any controversy issue since we are not talking about a particular state with borders and soil but for an international group.
Mr. Φzgόr άnlόhisarcikli, Secretary general of AAYPL (Atlantic Association for Young Political Leaders) and representative of Ari Movement from Turkey, closed the session. Mr. άnlόhisarcikli concentrated on the threats of the new security environment, taking as starting point the experience of his own country. He had cited that terrorism as a global threat may be a new phenomenon but it is not novel for his own country, which has for long given a fight against terrorism. Furthermore, he suggested that the clash of civilization exists only as a theory and as such can only potentially become a threat, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the end of his speech, he recommended Turkey as a model for the reconstruction of Afghanistan and for the actual attainment of democracy and secularism in a Muslim country.
Commentator of this round table was Dr. Alexandros Koutsis, Ass. Professor at Panteion University. Dr. Koutsis claimed that we should not hide behind our finger in what concerns our current perceptions on Islam. Nevertheless, the statements that Islam is not the enemy, our perceptions and the coverage by the media of the issue shows the opposite, that Islamic fundamentalism is considered as the enemy and Huntington laid the groundwork for this with his famous concept. He then raised the question whether Islam is a source of terrorism? He answered the question by stating that nowhere in the philosophy and the practice of Islam there is a clue which justifies and supports terrorism. Concerning NATO and its involvement he suggested that they should rather concentrate on the social psychological pressures of terrorism and on trying to define and understand the different perceptions of national security and threats to security that exist within the Islam countries. Finally, he raised the issue of civil liberties and claimed that under no circumstance should we accept any suspension or limitation.
On Saturday, December 1, 2001, the third table took place under the title: "Current Developments in the Balkans". Mr. Theodossis Georgiou presided over this table. Mr. Luan Hagdaraga, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, took the floor first. Mr. Hagdaradga stated that the Balkans is going through vigorous developments: "...laboriously and in a joint effort with the international community, it is getting rid of conflict situations rooted in ethnic problems, violence and genocide against ethnic minorities and the division of populations into those of the first category and the second category..." and continued by mentioning that despite the troubles, a mosaic of new democratic states is taking roots in the region. All these states are now focusing on what brings them together rather on what divides them.
Keeping pace with these developments Albania has fully committed to a regional policy of good neighborliness with all Balkan countries. That, according to the Minister, has been obvious in both crises in Kosovo and FYROM. Finally, he stated that integration into NATO is a strategic objective for the Albanian government.
Mr. Ovidiu Dranga, Deputy Head of the Euro-Atlantic Integration and Defence Policy Directory at the Ministry of Defence of Romania, followed. Mr. Dranga started his speech by mentioning that the incident of September 11 and its consequences on security as a concept, which has since undergone structural changes, gave birth to a new security architecture that requires a different approach. In this framework, according to Mr. Dranga, South Eastern Europe cannot be left out of the picture. "Today's historic opportunity is to reshape our interlinked destiny and to create a zone of security and stability in a region that has known little of either in the last decade". Then Mr. Dranga put a very crucial question concerning the region: "...we cannot help but wonder how will the security equation be solved? For how long the people in the area will have to rely on international support in order to keep themselves from killing each other? and for how long will this international support be available?". He went on by answering this question by stating that: "...bringing peace and stability in the region requires more than an end to the conflict, emergency refugee assistance and rebuilding destroyed infrastructure. It is time for us to change the perception that we are one of the most volatile parts of Europe. But first we need to change the mentality that someone is always going to take care of our problems". Concerning his country, he mentioned that Romania has proved that it is a reliable partner of the international community in its efforts towards the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in S.E.E. and other conflict-torn regions. Romania's integration in NATO and the EU is an opportunity to confirm and develop these capabilities and to act as a security provider in the region.
Mr. Nano Ruzin, Permanent Representative of FYROM to NATO, gave a significant title to his speech that reflects the dangerous situation that his country has been though during the last year: "FYROM, the indispensable link of security in the Balkans". Mr. Ruzin made a short narrative of the situation created in his country which ended up with the signing of the Peace Agreement of Ohrid on August, its ratification by the parliament and the amendments to the constitution. Mr. Ruzin suggested that the response of his country has been so mature up to the moment but he warned that if extremism and terrorism continue, FYROM would have to deal with the problem as if it was a problem of Albanian terrorism with all the consequences entailed in such a response.
Mr. Dusan Batakovic, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Greece provided an insight of the current situation in Yugoslavia and the role that this country is playing in the regional and in the Euro-Atlantic setting after the democratic revolution of October 5, 2000. He emphasized that the FRY had gradually become a new element of stability in the Balkans. "...The irreversible process of re-integration within the European family of democratic states has been followed through firm commitment to civil society, political democracy, market economy and the full protection of human rights....". Admittance to the Partnership for Peace will have a great impact on regional security, he added. Finally, concerning regional stability, Mr. Batakovic stated that: "...the FRY is committed to regional processes that would reaffirm the territorial integrity and inviolability of state-borders in the S.E.E.... this process should provide greater security to minority communities and narrow the window of opportunity for all kinds of extremism...".
Amb. Edouard Braine, Secretary General of the French Association for the Atlantic Community, concentrated mainly on the hesitant reaction of the EU and NATO during the first phases of the Balkan chained explosion and the lessons drawn there after. He did remind that nationalism is not something that can disappear from one day to the other, while he was reminiscent of the Franco-German relations after two world wars, where there was a need for a mechanism of solidarity so that ethnic nationalism could give its place to cooperation. In this respect, both NATO and the EU can today provide this mechanism to the Balkans.
Dr. Athanassios Dokos, Director of Studies at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, presented the conclusions to be drawn from the 11th Symposium of GAAEC. He started by wondering how different is the world after September 11. How has the international system and the balance of power system really changed? He then went on by summarizing in 10 points the issues raised during the Symposium and their implication for the future. First, he stated that every open society is inclined to such threats as terrorism. Second, he declared that we all agree that the absolute majority of Muslims is not fanatic or terrorist. Third, he referred to a major issue of the present and the future to come: immigration, which is a high priority issue to be addressed in an international and regional context. Fourth, he referred to the situation in the Middle East, where two conditions must be fulfilled in order that peace comes about: resolution of the Palestinian problem, in a way that secures the interests and the security of both sides and second, the need for political, economic and social reforms in the Muslim countries, not necessarily under the western model but certainly in a peculiar way but which will respect the fundamental and eternal values of humanity. Fifth, in what concerns Islam, he stated that it is certain that we do not understand this religion in the west. Nevertheless, there is a need for internal dialogue so that it is not being used as a disguise for phenomena of extremism and fanatism. Sixth, he maintained that the recent experience of Afghanistan proves that the International Community must seriously deal with failing or failed states. Seventh, Dr. Dokos examined then the behavior and the reaction of the US in face of the new evolutions. He predicted that this reaction will then determine the structure and the behavior of the International System. Eighth, he wondered about the role of the united Europe. He argued that recent developments suggest that the policy of the European Big Powers is getting renationalized. Ninth, he passed subsequently on the issue of the relations between North and South, in which there exists a huge gap in terms of development and understanding. Finally, Dr. Dokos provided an analysis of the so-called new world after September 11. This new world is characterized by instability, uncertainty, and unpredictability. Supranational problems and asymmetric relations dominate this world. In this context, there is only one-way forward: international cooperation with a sharing burden in favor of the developed world.
GAAEC also organized a discussion among politicians from different Greek political parties on the issue of "Greek Public Opinion relating to NATO and the EU" coordinated by the journalist, Mr. George Kapopoulos. Mr. Vassilios Kontogiannopoulos (M.P., Former Minister), Mr. Aris Spiliotopoulos (M.P.) and Mr. Petros Kounalakis (former M.P.) participated in this discussion. Mr. Kapopoulos in his introduction said that the issue under discussion is provocative enough but it also functions as an issue of taboo, since there doesn't exist any dialogue or discussion on this issue in Greece.
The three politicians, although from different political spectrums, agreed that Greek public opinion towards NATO and the US is dominated by reservation at the best and negation. The reasons behind this stance are multifold: historical, political, cultural, societal, which in turn have created deep-rooted wounds in the collective memory of the Greek people. Some side effect comments made by the representatives of the two major political parties concentrated further on the communication deficit that exists in informing the public opinion on the benefits from the participation in an international organization as well as on the obligations that derive from this participation, the latter especially being neglected.
However, all three participants agreed that Greek public opinion is positive towards the EU.
The Symposium concluded with a closing remark by the deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Loukas Apostolidis. Mr. Apostolidis quoted the challenges and dangers that the new era reserves for the state authorities that are responsible for the defence of a country. He talked about new roles and duties which are not solely military in nature and usually are not directed against a definite opponent. The recent terrorist knock against the US has demonstrated in every respect the complexity of the constituencies of the concept of security and the difficulty of dealing with this kind of threats, known as "asymmetrical threats", which are not of military nature.
