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Seminar: Security Perceptions and Doctrinal Approaches: Designing and Implementing Security Strategies
A seminar on security strategies for experts in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and Hungary took place on 13-14 October 2005 in Radisson SAS Grand Hotel in Sofia.

The seminar was organized by the CSD, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro and the Embassy of Norway in Sofia.

The discussion focused on security perceptions which affect the political and security thinking in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) after the major changes in the security environment, including the latest round of NATO enlargement with countries from the region, and the transition from post-conflict to integrative relationships.

The seminar also addressed the latest trends in security and defence thinking in NATO and Partner nations, the need for transformation of concepts and forces and the implications of their implementation.

Mr. Liubomir Kyuchukov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, made opening remarks. He expressed his content that all countries from the Southeastern Europe region have made major accomplishments towards full NATO membership and outlined international terrorism as the latest and biggest challenge that the countries are facing.

The Norwegian Ambassador in Sofia Rolf Baltzersen welcomed the participants saying that the reason why Norway shows more than usual interest in security questions related to South East Europe is because it strongly believes that integration of the Western Balkan countries into both NATO an the EU is important for the stability of Europe as a whole.

Ambassador Branislav Milinkovic,Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro to NATO, pointed out that his country has the privilege to chair the Southeast Europe Steering Cooperation Group (SEEGROUP) which meets on a regular basis at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and underlined the firm resolve of Serbia and Montenegro to join the Euro-Atlantic family. Ambassador Milinkovic added that they are obstacles stillto be overcome for the full participation in the PfP.

Ambassador Sven Alkalaj, Head of Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to NATO, expressed similar views and hopes and as an example of the efforts of the country he gave the defense sector reforms. According to him the established Defense Reform Commission produced two crucial documents, the Law on Defense and the Law on Military Service. Nevertheless, “a vast job still needs to be done to make sure the laws are being implemented”, he underlined.

Ambassador Boyko Noev, former Minister of Defense of Bulgaria and Director of the CSD European Program, said that Bulgaria has not gone all the way yet and is still in need of assistance but what it can do is engage in a debate so that the candidate counties may learn from the mistakes.

The NATO point of view was expressed by Mr. George Katsirdakis from NATO’s International Secretariat. He outlined the ethnic tension as a major problem in this part of the world and added that in order to deal with it the attitude tоwards minorities should be changed. Another major problem area is the corruption which has massive negative implications on the economic stability of the region. Mr. Katsirdakis also made a point that the Defense Reforms cannot be done without the approval and participation of the people and this is not going to happen if they are miserable, poor оr unemployed, therefore the governments should focus on the economic problems.

Ambassador Lubomir Ivanov, Bulgarian Permanent Representative to NATO, agreed that the problems are not only bureaucratic and that the perception of the citizens should be changed. He pleaded for a stronger political will of the leaders,who should explain to the people why are the changes important form a political and strategic point of view.

The Director of the NATO Directorate at the MFA of Serbia and Montenegro Milan Milanovic introduced the defense strategy of Serbia and Montenegro which main aim is to reflect the interests and capabilities of the member states, as well as their desire to integrate into global changes in the world, integration processes and responses to challenges, risks and threats to security.

Mr. Gabor Marosfi , Policy Advisor at the Security Police and Non-Proliferation Department at the MFA of Hungary, built on that by saying that the next Summit in 2006 will be a turning point for more changes, possibly new missions, etc. He added that in terms of defense and security strategies a candidate-country should totally share the vision of NATO.

LtGen Anyu Angelov talked about the reforms and changes after the NATO membership from a Bulgarian point of view. He said that Bulgaria developed a new strategy at the end of last year called: “Strategy for Security of Republic of Bulgaria” which has not been adopted by the parliament yet.

The former Deputy Commandant of Rakovski Defense and Staff College and current Ambassador to Iraq Valeri Rachev said how important it is for the political elite to win the trust and confidence of the people so that the legislation changes will be approved and understood. A Serbian participant suggested that the Ministry of Defense should be open to the public, he added: “Of course some secrets should be kept, but a relationship should be established. The public should know where we are going and what are we doing.”

Agenda of the seminar (MS Word,51 kb)

Statement by Ambassador Branislav Milinkovic, Deputy Director General for NATO and Defense Affairs and Special Envoy to NATO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia and Montenegro

Statement by Sven Alkalaj, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to NATO

Presentation of LTC M.A. Katarina Strbac, Chef of Section for Strategic Documents, Department for Strategic Planning, Ministry of Defense of Serbia and Montenegro (PowerPoint, 798 kb)

Presentation of Asif Kahriman, Expert for Implementation of NATO/PfP Programs, Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina (PowerPoint, 1,2 Mb)

Presentation of Ljiljana Trišić, Assistant Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina (PowerPoint, 77 kb)

Presentation of Lt. Gen (ret) Anyu Angelov, Chairman, Centre for Study of National Security Foundation
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