EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will speak in Bratislava

The security conference in Bratislava is expected to break several records.

Globsec 2018 discussion. L-r: Czech PM Andrej Babiš, Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini, EC Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič.Globsec 2018 discussion. L-r: Czech PM Andrej Babiš, Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini, EC Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič. (Source: TASR)

More than 1,300 guests and 150 speakers from over 60 countries will discuss the most pressing security issues at the GLOBSEC conference held in Bratislava on June 6-8.

“The 14th year will be a record one in several respects,” Róbert Vass, president of GLOBSEC, told the May 29 press conference.

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The biggest security conference in central Europe has invited several top politicians from various countries. Apart from Slovak President Andrej Kiska and PM Peter Pellegrini, also Czech PM Andrej Babiš will be present, together with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučič, President of Montenegro Milo Dunakovic, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, US Senator Ron Johnson, and Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Thomas Greminger.

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“Events like GLOBSEC focus on making our society better prepared for the turbulent and fundamental changes the globalising world is facing,” said Slovak diplomat and former ambassador to Washington and Budapest, Rastislav Káčer.

Five key topics

Participants will discuss various topics within five main streams: European integration, defence and security in the transatlantic sphere, technology as a benefactor and a threat, sustainable societies and, challenges to democracy and liberal order.

  • The European Integration stream will try to answer questions like how EU’s political landscape will change after the EP elections and the consequences, or what should be the priorities of the new European Commission. They will also seek answers to what vision CEE can offer based on its unique strengths, experiences and perspectives, or how the EU can maintain good relations with Western Balkan countries as well as with the UK post-Brexit. Its chair will be Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák.
  • The Defence and Security stream will focus on whether Europe’s quest for defence autonomy is a source of a cure or a symptom of disease for NATO, whether there is enough momentum to break out of the stalemates in Ukraine and South Caucasus to improve relations with Russia. It will also try to answer questions like whether we need new tools for crisis prevention and peace building and if we are equipped to face hybrid and reemerging nuclear threats. It will be chaired by John R. Allen, a retired US Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US Forces in Afghanistan.
  • The Digital Technology stream will deal with questions like how we structure public-private partnership to harness inescapable technological progress for the benefit of our societies, how states can protect and project their interests in the borderless cybersphere, whether data protection will become a competition issue for states and companies alike, and what humanity’s place in the digital world of the future will be. It will be chaired by Marietje Schaake, a Dutch politician and MEP.
  • The Sustainability and Global Economy stream will delve into the blueprints for the adaptation of health-care and welfare systems for the ageing population of developed countries, and how we can combat climate change without compromising economic progress. It will be chaired by Maithreyi Seetharaman, an economic and business journalist and television anchor, a veteran of global business news.
  • The Democracy & Disconnect stream will answer questions like the principles upon which the transatlantic partnership and global order of the future will be based, and how democracies should make full use of the AI and its disruptive potential for the benefit of its citizens. It will be chaired by Michael Chertoff, an American attorney who was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving under President George W. Bush.

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