Regarding Greece and its role in the wider region, Mr. Apostolidis after picturing this wider environment as a triangle of instability, consisting of volatile regions (the Balkans, Middle East and the Caucasus), he referred to Greece as a status quo country, which supports the maintenance of the existing borders and contributes actively in the collective efforts for stability and development in the region. Furthermore, he repeated the firm position of Greece concerning NATO's enlargement, according to which Greece accepts and supports the candidacy of the Balkan states for full membership.
The 10th International Symposium of G.A.A.E.C took place at the Zappeion Conference Hall on December 15-16, 2000. During its sessions several important issues were raised, related to the Euro-Atlantic area and especially to South-Eastern Europe. More specifically there were three round tables, each with its own subject: the first one was the enlargement of NATO, the second one involved European Defence and Atlantic Solidarity and the third issue was concerned with Stability in South-Eastern Europe, making special reference to the Stability Pact.
Ambassadors, MPs, Former Ministers, Army Officers, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Defence attended the Symposium. In addition young students attended the Symposium, coming from the Balkans, Eastern, Central and Western Europe. They attended, as participants of the 1st Academic Seminar organized by G.A.A.E.C, in memory of Dr. Spyros Philippas, the late Greek Liaison Officer and Head of Academic Affairs at NATO. Before the inaugural ceremony a small ceremony was organized and dedicated to his memory, which his family attended as well, paying tribute to a person that helped our organization so much.
The President of G.A.A.E.C, Mr.Theodossis Georgiou, in his inaugural speech, referred to the enlargement of NATO, the activities and opportunities offered by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and by the Partnership for Peace. In addition to the recent decisions taken at Nice, by the Intergovernmental Summit of the EU, he made a special reference to the transatlantic relations, especially on the issue of European Defence. He then underlined the importance of NGOs, with special mention to the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), in fostering relations of cooperation and trust. In addition, a special reference was made to the meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Turkey, in the context of the General Assembly of ATA in Budapest, which ended up in the adoption of 17 Confidence Building Measures.
The inaugural ceremony begun with a speech by the Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Apostolos Tsochatzopoulos, who touched upon the recent developments in the European continent, those of security and defence, and the possible consequences these developments may have on transatlantic relations.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos, started his speech with the following questions: "...is there a perspective for a common Defence among a wider number of countries? Is there a possibility for a common security and defence policy that will include all the countries of the Euro-Atlantic zone?..." He further noted the importance of these questions, because we are living in a period of radical and huge changes at all levels and because it is recognized that no country, by itself, can handle the management of security problems in the Euro-Atlantic area.
He then moved on, making a special reference to the institutions that are burdened with the management of security, namely the EU and NATO. Furthermore, he mentioned the steps they have taken in order to adapt to the new security environment and the management of the problems facing the new era. Both organizations have begun procedures for their enlargement but by a pace that does not satisfy candidates.
NATO has initiated its "open door" policy but will not materialize it, as long as it does not transform itself and adapt to the needs of the new era. On the other hand, the EU through a series of decisions tends to give substance to the European Security and Defence Policy, through the introduction of European Security Forces, able to manage crisis operations. This development, according to the Minister, is inescapable and is imposed by the EU's position as an economic giant. The critical question then is whether the US and the EU will continue to deal with the challenges of the 21st century simultaneously.
The big challenge for the new century will not be the Balkans, according to Mr. Tsochatzopoulos. He indicated that the situation in this delicate region of S.E. Europe is becoming more stable, especially after the recent, positive developments in Yugoslavia. He also hinted at an initiative of regional security and defence policy, which is already being implemented. It comes in the form of the Multiethnic Brigade, cited at Adrianoupolis (Turkey), which is operationally ready to contribute to crisis management missions.
The "Balkans" of the next century will be Eurasia, especially the Caucasus. The Minister considers; that the energy needs of Europe and the US will lead us to consider that this is the place where the next clash will take place. This will be the challenge for the 21st century. With this in mind, a substantial reason for the evolution of the European Security will be the relations with Russia and the Ukraine. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos indicated that a European integrated security system without a substantial contribution and connection with these two countries cannot exist.
Finally the Minister noted the role of Greece in this new environment. Our country in all this strategic evolution, participates steadily, trying to secure its position as a factor of stability, by promoting equal cooperation with all the nations of the region. He also presented the project that is underway for the strategic revision of the Greek armed forces, through the reduction of the cost of maintenance towards more effective, flexible and modern armed forces, as the army of the 21st century ought to be.
From the opposition party, the former Greek Minister of National Defence, Mr. Ioannis Varvitsiotis, spoke of the instability in S.E. Europe and the reasons that create it. He also referred to the role of Greece in this sensitive area, which is that of a stabilizing actor, and the relations of Greece with its neighboring countries.
The inaugural ceremony closed with a speech from the Ambassador of the US in Greece, Mr. Nicholas Burns and a speech from the Minister of Defence of Latvia. Mr. Girts Kristovskis. Mr. Burns put special emphasis on the issue of transatlantic relations, especially in what concerns the cooperation between NATO and the EU, on issues of defence and security. He noted the need for the European Security and Defence Identity to continue to function in the context of NATO, by including also all the European countries that are not EU members. He also indicated that in the context of the new strategic concept of NATO, all NATO members should give special emphasis on the reformation of their armed forces in the context also of the decisions taken on the "Strategic Defence Initiative", at the Washington Summit. He closed by stressing that NATO should remain the primary security organization in Europe, pointing out the negative consequences on transatlantic relations the opposite could have.
Mr. Kristovskis began his speech by saying that managing the new threats to security requires professional and effective armed forces for crisis management. He then presented the fragile security situation that exists in his country, which arises from Russia's concern over NATO expansion, and further to the point, on how its integration into NATO can overturn this situation. The Atlantic Alliance is considered the principle security player in the complex security environment created after the end of the Cold War. He also made a special reference to the positive stance of Greece to the enlargement of the Alliance.
The first round table begun with a speech by Mr. Evangelos Chorafas, Director General of the Ministry of National Defence of Greece. Then followed Mr. Vaino Reinart, Political Director General of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who once again declared the desire of his country for full integration to the Euro-Atlantic security structure. Next was, Ambassador Yury Kashlev, representing Russia. Mr. Kashlev repeated the well-known Russian objections to NATO enlargement but also gave hints concerning the policy of the new Russian leadership on the issue of the Euro-Atlantic Security. More particularly he described the negative image NATO has in Russian public opinion. He also explained the attempt undertaken by Russia to adjust her foreign policy according to the current parameters of its position in the international system. Then, Ambassador Mr. Vernon Penner, Deputy Commandant of the NATO Defence College and Mr. Solomon Passy, President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, followed. Dr. Konstantinos Ifantis, Ass. Professor, at the University of Athens, was the commentator of the first table.
Concerning the issue of NATO's enlargement, it should be noted that the desire of most of the countries participating in the program "Partnership for Peace" for membership and integration to the Alliance, is still very strong. The day of the next possible invitation is not very far and all candidate countries don't miss a chance to declare their progress along with factors that make imperative their inclusion to the next wave of NATO enlargement. The fact is that this time the Alliance has set stricter conditions and has also institutionalized the process of enlargement by setting up a "Membership Action Plan." On the other hand, candidate countries believe that they have every reason to become NATO members and even the slightest disapproval of their expectations could have negative consequences concerning the goals of the Alliance regarding security and stability in Europe without artificial divisions. Their decision concerning the next opening of the Alliance will be much more difficult in comparison to the decision taken in Madrid.
The topic examined at the second round table, was transatlantic relations. Especially the issues of development regarding the European Security and Defence Identity, in light of the recent American Presidential Elections and the successive decisions taken in the context of the EU on the issue of European Defence. First, the Minister Counselor of the Turkish Embassy in Greece, Mr. Attila GUNAY took the floor where he stressed the need for a common approach to threats but also to the regulation of joint activity for the accomplishment of goals. He then went on by noting the need for the participation of European, non-EU, NATO members concerning the development of the European Security and Defence Identity, also stressing the importance Turkey has put on that. Then followed, Ambassador, Mr. Edouard Braine, Ambassador, Mr. Erich Hochleitner, President of the Austrian Institute for the European Security Policy, Admiral (ret) Mr. Otto Ciliax of the German Atlantic Association and Mr. Alexandros Rondos, Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece. Mr. Ciliax noted that European Defence and Atlantic solidarity should function in conjunction. The second round table ended with the comments of Dr. Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos, Ass. Professor at Panteion University, Greece.
The issue of European Defence was again setback after the recent decisions taken at Nice, at the intergovernmental Summit of the European Leaders and after the recent American Presidential elections. At Nice, the European leaders decided the creation of a permanent, fully European Rapid Reaction Force dealing with crisis management. This force will function in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy.
This development has disturbed the Americans and the European members of NATO that are not EU-members, especially Turkey, whose reaction was forceful. Turkey, appealing to vital interests did not hesitate to threaten a veto in case the EU requests the use of NATO assets, in the context of the decisions taken in Brussels and in Berlin. On the other hand, the change of guard at the White House along with the well known statements of the new administration on a possible revision of the American engagements all around the world, have resulted in European concerns on the devotion of the Americans to the transatlantic relationship.
