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Second Annual International Conference: NATO, EU and the New Risks: A Southeast Europe Perspective
 
October 29-30, 2004
Sofia, Bulgaria

GENERAL INFORMATION

BACKGROUND

In the last years CSD has focused much of its research and conference activities on new security risks, like trans-border organized crime, trafficking, illegal immigration, corruption etc. and their relation to terrorism. Although these risks today seem particularly relevant to the security environment in South-Eastern Europe, they do pose grave concerns for the wider European and Euro-Atlantic community. As the “non-traditional”, or “asymmetric” threats attract more attention in the wider context of international terrorism the need for transformation and restructuring of the security forces, military and others alike becomes imperative.

The 2004 Annual International CSD Conference is expected to generate further substantial debate on today’s security situation in South-Eastern Europe, and especially in the Western Balkans and to emphasize the importance of continued assertive involvement of the international community and its leading organizations like NATO and the EU as they enlarge. Among the major objectives of the Conference is to promote further political, professional and academic debate, on the broader issues of defense and security forces transformation.

The 2004 Annual International CSD Security Conference follows the very successful high level event, titled “Shaping a Common Security Agenda for SEE Europe: New Approaches and Shared Responsibilities” held in September 2003 in Sofia. The discussion benefited from the participation of the NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, the Stability Pact Coordinator, senior Government officials from SEE and NATO countries- including 8 ministers of Defense and of the Interior from the SEE region, representatives of international organizations and aid agencies, diplomatic missions, academia and NGO’s. Although inevitably seen mainly as a public diplomacy event, the 2003 conference was also widely considered as a unique example of public-private partnership, as an effective tool for generating potential policy guidelines and ideas with practical value.

The CSD Annual International Conferences round up other ongoing research and conference activities, more about which could be found at www.csd.bg. Among them are the regional conference “Institutionalizing the Prevention of Corruption in Security Forces: Enhancing Preventive Structures” (Sofia, 2002), the regional forum “International Cooperation in Countering Terrorism” (Sofia, 2002) and the international conference “Informal Economy in the EU Accession Countries: Size, Scope and the Trends in Trafficking and Corruption” (Sofia 2002). These forums examined the threat posed by organized crime and corruption to the national security in the region by streamlining the anticorruption strategies and public-private cooperation approach in that area.

The Center has, among other research achievements, developed a unique methodology for assessing the corruption pressure generated by organized trafficking in commercial goods. Used for a third year in Bulgaria, this method targets a broader regional application, as it allows policy makers to identify deficiencies in border controls and design responses that target the latest developments in the techniques used by organized crime.

The Center is also the Executive Secretariat of the Southeast European Legal Development Initiative (SELDI) which aims at enhancing the rule of law in the region. In this capacity, CSD has developed a number of analyses on the origins of organized crime in SEE and policy recommendations for reducing its impact in the security forces.

One of CSD’s key contributions is demonstrating the viability of public-private partnerships in this area. A number of task forces of government and CSD and other independent experts have been established by the Center to carry out analyses and policy recommendations on these issues.


CONFERENCE FORMAT

Participants:

- foreign participants – SEE Ministers of Defense and Interior, representatives of NATO, EU and others

- Bulgarian participants – Presidency, Council of Ministers, Parliament, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Interior, Foreign Missions, NGOs, Academia, Media


Organization and co-sponsorship:

Center for the Study of Democracy, NATO, Norwegian government, Bulgarian MOD/MFA/MI
 
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