Round table discussion
on the occasion of the visit to Greece
of H.E. The Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg
European Security Challenges
and NATO’s priorities
Thursday, 21 April 2016
supported by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division
On the occasion of the visit in Greece, of H.E. the Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation organized a very interesting and fruitful Round Table Discussion, supported by NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division.
More specifically, the discussion that took place in the Grande Bretagne Hotel on April 21, was divided in three Sessions and the topics that were discussed were about:
Session I: Security Challenges in the Mediterranean: NATO, EU and UN Cooperation.
Session II: The Warsaw Summit priorities: NATO addressing new challenges, East and South.
Session III: New challenges for European Integration and Security.
The Round Table Discussion was introduced by the President of GAAEC Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, who explained that a similar event is organized in each country visited by the Secretary General of NATO, so as the audience is informed on the current affairs in security and international cooperation.
According to Mr. Georgiou “in modern democracies public support provides the legitimacy which matters as much as power does. And everybody knows that public support requires an educated public, this is why our Atlantic Associations promote information and dialogue…” . The speakers, according to the order that they spoke, were the Emeritus Chief of Defense Admiral (rt.) Panagiotis Chinofotis, the Major General and Chief Coordinator for the Refugee Crisis Mr. Konstantinos Floros, the Minister-Counsellor from the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey Mrs. Feyza Barutcu and the Professor of History at the University of Athens Mr. Evanthis Hatzivassiliou.
The Admiral Mr. Chinofotis, described today’s challenges for the Alliance as well as the main threats for the global security, such as the dissemination of nuclear weapons, the organized crime, cyberwar, human trafficking, illegal migration etc. He also emphasized on the geostrategic importance of the Mediterranean Sea, which has twenty coastal states and approximately half a billion citizens. According to his views there is a lack of sharing security information among the states.
Major General Mr. Floros elaborated on the evolvement and on the offer of the Hellenic Military Forces to the current migration issue that both Greece and Europe are facing and he continued by giving specific figures for this issue.
Mrs. Barutcu from the Turkish Embassy presented the official views and policy of Turkey upon the migration crisis.
During the second Session Mrs. Ino Afentouli, from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, introduced NATO’s priorities on the way to the NATO Warsaw Summit, next July, as well as the challenges of the cooperation among NATO, European Union and United Nations.
The Associate professor at Panteion University Mr. Dimitris Keridis also took part in the discussion. The Ambassador of Montenegro Mr. Petar Popovic, also presented his country’s policy on the upcoming accession to the Alliance. This Session was moderated by the Diplomatic Editor of the newspaper “TO VIMA”, Mr. Aggelos Athanassopoulos.
The third Session moderated by the Founding Members of GAAEC, former Minister Mr. Andreas Lykourentzos and the Dean of The International Center for Leading Studies Dr. Aliki Mitsakos, hosted political personalities such as the Former Minister Mrs. Marietta Giannakou and the Member of the Hellenic Parliament Mr. Spiros Danellis. Both of them presented their views on the challenges of the European Integration as well as the European Security Architecture.
All sessions were followed by interventions and questions by many participants.
The attendees of the discussion were also Greek Ambassadors, High Diplomats from the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs including the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister Mr. Evaggelos Kalpadakis, High Level Military Officers in service or retired, Professors from numerous Universities, Experts, Representatives of citizen societies and students from universities who had an active participation. Present were also Representatives from the Foreign Embassies in Athens such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Russian Federation, Turkey, Serbia, Moldova, Romania, Netherlands, Portugal, Algeria, FYROM, Albania, Italy, US and South Africa.
The Ambassador Mr. Terry Stamatopoulos, Assistant Secretary General of NATO, was scheduled to attend the event but unfortunately due to the delay of his arrival to Greece he couldn’t make it.
The next event of GAAEC co organized with The International Center for Leading Studies is “The Chania-Med Forum on Economy, Energy, Politics and Power”, 28-31 July 2016 at Chania, Crete. Information and registration: www.ticls.org/forum .
You can read the final report of the event in English and Greek language that was presented by the rapporteur Dr. Marina Skordeli, Director, Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence - University of Athens.
Opening Remarks from the President of Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation (GAAEC), Mr. Theodossis Georgiou
Remarks from Mr. Danellis - Member of Hellenic Parliament for the district of Irakleio “ΤΟ ΠΟΤΑΜΙ”
Text and photos by: Kougia Mary, Kaloudi Effie, interns from University of Piraeus, and Battistella Anna, intern from University of Bolognia.