Therefore we see, at the level of transatlantic relations, a strange situation has developed and the gap between the two sides has only been created by the manifestation of intentions and the elaboration of long-term plans. The EU is certainly looking to mature but in the sector of European defence and security it remains sensitive and awkward.
The next day, on the 16th of December, we had the third round table, which concentrated on the developments in S.E. Europe and especially in the Balkans. Special emphasis was given to the Stability pact. Very important was the presence of Mr. Jelico Jerkic, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of Multinational Relations in Bosnia Herzegovina; and to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Victor Gaber. Mr. Jerkic mentioned that the issue of stability in S.E. Europe has for long be an issue of priority for the international and European agenda and will remain as such. As far as his country is concerned this is very important. Five years after the signing of the Dayton Agreement, the situation is relatively calm, and Bosnia is on its way to integrate in the international and regional system and rebuilding its economy and its political system. Mr. Jerkic added that for both these endeavors the way is long and painful. Mr. Gaber from his side presented the basic orientations of his country, which are: membership to NATO and the EU and the building of substantial relations with their neighbors. He also mentioned that Greece is the model concerning the accomplishment of those goals. He finally added that security is not guaranteed by better armaments but through economic development and trust among people and through collective security and defence that can create the potential for the above.
In the third table, the participants were: Mr. Nikolaos Dimadis, Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the Ministerial Conference (MOD) for South-Eastern Europe, Mr. Sotirios Athanasiou, Head of the Office of the Chairman of the First Working Table of the Stability Pact for Democratization and Human Rights, Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Antoine Giansily, President of the French Association for the Atlantic Committee, Mr. Miklos Derer, Secretary General of the Hungarian Atlantic Council and Mr. Radovan Vukadinovic, President of the Atlantic Council of Croatia. The third table was summed up by Dr. Alexandros Koutsis, Ass. Professor at Panteion University and by Dr. Aristotelis Tsiampiris, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Athens.
Mr. Athanasiou, described the basic parameters of the Stability Pact as an initiative of the EU, under the auspices of the OSCE, whose main goal is to create the conditions for peace, stability, democracy, economic development and security in the region of S.E. Europe. The basic characteristic of this initiative, up to that moment, has been the rigorous mobilization of the international community concerning the financial support of the program. He also noted the emphasis given by the Stability Pact, on the creation of democratic institutions, since development cannot succeed in societies with a democratic deficit.
In retrospect one could claim that some positive developments have occurred in S.E. Europe. There definitely still exists some tension but not in the degree of the recent past. The most important fact has been the gradual re-integration of Serbia to the international community. At the same time the Balkans are always at the center of the attention of the international community and finance.
Given the dramatic events of the last decade, nobody can claim that stabilizing this fragile area will be an easy task. Beyond the historical parameters, other factors lead to this ascertainment: the fact that the newly created states are fragile from every point of view and they are faced with threats with witch they are not accustomed to deal with. Moreover we should not forget the Albanian factor that affects three states of the region.
Ambassador, Mr. Spyridon Dokianos, National Coordinator for the Stalility Pact, of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a guest speaker, also contributed to the further comprehension of the Stability Pact.
The conclusions to be drawn from the Symposium were presented by Dr. Athanassios Dokos, Director of Studies at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy. Mr. Dokos started by analyzing the basic characteristics of the new international system along with the dangers and the threats that it has to deal with. He noted the different character of these dangers and the different way they have to be dealt with. He then referred to the role of international organizations and especially to that of NATO, by concentrating on the region of S.E.Europe. He proposed a division of labor, depending on the comparative advantage of each organization. He then continued by citing the issue of the transatlantic relations, in relation with the development of the European Defence Identity and the American elections. He did emphasize the difficulties of the European venture and the little progress that has been achieved, despite the serious decisions and initiatives that have been taken recently. He closed his presentation by stating that the transatlantic relation that has endured for so long should not be left to fade away, since what unites the two shores of the Atlantic is much more important than what divides them.
On 12 and 13 of December 1997 the 7th Annual International Conference of G.A.A.E.C. was organized in Zappeion Megaro. The subjects of the Conference consisted of: "The enlargement of NATO – The Mediterranean - South-eastern Europe, the next step of NATO".
The Minister of National Defense Mr. Akis Tsochatzopoulos opened the conference with his speech. In the inaugural meeting participants where, the Vice-president of Bulgaria, Mr. Todor Kavaldjiev, the Mayor of Athens Mr. D. Avramopoulos, the Chairman of DIKKI Mr. D. Tsovolas and representatives from the following parties, N.D. Mr. A. Papadogonas and from Sinaspismos Mr. Bistis.
The Chairman of G.A.A.E.C. and Atlantic Treaty Association Mr. Theodosis Georgiou opened the Conference. He presented the role of G.A.A.E.C. and in more general terms the role of NGOs in NATO and presented the concerns and obstacles on the enlargement of NATO and the safety of the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
It is worth mentioning that this year's Conference had a rather large number of foreign personalities participating and aside from the Bulgarian Vice President, the former Prime Minister of Italy Mr. Emilio Colombo, the Undersecretaries of Defense of Albania and the Czech Republic Mr. Teta and Mr. Novotny, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Mrs. Rrimatarova, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. M. Papakonstantinou, Chairmen of the Parliamentary Committees of Foreign Affairs Mr V. Bostinaru of the Romanian Parliament, Mr. El. Veryvakis of Greece and Mr. Dwarf Ruzin of F.Y.R.O.M., the American Minister Mr. M. Durkee representing the SACEUR, Ambassadors, Professors, former Ministers and other personalities from 30 countries in the Balkans, Mediterranean, Central, Eastern and Western Europe and USA were all present. It should be noted that a Parliamentary delegation from Azerbaijan and Georgia was also there. Roughly 50 Ambassadors and representatives of most Embassies in Athens, deputies, Diplomats, Military officials, representatives from the intellectual world, businessmen, journalists etc participated/observed the Conference.
For the first time, representatives of YATA and the new department of "Young persons of A.T.A." participated. This way, the opportunity was given to 18 new students and scientists from 11 countries, to watch the Conference but also to have separate meetings, at the same time.
It is noteworthy that G.A.A.E.C. took the initiative to call representatives of local government, in order Municipal Leaders to witness the work of the Atlantic Unions. Present were, the Mayor of Tirana Mr. Brojka and the Deputy Mayors from Skopie, Sofia and Bucharest but also a lot of members from KEDKE, the Mayor of Patras Mr. A. Karavolas and others.
This initiative was recognized and in particular, the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Avramopoylos proposed the possibility of a future meeting of Members of Atlantic Unions and Municipal representatives, which was accepted by the Chairman of ATA Mr. Georgiou.
After the end of the Conference the foreign participants returned to Thessalonica and visited the Gallery of the Treasures of Agion Oros as well as the Gallery of Musical Instruments of the Bank of Macedonia and Thrace.
The speech of Mr. Akis Tsohatzopoylos
The Minister of National Defense Mr. Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed in his speech that in this fluid transient period the existence and the role of Atlantic Non-governmental Organizations are not only useful but can also prove exceptionally productive and effective.
At the same time, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that in the threshold of twentieth first century the populations of Europe experience a period of determination of structures that are to condition their life in the new after war era.
More specifically, regarding the region of Balkans, the end of cold-war juxtaposition, lead to a new status-quo, which lead to a post cold-war environment where safety, important problems and tendencies of destabilization coexist with tendencies of stabilization and prospects of collaboration. Greece of course does not constitute only a part of Balkan space. The Mediterranean is also of Special geo-strategic' importance for Greece. With regard to the developments in the wider region of Mediterranean, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed that after the end of Cold War, the geopolitical and strategic centre is shifted in the relations of developed North and the underdeveloped South. At the same time, the Mediterranean area becomes more important, because it is the, "line of contact" between two theme "worlds". More specifically, the security of the Mediterranean is influenced by factors that spring from the existence of "traditional" problems of security but also "new threats of" security, as the demographic explosion and consecutive tendencies of mass immigration from the south to the north of Mediterranean, the low economic growth, the elation of religious fanaticism, the increase of conventional equipment and the dissemination of arms of mass destruction, terrorism etc.
Greece, as a non-revisory country, does not claim nothing, but also does not let go any sovereign right, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos pointed out. Besides, Greece aspires constitutes a bridge between the Balkans and the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa. And with this significance it is a State spreading in three continents, it can undertake initiatives to a lot of directions. As the only state member simultaneously in EU, NATO and WEO in the region of Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean, Greece can and wishes to play a consolidating role in the wider region.
More specifically, in the frame of NATO, Greece - stressed Mr. Tsochatzopoulos - participates actively in the efforts of Alliance for radical reformation of her strategic objectives, structures and her operation and her evolution from a clearly deterrent military organism in a Organism with political-diplomatic and, at the same time, military character that its main concern will be the maintenance of peace in a wider geographic region, beyond the traditional sectors of responsibility of the Alliance.
