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This year’s Security & Defence Agenda NATO conference, which took place on Friday 25 May 2012, gathered experts from across national, EU, NATO and private sectors to discuss the top policy priorities for the Alliance following the recently concluded Chicago Summit. Topics covered included the perceived ‘pivot’ of US foreign policy to the Asia-Pacific region, the reform challenges posed by the “Smart Defence” military equipment agenda and themes of financial austerity facing Europe.
Formal release of the Security Jam 2012 Report
The conference also provided a platform for the formal release of the Security Jam 2012 Report - the results and recommendations of the world’s largest online security and defence policy discussion. The Security Jam took place in March 2012.
The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies was one of the partners who contributed to the success of the 2012 Security Jam. Peter Wijninga and Joris van Esch, supported by Elsa Testelin, Sophie Roborgh and Tessa Ax, hosted the discussion on 'Libya - Lessons learned' and contributed an op-ed to the report.
New recommendations for European defence and security
The report details the top ten recommendations generated by this collaborative event, to which over 3,000 participants from 116 countries had their say. They include the need to focus on EU defence industrial policy, the possibility of forming a “NATO-China Council” in the mould of the current NATO-Russia model, and the suggestion of a country-wide public health and education scheme to help support Afghanistan after the 2014 NATO pull-out.
Participants at the conference strongly supported of the ideas and future targets presented in the report.
E.J. Herold, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, said that “this year’s report is even better than the first, and I am very enthusiastic about these recommendations – we hope such ideas will form the basis of what we at NATO will be doing in this post-Chicago summit period.”
Danish Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Claus Grube, voiced views very much in line with the Jam recommendation of forming a NATO-China Council. “We should recognise that the rise of Asia carries enormous opportunities, as well as challenges. One such challenge will be to encourage China to communicate its vision of its place in global security – we should make sure NATO is still a relevant security partner here.”
To read the full report, please download the news PDF.
Sophie Roborgh is a strategic analyst at HCSS. She obtained a Master’s degree in Arabic and Islam from the Radboud University Nijmegen, specializing in history of the Middle East and social movements in Islamic countries.
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