Also with regard to in the region of Balkans Greece seeks a consolidating role and works in the direction of creating the conditions of friendship and collaboration between the populations of the region. Greece promotes, moreover, initiatives of political and economic nature that focus in the area of the Mediterranean. In this frame, Greece has proposed the creation of the Mediterranean Area of Safety and Collaboration, as well as a line of other meters. In this direction, Greece, pointed out Mr. Tsochatzopoulos - participates actively in the decisions of the Conference of Barcelona on the creation of the Euromediteranean Corporate Relation, which Greece considers that constitutes a unique solution for the guarantee of stability in the region of Mediterranean.
Mr. D. Avramopoulos
The Mayor of Athens Mr. D. Avramopoulos in his greeting, mentioned in his argument: "...thus it would be perhaps useful NATO to exam the possibility to use the role of cities, as constitutive element of political peace, which is to a large extent determined and by the will as much as the attendance of citizens... you can not overlook that new Europe is built one from the more basic principles that is the principle of subsidiary. Meaning the decisions that concern the course to the Integration completion to be nearest possible to the citizen ... "
Mr. T. Kavaldjiev
From his side the Vice-president of Bulgaria Mr. Todor Kavaldjiev presented the fights of the Bulgarian population and particularly his party, the old Rural party of Bulgaria against the Communistic arrangement.
He repeated the efforts of his country for integration in the NATO and the EU and he stressed that the presence here as assistant of Head of State (Chairman P. Stoyanov) symbolizes: the unity of the Bulgarian people to the direction of Euro Atlantic institutions.
The work of Two-day Conference summarized the last day, Mrs. Euthalia (Olive) Hatzigjanni, Scientific Collaborator of G.A.A.E.C. and Mr. Thanos Dokos, Person in charge of Research of the Department Strategic Studies of EPYECA and Mr. Panagiotis Tsakonas, Scientific Adviser of the Department of Strategic Studies of EPYECA.
The enlargement of NATO
Mrs. Euthalia Hatzigianni
The discussion in the "round table" for the enlargement of NATO began with the professor Mr. C. Hristodoulidi, who in his introductive speech presented the main points of discussion on the enlargement (points that stressed also other speakers).
Attributing to the NATO the characterization of Walter Lippman, that of "Community of Interests", the professor pointed out the fact that the Alliance is in place and should survive even after the collapse of the bipolarization. A fact that is supported by the recent conditions and the ability of the Alliance to be transformed depending on the circumstances.
The necessity of its existence is focused, firstly, on the fact that the new environment of security, with its main characteristics the change of threat, the increase of action, the increase of institutions, the uncertainty and the mistrust, is exceptionally unstable because of the critical transient period. Consequently, the NATO, as the main institution of collective defense and security that is very widely acceptable, is called to contribute actively in the creation of a new perception for Europe and to ensure the conditions of reunification of western part of Europe with Eastern. The reforming effort of countries in the Central and Eastern Europe, aims at the harmonization of their systems with those of western world, can be proved an exceptionally difficult undertaking if it is not achieved in the frames of experienced institutions and in the base of the principle of good neighborhood, brotherhood of populations and democracy.
The Agreement of Madrid confirmed the intention of Atlantic Alliance to contribute in the reforming effort of countries in the Central and Eastern Europe: three countries were called to become members, while remainder received the assurance that the doors of NATO will remain open for that they want they are included in this.
As for the enlargement, it was pointed out : the new members of NATO, should take into consideration seriously that the article of 5 Pact, that constitutes the more powerful motive for the integration of Central European countries in the Alliance, is even in effect, with regard to his potential application, afterwards the signature of "Founding Act of Collaboration NATO-Russia", that declares nor the intention of members of the Alliance to develop nuclear arms neither to install additional military forces in the territory of new members.
Regarding the attitude of Russia in the enlargement of NATO it was indeed supported that it is justified by the fear of Russia that the enlargement involves the indication of new map of Policies for Europe, from the loss of a vital sector of its economy or of areas of influence but also the exceptionally fragile internal political situation in this country. Accordingly, the effort of Alliance, with regard to Russia, should be focused in the amusement of Russian concerns and in the projection of advantages of enlargement as means of establishment of stability and democracy in the Russian environment.
The Russian reserves as for the enlargement were also confirmed by the speech of Russian representative Mr. E.Siline. He pointed out that the majority of Russian population considers that "the enlargement of NATO constitutes the biggest mistake of Western Countries after the end of the Second World War", is particularly decisive. It is based on the opinion that after the enlargement of NATO, Europe will be separated in two different levels of security, and that the enlargement, that Russia considers that it does not aim at concrete, aims substantially in its future aggressive activity.
At the opinion of Mr. Siline, the construction of climate of confidence is necessary between Russia and the rests of countries in order to avoid the isolation of the first. Here the Russian representative stressed the role that each country can play in the Union of Atlantic Pact in the briefing of citizens aiming at mutual confidence. The collaboration in the frames of existing Organizations, its active attendance in the O.A.S.E., the recognition of its interests are very important for that sectors but the reject of use of military force by the NATO is far from its jurisdiction which are factors that can also contribute positively and guarantee the balance in the new Europe, whose security , according to the Russian representative, cannot be guaranteed by a model of security based exclusively on the NATO. This fears of Russia with regard to the enlargement of NATO, is shared by the American representative. Mr. A. Karagiannis, Political Adviser of the American Embassy, pointing out the intention of I.P.A. to continue promoting the intensification of beams of collaboration and friendship with Russia underlines that, this differences can contribute and no object in the creation of productive relations between the NATO from one side and Russia and Ukraine from the other. The enlargement of NATO, that is realized in the base of incorporating of certain countries and not in the rejection of other, is capable to contribute much in the event of future conflict between neighboring states which guarantees the balance in the interior of these states. And be a process that should and can become rightly so much for the already existing members of Alliance and for the three new members as the countries that will be included in the future but also Ukraine and Russia. The last one, the American representative noted, because of its leading role, is supposed to activate itself in the frames of international institutions, to advance in opening of the economy and to participate actively in the effort of stabilization of the world.
On the subject of the cost of the enlargement, the representative of NATO and SHAPE. Mr. M. Durkee, Diplomatic Adviser of SACEUR, pointed out firstly, that the prevention of a crisis costs less from a confrontation and, that the need of adaptation in the new technological reality renders inevitable the cover of concrete defensive and technological expenses from the Alliance, sum that the enlargement does not increase considerably (2 billions dollars roughly).
The representatives of countries that have been called to become members of NATO, that is to say Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland (Mr. Korosi, Oyggrjkoy' YPEX, Mr. Novotny, Undersecretary of defense of Czech Republic and Mr. Lamentowicz, Polish Ambassador), underlined the readiness of their countries to include themselves in the Alliance. With the opinion that the enlargement should not stop here accorded: other countries should be included in the future with a process that will be characterized by transparency. They consider, that their relations with Russia can be constructive to the extend the principles of good neighborhood and partnership of populations are held.
The deputy of Azerbaijan Mr. Guliyev in his speech presented Azerbaijan as the country that can function as intermediary for the distribution of western values in the region of Caucasus and Central Asia. Presenting the military and economic possibilities of his country, he underlined the need of collaboration with the International Organizations and the NATO both in intergovernmental and non-governmental Organizations.
The discussion on the enlargement was completed with the speech of Danish professor, Mr. L. Baerentsen. His two points were particularly important: firstly, that the unique solution for the small States is that of collective safety for this and their attendance in the Alliance is judged essential and second, that Europe stood particularly lucky in the post Cold War years. We cannot, however, be based on the factor "luck" for the future.
Dr. Thanos Dokos
The speakers agreed that in the after Cold War era, the Mediterranean region is characterized by instability, fluidity and uncertainty. The region is found in search of balance, the regional structures of security have not been shaped still.
As the former Prime Minister of Italy Mr. Emilio Colombo stressed, even if an explicit regional dynamic and "local" problem of security exists, it must be supposed that the indivisibilities of the European and the Mediterranean are unquestionable. Moreover, the security of the Mediterranean is uncomprehended without the apprised of the developments in the Balkans, the Black Sea and the Middle East.
All the speakers agreed that even if the "traditional" problems of security continued, that is to say the regional conflicts, which are exceptionally important for the involved countries, there are new threats of safety in the region of the Mediterranean such as:
Slow or even negative economic growth.
Demographic explosion in a lot of countries (and the possibility of increasing the rate of immigration in European countries, with all the negative consequences of racism, xenophobia, etc).
Spreading of religious fanaticism (which is not limited, of course, only in the Islamic religion) even if this causes the more important source of concern. However, as Mr. E. Veruvakis underlined (Chairman of Committee of Exterior Relations and defense, member of the Greek Parliament), that simplified generalizations should be avoided and overwhelmed by a sincere effort of common understanding between West and Islamic world).
Dissemination of arms of mass destruction.
Lack of democracy and respect of human rights.
Environmental problems of the Mediterranean.
International organized crime and the smuggling of narcotics.
As Mr. Colombo and Mr. Balasy (Vice-president of French Atlantic Union) stressed, the connection between stability and growth is explicit and the need for collaboration North-South in the region of Mediterranean, the discovery of new ways of approach of problems of the region is imperative.
In regard to the role of the international organizations and security organizations, Mr. Colombo stressed the sovereign role of European Union in the political and economic sector, mainly via the Euromediteranean Collaboration, while Mr. Veryvakis, Mr. Granit (from the Israeli MFA) and Mr. Balasy stressed the fundamental role of NATO (with the WEO and the OASE in additional role).
According to the speakers, the initiatives of NATO and WEO (Mediterranean Dialogue-initiative) should be developed more, so much in breadth (with the addition of new countries), as much in-depth with the growth of new initiatives and collaborations on issues pacificatory enterprises, management of crises, confrontation of natural destructions and humanitarian missions. Moreover, the expediency of certain Meters of Construction of Confidence and Safety (MOEA) in the Mediterranean should be examined, without, placing excessively ambitious objectives that would lead to the failure of the effort.
It was also expressed that it will be given essential "explanations" in the countries of the South Mediterranean which is worrying because the creation of military forces of WEO (EUROMARFOR and EUROFOR) gives "Strategic Perception of NATO" in the southern wing of the Alliance.
Finally, Mr. Colombo proposed the review of Italian-Spanish proposal of 1990 for the creation of Mediterranean CSCE (DASM), pointing out that a forum of regional safety in the Mediterranean does not exist.
Southeastern Europe - Next Step of NATO
Dr. Panagiotis Tsakonas
At the second day of works of 7th Conference of G.A.A.E.C., several exceptionally interesting speeches were presented from distinguished politicians and academic people of the region of South-Eastern Europe. It important that many of the distinguished speakers located the problem of definition of the term of South-Eastern Europe. As the Undersecretary of Defense of Albania Mr. Perikli Teta stressed, the geographic background or even "functional" criteria, are often used even if they do not lead to a wider acceptable content. As Professor Mr. Dwarf Ruzin (Deputy and head of Parliamentary Committee in the North Atlantic Assembly of FYROM) characteristically pointed out, the term "Euro Balkans" appears in the current after Cold War era allocating particularly the content and describing the adversative tendencies that appear to characterize the region. This break down implies the term "balkanization" which coexists with tendencies of Europeanization and Westernalization of new states of the region. It should also be noted that the proposals of various speakers substantially were turned around two basic security perceptions. The first concern is of the former communistic Balkan states that are found near enough or far enough from the next step of the enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance. The second perception of security, concerns the two countries that are already members of NATO, Greece and Turkey, and that - far from the special problems that characterize the relations between them -have up to some extent common opinions in regard to the imminent investigation of NATO in the region of Balkans.
In regard to the first perception of security, as it was expressed by the totality of former communistic Balkan states, it was developed in three more special thematic regions. The first thematic region concerns the highest level of consent (consensus) in the interior of these states in regard to in their NATO's orientation. As it stressed in his intervention the Chairman of Committee of Exterior Affairs of Parliament of Romania Mr. Victor Bostinaru "constitutes a fundamental obligation of the Romanian population to render its members of society to be based on the common principal of democracy and freedom". While the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria Mrs. Antoinetta Primatarova pointed out that the integration of her country in the Atlantic Alliance constitutes "affair of high priority". In the same wavelength, the faith of Albanian population in the Euro Atlantic beginnings was stressed by the representatives of two of the biggest political leaders of Albania Mr. Teta and Mr. Leonard Demi (General Secretary of International Relations of Democratic Party of Albania) despite the differentiation or disagreements between the two parties in other questions of foreign policy.
The second thematic concerned the level of preparation and readiness of countries that are near found by the remained Balkan countries, that is to say Romania and Bulgaria, in the integration in the Atlantic Alliance to achieve NATO conditions.
Indeed, by the side of Romania, Mr. Bostinaru reported that the geo-strategic and political reasons that the integration of his country will involve will increase the possibility of further extension of the element of stability in the Eastern side of the European continent stressing at the same time, that Romania has achieved high levels of interoperability (interoperability) in the frames of Alliance. For her part, the representative of Bulgaria Mrs. Primatarova pointed out the positive results, which she has already begun to attribute to the four-year governmental program in her country. It should also be stressed that also the two speakers underlined the need for aid of regional stability and security, the strengthening of Democracy, the political control of Armed Forces and the achievement of internal order and stability.
The third thematic region concerned the common ascertainment of speakers from the various states of Balkan peninsula that the integration of Romania and Bulgaria in the NATO will contribute to increase the elements of stability in the region, and contribute in the extension of feeling security more deeply in the Eastern side of Europe while, at the same time, it leads to the balance of northern with the southern wing of Alliance.
Those who are concerned in the second perception of security, that was expressed by the ambassador Mr. Ali Hikmet Alp (head of Department of Balkan Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Turkey) focused the opinions and the reflections of NATO countries on the consequences of the under integration of former communistic countries of the region. The ambassador Mr. Alp who characterized as "institutional exercise" the investigation of Atlantic Alliance to the east, stressed the need of Alliance for parallel metamorphosis (via the creation of new structures and mechanisms of decisions) and maintenance (old and achieved basic operations).
The ambassador Mr. Alp pointed out the oxymoron exclusion at the first stage of the enlargement of NATO of certain countries of Balkan peninsula, which have a better relationship with NATO and need the umbrella of NATO while he stressed that the South-eastern European states should shortly reap the fruits of also those profits of their attendance in a new extended NATO. At the same time he warned for the existence of various special problems and particularities in regard to in the region of Balkans stressing that, despite the exceptionally high rate of consent in the interior of Balkan states, in regard to their future exterior orientation, the above particularities should be taken into consideration seriously from the leaders in the Atlantic Alliance.
In conclusion, the total of speakers pointed out the challenges that are presented with the end of Cold War in the region of South-eastern Europe but also the new possibilities that have the populations of the region to build a new future for their countries. It was common that the enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance will rationalize its affairs and to attend as much as possible to a more reliable legalization under its enlargment, concerning her members. On the other hand the states of South-eastern Europe should move themselves in the new post Cold War environment of challenges and occasions taking into consideration that the new NATO will be rendered mainly producer of security and consumer of security.
The 9th International Symposium of the Greek Association for the Atlantic and European Cooperation that took place Athens on the 13 and 14th of December 1999 address crucial issues that concern the Euro Atlantic Alliance and furthermore the European peoples. In particular, the discussion at the 'Ambassadors' Forum' was divided in three panels that dealt with respectively: The experience, the prospects and the public opinion of the three new members of NATO (namely Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland), the European Defence and the Atlantic Solidarity and finally Stability in South Eastern Europe.
The Symposium was attended by representatives of various Embassies, members of Parliament, representatives from the Greek Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence and former Ministers. A delegation of members of the American Congress and American State Assemblies also participated in the conference.
In his welcoming address, the President of GAAEC and President of ATA Mr. Theodossis Georgiou emphasised the contribution of the strengthened Partnership for Peace and of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) towards the development of a new security and stability dynamic in Europe. While referring to the enlargement of NATO Mr Georgiou underlined the role of Non-governmental organisations in promoting cooperation and mutual understanding and trust amongst the countries and the peoples of Europe. The current 39 Atlantic Councils cover a broad geopolitical area from Vladivostok to Vancouver and have played a significant role as actors affecting the public opinion of the member countries. Moreover, these organisations can convey messages from the public to the governments and the major actors in the process of political cooperation on political, environmental and security issues.
The speech of the President of ATA was followed by the first round table discussion on the new member states of NATO. The participants in the panel were H.E. the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Greece Mr. Vladimir Zavazal, H.E. the Ambassador of Hungary to Greece Mr Istvan Pataki and H.E. the Ambassador of Poland to Greece, Mr Wojtek Lamentowicz. Comments were also made by H.E. the Ambassador Mr Alfred Cahen, Secretary General of the Atlantic Treaty Association. The Ambassadors of the three new member states of NATO provided an assessment of the participation and of their countries in the Alliance and evaluated their contribution in creating a security environment in Europe. The common denominator of all three presentations was that despite the relatively short time span since NATO's last enlargement, the three Republics have fully adapted to NATO's decision-making structures and have been efficient and effective participants in NATO's actions and peacekeeping operations. Significant steps have also been made in terms of economic development whereas in terms of political and strategic doctrine, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic are fully aligned with those of their new allies.
All the Ambassadors stressed the interconnection of participation in the Alliance and the establishment and consolidation of democratic institutions in the Central and Eastern European countries. The also reaffirmed their full endorsement of the enlargement of NATO as an essential process for achieving and maintaining peace, stability and democracy in the area. With regards to the public opinion in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, the Ambassadors underlined the unequivocal support of the Euroatlantic orientation and the overall acceptance of NATO membership. The Secretary General of ATA, H.E. Ambassador Cahen, commented on the remarkable adaptability of the enlarged Alliance to the new international environment and asserted that the rate of institutional, political and economic adaptation need to be accelerated both in the new and the older member states.
The second day of the Symposium began with the speech of the Representative of the NATO Directorate of Press and Information Mr. Werner Bauwens who addressed the relation between NATO and Public Opinion. Mr Bauwens referred to the formation of public opinion in the new members of NATO as well as the candidate members and emphasised the importance of the national administrations and the national parliaments. According to Mr Bauwens the enlargement negotiations with nine candidate countries have to be organised on the basis of both a realistic and ambitious plan.
Mr Bauwens made particular reference to NATO's military operations in Kosovo and to the need to convince the public opinion that the use of force was an option of a last resort. After the failure of the peace negotiations with the Serbs and the Kosovo Albanians there were no alternatives other than a military intervention that could bring peace to Kosovo. In addition NATO had to prove that it is a credible organisation which can act effectively and can maintain solidarity and cohesion among its members. Today, in the aftermath of the operations, NATO is facing the challenge of preserving peace and deter any reoccurrence of violence in Kosovo. In this context NATO forces are to be transferred from Bosnia to Kosovo.
Two basic conclusions can be drawn from the Kosovo crisis according to Mr Bauwens. First, the grey zone of military intervention without a mandate of the Security Council of the United Nations needs to be clarified. Second, the operations demonstrated the incapacity of Europe and in particular the European Union to deal with international crises. This is primarily due to the lack of both institutional and operational structures. The progressive shrinking of the national defence spending in most European countries and the technological gap between US and European armed forced are striking indications of a lamentable realty for Europe.
The French Ambassador to Greece Mr. Michel Vandepoorter who launched the discussion on 'The Europea Defence and Atlantic Solidarity' in the second round table, agreed with the observations of Mr Bauwens on the deficiencies of the European defence policy and called for the enhancement of EU's capabilities for autonomous action. He stressed however that Europe's defence is intrinsically linked with the transatlantic cooperation. The European and Atlantic institutions are not antagonistic but complementary. It is therefore necessary to develop the appropriate institutions and structures that will facilitate the establishment of common strategies and actions. NATO and the European Union have to confirm their common interests and parallel paths through processes of collective decision making and policy implementation.
H.E. Ambassador Cahen, connected the evolution of the European Security and Defence Identity with the European integration process. During the last decade, this process was accelerated both by the political and economic changes in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe as well as the institutional reforms of the EU. The establishment of a Common Foreign and Security Policy in conjunction with the creation of a multinational military force have set the basis of the revitalisation of a European Security Identity. AS a response to the Kosovo crisis a Council of Defence Ministers of the EU member states was held for the first time. The gradual incorporation of a defence dimension to CFSP was confirmed in the Cologne Summit thus creating the preconditions for the establishment of an integrated European Defence. In conclusion, Mr Cahen reaffirmed the need for a harmonious relationship between the EU and NATO on the following axes: Full transparency, parallel progress of the European Defence Identity and CFSP, deepening of the cooperation and an 'homeopathetic dose of ambiguity' (constructive ambiguity).
In his keynote address to the Symposium, H.E the Ambassador of the US in Greece, Mr Nicolas Burns identified four challenges that the Balkans are currently facing: The prevention of a recurrence of war in the Balkans, the strengthening of NATO as a powerful institution that can forge peace and stability in Europe, the rapprochement between Greece and Turkey and finally the closer cooperation between the US and Greece in dealing with regional issues. With regards to Kosovo, Mr Burns focused on the capabilities-gap between the US and its European Allies and also stressed the need to eliminate this asymmetry. The American Ambassador welcomed the recent attempts made by the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers to improve bilateral relations and attributed primordial importance to the cooperation of the two countries as a catalyst for the consolidation of peace and prosperity in the wider Balkan region.
The third round table discussion concentrated on Stability in South Eastern Europe and sought ways of establishing security, economic reform and democracy in the region. The keynote speakers were H.E. the Ambassador of Norway to Greece representing the Chairman in Office of OSCE, Mr Jan Hegg, H.E. the Ambassador of Albania to Greece Mr Kastriot Spiro Robo, H.E. the Ambassador of Bulgaria to Greece Mr Kiril Topalov, H.E. the Ambassador of Romania to Greece Mr Dan Radulescu, H.E. the Ambassador of FYROM to Greece Mr Ljupco Arsovski and H.E. the Ambassador Mr John Boukaouris, Deputy Political Director in the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Interventions and comments were made by the Vice Presidenct of the Atlantic Association of Young Political Leaders Ms Augustina Tzvetkova and by the Secretary General of the Atlantic Association of Hungary Mr Miklos Derer.
Mr Hegg analysed the comparative advantages of OSCE as a security institution and as a guarantor of the Stability Pact. Furthermore the OSCE (in collaboration with other EuroAtlantic institutions) has greatly contributed to the democratisation process and the protection of Human Rights in Kosovo and Bosnia. The Ambassadors of Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia made a thorough account of their foreign policy priorities and in particular the reinforcement of the ties with NATO and the EU. In a similar line of thought as the Ambassadors of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, they linked accession to these two organisations with the consolidation of democracy and the development of market economy. Albania and FYROM have made significant progress towards economic modernisation and institutional reform whereas they have improved relations with their neighbours, notably Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. The Stability Pact is undoubtedly a positive initiative for the development of the region and the gradual integration of the Balkans in the Euroatlantic institutions. However, the intensification of the efforts for institutional and economic convergence has to be followed by an increase of foreign aid both in terms of economic assistance and in terms of institutional design and technological know-how.
The discussion was completed with the interventions of the two representatives of ATA, Ms Tzvetkova and Mr Derer. With regards to South Eastern Europe the two speakers underlined the importance of the enlargement process of NATO and the EU and expressed the hope that this process will continue. Regional economic and political integration is the only means of achieving peace, stability and a harmonious coexistence of all the peoples of Europe.
".... I will visit Greece very shortly" declares in a letter that sent the new Chairman of Bulgaria, Mr. Peter STOYANOV to the Chairman of the Greek Association for Atlantic & European Cooperation Mr. Theodosis Georgiou on the occasion the 6th International Conference that was organized by G.A.A.E.C. in the Zappeion Megaron on the 6 - 7 December 1996, and continues "I'm very sorry for not being today with you, but I want to stress that the relations of my country with neighboring Greece will have special interest at the duration of my Presidency, as also they will have priority on our relation with the NATO, the Western European and European Union...."
The subject of the 6th International Conference of G.A.A.E.C was: "Balkans and Mediterranean Associates in the Stability and Cooperation, the role of International Organisms, the role of Greece", participated the Vice-president of Committee of External Affairs of Bulgarian Parliament Mr. Agov from Bulgaria, as representative of the former Prime Minister and Governmental Associate Mr. Petros Roman and the Vice-president of his party and Chairman of Committee of Exterior Affairs Mr. Victor Bostinaru from Romania, the Undersecretary of National Defence Mr. Alfred Moisiu from Albania, the high executive of Ministry of Culture Mr. Z. Theodosievsky from F.Y.R.O.M., the Diplomatic Adviser of Chairman Mr. Zeljco Matic from Croatia and from the Mediterranean countries Ambassadors, professors of Universities and other experts.
Between the speakers was also, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Ambassador Mr. Vahit Halefoglou but also representatives from France, Belgium, Lithuania and Russia.
The Greek representation from the Government and the Political Parties was very high. The Undersecretary of National Defence, Mr. Dimitris Apostolakis and the Athens's Mayor Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos opened the Conference and welcomed the Participants in Athens.
The Undersecretary of National Economy, Mr. Christos Pahtas developed subjects concerning the Economy.
The Chairman of Democratic Social Movement Mr. Dimitris Tsovolas, the former Minister Mr Alexandros Papadogonas from the New Democracy and Mr. Stefanos Stefanopoulos from "Politiki Aniji" spoke about the opinions of their political parties of Greece.
Of special interest was the speech of the American Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Thomas Miles, who presented the American interest in the region, but also of the representative of the Russian Embassy Mr. Igor Morozov, that presented respectively the Russian opinions on these subjects. This special Meeting was coordinated and commented by the former Minister of Foreign Affaires, Mr. Mihalis Papakonstantinou.
Furthermore, there was a round table on the subject "Cultural bonds" chaired by the Academic Mr. Evangelos Moutsopoulos, who also presented his views.
"The role of International Organizations in the Balkans and the Mediterranean" was the subject of the representative of NATO Mr. Daniel George.
On the round table for the Trade and the International Collaboration presented their opinions the Chairman of Organism of Promotion of Exports Mr. Ioannis Tzen and Mr. Ioannis Liveris, Special Adviser of Group of INTRACOM.
The Conference ended with the speech of Minister of Press and Mass Media, Mr. Dimitris Reppas.
The objectives and the conclusions of the 6th International Conference were presented in the Opening and Closing day of the Conference respectively, from the Chairman of G.A.A.E.C., Mr. Theodosis Georgiou.
During the Conference, messages from the Chairman of Bulgaria Mr. Stoyanov were read, the Chairman of American Atlantic Council Mr. David Acheson, the Chairman of OSCE Swiss Minister of Foreign Affaires Mr. Flavio Cotti, the S.G. of ODES Mr. Aragova, the Alternate S.G. of WEO Mr. Holthoff, the SACEUR, General Joulwan the European Committee the Sir Martin Garrod expert envoy of EU in the Mostar and other personalities.
From the Greek side the Ministers Th. Pangalos and G. Papandreou and the Chairman of Coalition Mr. N. Konstantopoulos also offered their opinions.
During the 6th International Conference, representatives from 21 countries, as well as the Ambassadors of 38 countries to Greece and other political, military and Academic figures participated.
Proposals but also conclusions were presented at the end of the Conference by Panagiotis Tsakonas, Researcher of the Institute of International Relations of Panteion University.
Mr. Theodossis Georgiou to S. Passy
The Chairman of G.A.A.E.C. Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, in the inaugural speech , stressed to Mr. S. Passy the reasons for which G.A.A.E.C. examines, for the second time, the subject of the Balkans and the Union. Also, in collaboration with GeorgetownUniversity, the American Institution "Fund for American Studies" and the Rural Bank of Greece, Mr. Georgiou stressed that there will be an annual educational program entitled "International Institute Political and Economic Studies" with new scientists from the countries of Balkans and Mediterranean and with subjects that concern the region.
After Mr. Georgiou greeted the Participants at the conference, the Vice-president of Atlantic Treaty Association Mr. Salmon Passy delivered his greetings to the participants of the Conference and read messages from the Chairman of Bulgaria Mr. P. Stoyanov and Chairman of ATA Mr. X. Bayulken.
Mr. D. Avramopoulos
Then the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, welcomed the participants at the conference stressing that in the new setting of the after War era, new ideological economic situations are shaped, new forms of collaboration are developed - as is observed for example by the intensification of Organism for Safety and Collaboration in Europe (OSCE) and the growth of the Euromediteranean relations which were climaxed at the Conference of Barcelona in 1995 - and the so called International Intergovernmental and non Governmental Organizations in their ability to play new roles. In his speech Mr. Avramopoulos pointed out the imperative need of intensification of regional collaboration. Over this framework he referred on the proposal of the city of Athens for the constitution of a new regional body, the Conference of Cities of South-eastern Europe.
Mr. D. Apostolakis
Mr. D. Apostolakis, the Undersecretary of Defence, announced the beginning of the Conference work, while also stressing on the redefinition of collaboration and safety in Europe in the level of institutions as well as in the level of subjects. In the institutional level the changes concern the new objectives of NATO, and the adaptation of the Alliance in the new era (enlargement NATO, new relation with Russia, new structure of strategy, rearrangement of system of administration, growth of forces of rapid reaction, Program of Partnership for the Peace e.t.c.). In the epicenter of these developments, the undertaking of defensive arm of European Union from Western European Union (WEO), the focus of Organization of Safety and Collaboration in Europe (OASE) in the prevention of conflicts and the regulation of crises, as well as the activation of European Union on issues common foreign and security policy, are of most importance. On this subject it is of utmost importance of the emergence of new threats as the rise of nationalism, the increase of terrorism and the distribution of narcotics.
In regards to Greece Mr. Apostolakis underlined the principles of territorial integrity, the rules of International Law and the resolution of differences with peaceful means. He also described the contribution of Greece in the stability of Balkans as this is constituted from the attendance of Greek Armed Forces in programs of Partnership for the Peace, with the multinational force IFOR in Bosnia as well as in air transportation of humanitarian help in Bosnia.
Mr. Apostolakis concluded his speech with the ascertainment that South-Eastern Europe will cease to be considered as a "grey region" and that the countries of the region should progressively join International Organizations.
D.Tsovolas, Al. Papadogonas, St. Stefanopoulos
The representatives of political parties who spoke at the Conference did not have major differences in the notion of setting the regional safety in the Mediterranean and the Balkans. They all stressed that Greece has to become the bridge between the countries of the region and the International Organizations that are Members (EU, NATO), but also asked for an enhanced effort of the Country to this direction.
Architecture of Safety
All the speakers continued referring instability as the main characteristic of the post Cold War era or, as the Ambassador Mr. Petrounakos noted, "A fragile safety". The safety in Europe and the Mediterranean is indivisible, as it is proved e.g. by the interest and the entanglement of many States in the peace processes in Bosnia and the Middle East, by the interdependence of States and regions and by the globalization of problems.
Furthermore, the safety should not be depended on the notion of "zero sum" or on the logic of maintaining peace via preparation for war. The confrontation of problems in the post Cold War era allows us to think differently. At this point, of special interest was the proposal of the Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Harry Khey - Tal, who spoke about "cooperative security" giving particular importance to single codes of behavior and preventive meters for the resolution of conflicts.
In regard to the Mediterranean region, emphasis was given to the improved chances that are created nowadays through the use of the Euro-Mediterranean Collaboration and the possibilities of growth that exist with the good use of E.U. grants. Of course, as Vice-president of Atlantic Union of France, Mr. Francois Moreau de Balasy stressed, the European Union is lacking a complete Mediterranean policy. The challenge for the European Union is the creation and application of a Common European Policy that will ensure the stability and security in the region.
However the latest developments that have been undertaken in the post Cold War era support a retained optimism. For example Mr. Balasi, Israel's Ambassador Harry Khey-Tal and Palestinian Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah pointed out the importance of the Conference of Barcelona that was held on 27-28 November 1995 that placed new ways of collaboration between the 15 states-members of the European Union and 12 other states of Mediterranean. The Conference of Barcelona was the beginning of the creation of joint policies and the deepening of relations between European, Israelis and Άrabs, and residents of North Africa.
As far as the promotion of economic subjects in the Mediterranean, Greece can contribute accordingly. The Undersecretary of National Economy Mr. V. Pahtas, as well as the Chairman of Greek Organization of Foreign Trade Mr. Ioannis Tzen, focused on the initiatives that have been undertaken by the Greek Government for the development of the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region.
Palestine - Israel
Ambassadors Harry Khey-Tal and Abdullah Abdullah discussed the Israel and Palestine conflict. Mr Khey-Tal stated that Israel is ready to negotiate with each one of its neighbors and he underlined the important steps that have been made with the Palestinians. For the resolution of conflicts and confrontation of misunderstandings the Israeli representative proposed the enactment of dialogue that could begin from the easily solved problems and that could develop progressively in more important subjects. On the other hand Ambassador Abdullah was much more critical and cautious on his ascertainments. As the Palestinian representative said, today in the Middle East instability and conflict prevail. Mr. Abdullah foresaw dangers of agreement violation that have been contracted by the previous Government, particularly on the subjects concerning immigrants and the arrangement of Jerusalem, and the fall back of military forces from Hebron. A second source of concern for the Palestinians is the nuclear force of Israel, which imposes mechanisms of inspection and verification.
In the Congress Greek-Turkish relations, which at the opinion of Ambassador of USA Mr Thomas Miles have been worsened in the post Cold War era, could not be discussed. The subjects in the Greek-Turkish relations are many and considerable, as a priority the resolution of the Cyprus problem. The main question that is placed, and the big challenge for the region is how the problem will resolve without affecting the vital national interests of Greece and Turkey. There were many opinions at the Congress about how much dialogue should exist. If it has to be opened or not in various terms, should it examine all the spectrum of problem or should it focus in individual-minor problems, should it be regarded "high policy" or "low policy"? Although, it was recognized that Greek and Turkish analysts should co-oparticipate at Congresses and should express openly and unambiguously their opinions regardless of the foreign policy of their Countries. The exchange of opinions is useful not because it leads to convergence but because dialogue creates a better understanding of the opposing policy from both sides of the Aegean.
In the Conference a wide spectrum of ideas was put forward from the characterization of a Greek-Turkish approach as unfeasible to the proposal for a step by step discussion on issues of low policy, up to the opinion that the economic collaboration between Greeks and Turks can create the conditions of overtaking the Greek-Turkish dead-end.
Mr. D. Reppas
The work of 6th Conference on the Stability and Collaboration in the Balkans and the Mediterranean was closed with the speech of the Minister of Press and Mass Media Mr. Dimitris Reppas. The Minister of Press pointed out that the crucial subject of European Safety was also discussed in the recent conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Lisbon and the European Union in Dublin. The problem of security for Greece is mainly in its Eastern neighboring countries where the Turkish threat is increasing.
Conclusion (Mr. Gianna)
Concluding, we can say that the uncertainty and the insecurity are the main characteristics of the Post Cold War era. Governments, International Organizations, Non-governmental Organizations efforts to try to adapt to the new environment. The security for Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean is identical and all the involved parts should try to agree to a frame of common principles (e.g. respect of international conditions) and regulations (not use of violence) in order to have constructive results, the resolution of conflicts and the promotion of collaboration......"
Mr. Panagiotis Tsakonas
The situation in the Balkans
The opinion of the Big Forces
The speakers that were invited focused and gave their proposals on the three thematic units that concern the Balkans.
The first thematic unit concerns the opinions and the policies of "Big Forces" for the future of Balkan States.
Undoubtedly, it is possible to observe several differences in policies between the last remaining superpower, that is to say USA and the policies of Russia. The difference of policies can be found in many aspects that concern the whole Balkan region, that their policies in the European Continent, the question of extension of the Atlantic Alliance to the east, the extended role of NATO in the Post Cold War era but also in more special questions that concern the Balkan countries, as for example the speed and the way of integration of the former communist states in the NATO etc.
The proposals of the U.S. Ambassador Mr. Thomas Miles, and the Russian Embassy representative Mr. Igor Morozov, had as common denominator, the enormous interest of both countries for the future of the Balkan Region but at the same time rendered absolutely explicit the deviating objectives of the two Forces in the region. Divergences that concerned the handling and the choices of each side at the period of the Yugoslavian crisis and the ways the stability in the Balkans after the Dayton Accord could succeed. The importance of the role that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe should play from the Russian side, contrary to the role of NATO that promotes the American side, constitutes perhaps the more important divergence of opinions of the two sides with regard to the future of the region.
Moreover in his written intervention in the Conference the Chairman of American Atlantic Council Mr. David Acheson stressed the importance of the region for the US interests which correspond to the world security. He added that, despite the US support, the Governments and the populations of the countries that live in the Mediterranean region should independently find the suitable ways that will allow the safeguarding of stability and peace in the region.
The pessimistic picture
The second thematic unit concerns the elements that compose a rather problematic and pessimistic picture of reality. It concerns, in other words, those centrifugal forces that were released after the end of the Cold War which resulted in destabilizing the region.
The Undersecretary of Defence of Albania Mr. Alfred Moisiu noted such potential destabilizing forces in the region of Kossovo, mainly as result of the precarious and fragile peace that was imposed with the Agreement of Dayton. Similar arguments were made in regards to the deterioration of relations between Romania and Hungary because of nationalistic tendencies, which were made by the Vice-president of Democratic party of Romania and Chairman of Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Romanian Parliament Mr. Victor Bostinaru as well as the Secretary General of the Hungarian Atlantic Council Mr. Miklos Derer.
The optimistic prospect
However, all the above is only one point of view of the reality in the Balkans. Another view is constituted in the third thematic unit. The careful observer could realize a line of developments and tendencies that present the basis of an optimistic approach for the future of the Balkan Peninsula. In these developments are included the efforts of democratization and modernization of the economies of the former communistic Balkan States and further growth of the element of economic interdependence.
It is not therefore accidental that this was the common argument for the Greek Undersecretary of National Economy Mr. Virtuous Pahtas, the Vice-president of European Bank of Investments Mr. Panagiotis Gennimatas, the Chairman of Organism of promotion of Exports Mr. I. Tzen and Mr. Ioannis Liveris, Special adviser of INTRACOM. The ascertainment that an economic collaboration between the states of Balkan constitutes today the only conceivable strategy for the prevention of conflicts or the escalating conflict situations in various "flammable" regions of the world. Of course, as stressed in his speech Mr. P. Gennimatas, "the systematic routing of economic collaboration should affix itself in the epicenter of interest for the security, particularly in cases as this between Greece and Turkey". The former Ambassadors Mr. Vahit Halefoglou and Mr. Dimitris Petrounakos, presented fundamentally different interpretations in regard to the resolution of the Greek-Turkish conflict, however it is certain that also these two diplomats could include this way as a first step for the approach of the two countries.
The Chairman of the Panel Academic Mr. Evangelos Moutsopoulos, Ambassadors Dorin Matei from Romania and Mr. Zlatko Theodosievski from FYROM, and the historian Dr. I. Loukas stressed that history can constitute the mean of connection and the reason of coexistence for the populations of the region of Balkans. A region which constitutes the touchstone of the Europe of tomorrow.
Finally Mr. Mohamed Zaoui, Agent of Embassy of Morocco in Greece reminded us that "war and culture cannot coexist".
It should be underlined that the speakers from the Balkan states pointed out the need for a rapid integration of the States of the region in an extended and strengthened NATO. It was also common ascertainment for all of the speakers that the stability in the Balkan Peninsula is based on the interdependence and consequently the choices of the Balkan States do not constitute a "game of null sum" (zero-sum marriage) where the benefits and profits of a state are always the damage and loss of another state.
It should be pointed out that when you realize this common denominator for the Speakers, the observer of political life of the region of Balkans can gaze with optimism the future and have well-founded hopes that the States of region not only can cease living in the era of omnipotence of history but the possibility of experiencing a new season of harmonious coexistence and growth is feasible.....".
On the 7 - 9 December, GAAEC' s 5th International Conference took place, in the Zappeion Megaro.
The main topic of discussion was: "Regional Safety and Cooperation in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. The role of International Organizations".
This conference, the 5th International Conference of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, constitutes a forum for dialogue and mutual understanding, and we hope that it will contribute to the serious concerns that preoccupy the wider region of the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
The Conference commenced with a speech from the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr George ROMAIOS, and concluded with a speech from the Minister of National Defence Mr Gerasimos ARSENIS. Speakers also included, the Undersecretary of Finance, responsible for International Economic Relations, Mr Yannis ANTHOPOYLOS.
Political parties from all over the country participated, with their leading representatives. From New Democracy, in charge of International Relations, Mrs. Marietta Giannakou-Koutsikou, Parliamentarian and former Minister, from Politiki Anixi, Representative Mr Stathis GIOTAS, Parliamentarian and former Minister, from Sinaspismos, Chairman Mr Nikos KONSTANTOPOYLOS, and also a representative from the Communist Party.
Opinions concerning additional approaches to the Regional Security and Stability were expressed by speakers from all the neighboring countries: the Undersecretaries of Foreign Affairs for Bulgaria Mr. Konstantin GLAVANAKOV and Hungary Mr. Istvan PATAKI, the Undersecretary of Defence for Albania Mr. Alfred MOISIU, the Ambassador of Israel to Greece, Mr. David SASSON, acting Ministers from the embassy of Egypt in Greece Mr. Minou SHERRY and the Embassy of Turkey in Greece Mr. Tacan ILDEN, the Ambassador Mr. Mjrcea UTERUS from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Mr. Vojko KUZMA, Director of International Relations from the Parliament of Slovenia, Parliamentarian, from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, professor Mr. Dwarf RUZJN, and the Secretary General of the Italian Atlantic Committee Mr Fabrizio LUCIOLLI.
Acting Minister for the American Embassy in Athens Mr. Thomas MILLER and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mihalis PAPAKONSTANTINOY expressed transatlantic views and concerns for the region. Finally, the Chairman of the Permanent Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Mr Lefteris VERIVAKIS, expressed his opinions.
The objectives and conclusions of the Conference were presented by, the Chairman of the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, Mr Theodosis GEORGIOU.
Subjects of importance were elaborated on by Mr. Panagiotis GENNIMATAS, Vice-president of the European Bank of Investments, the Assistant General Director of the Commercial Bank Mr. Konstantinos KANONIS, Professor at the University of Athens and Chairman of ELIAMEP Mr. Thanos VEREMIS, expert on issues of de-militarization Mr. Petros PETRIDIS. Other experts, and members of GAAEC, that spoke were Mr. Theodoros PSALIDOPOYLOS, Mrs. Aliki MITSAKOY and Mr. Andreas LYKOYRENTZOS.
The role of International Organizations was analyzed by the NATO spokesperson, Mr. Jamie SHEA, Ambassador Mr Horst HOLTHOFF, Assistant Secretary General of the Western European Union, Mrs. Mirka GONTIKA, Director of the United Nations Office of Information for Greece, Cyprus and Israel, and Ambassador Mr. Wilhem HOYNCK, Secretary General of the Organization for Safety and Cooperation in Europe.
Other participants that were invited to the Conference included distinguished Greek and foreign Politicians, Military, Academic, Diplomatic Representatives from all the foreign Embassies of the Balkan and Mediterranean countries in Athens, and Members from other "Atlantic Union" countries, members of NATO and the "Partnership for Peace" Program.
GAAEC organised its 4th International Conference at the Zappeion Megaro in Athens from 16 to 17 of December 1994.
The subjects that were discussed were:
- "The new security structure of Europe ",
- "Political and economic cooperation ",
- "The role of Non Governmental Organizations concerning the establishment of new cooperative relations between countries - members of NATO and also concerning the countries – members of the "Partnership for Peace " program.
In this Conference speakers included the Minister of Press Mr. E. VENIZELOS, the Deputy Minister of National Defence Mr. N. KOYRIS, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Mr. E. VERYVAKIS, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. M. PAPAKOOSTANTINOY, N.D. Parliamentarian Mr. K. KARAMANLIS, Parliamentarians and Representatives from all the political parties, as well as other distinguished personalities, like the vice-president of the European Bank of Investments Mr. P. GENNIMATAS, former Minister Mr. V. RWTIS, Hon. Ambassador Th. STOFOROPOYLOS, the chairman of the International Organisation for Biopolitics Dr. A. VLAVIANOY, University Professor Mrs. J. STRAGKA
Speakers, also included, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of Romania Mr Virgil CONSTANTINESCU, Representatives of the NATO General Secretariat, the General Secretariat of the O.S.C.E., WEU, European Union and the Council of Europe. Roughly 30 members from NATO countries and members of the "Atlantic Treaty Association" as well as from the "Partnership for Peace" program attended. Representatives from Non Governmental Organisations as well as Representatives of Multinational Companies from Greece and abroad also took part.