CEPA Forum 2015 and 2016
2016 Program

Saving the West - Priorities and Principles

Day 1

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The Willard InterContinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Ballroom (-1 floor)

8:00 a.m.

Arrivals and Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Opening Keynotes (Comments on the title of the Forum “Saving the West - Priorities and Principles)

The West is facing an unprecedented series of challenges, including Islamist extremism, a revanchist Russia, a militaristic and expansionist China, the rise of challenger economies in the South and at home economic stagnation and political upheavals. What do we need to prioritize? How do we balance a principled stand with pragmatic necessities?

Opening Remarks

  • Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary (Confirmed)
  • Rokas Masiulis, Energy Minister, Republic of Lithuania (Confirmed)
  • Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (Confirmed)
9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Visegrad’s finest hour was before EU expansion. Since then it has continued as a co-ordinating body between its four founder members, and on occasion as a locus of action for a wider regional grouping—the so-called Visegrad Plus. It has coordinated the successful flow of EU structural funds to the region. But now Visegrad faces new challenges and strains—in particular as it is perceived to exemplify resistance to Germany’s policy on migration. So what does the future hold for Visegrad? To what extent has the V4 have evolved into active coordinating body between Central Eastern states; and how is the V4 responding to uncertainty over Brexit and the future of the European project? One thing is clear: those who prophesied a slide into irrelevance have been proved emphatically wrong.  

Edward Lucas, Senior Vice President, CEPA

  • Lukas Parizek, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic (Confirmed)
  • Karel Schwarzenberg, Chairman of the Foreign Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the Czech Republic (Confirmed)
  • Szabolcs Takács,  State Secretary for EU Affairs of the Prime Minister’s Office, Hungary (Confirmed)

First Respondent:
Anna Visvizi, Institute of East-Central Europe, Poland 

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Russia’s aggressive foreign policy has notched up successes in Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. The Kremlin has repeatedly confounded the West and established Russia as a supra-regional actor with real negotiating clout. The West has responded by reassuring the frontline states, fostering closer ties with NATO for Sweden and Finland, increasing defense spending and bolstering the U.S. military commitment to Europe—all of which featured at the NATO summit in Warsaw. But what next? How far is the threat now a military one? How should NATO deal with non-military threats such as cyber-warfare, propaganda, energy sanctions, subversion? What is NATO’s response to Russian superiority in A2AD in the Baltic region? Do we confront it head-on, or widen our deterrence? What is NATO’s nuclear posture vis-à-vis Russia? How can we maintain the credibility of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons when the European public is overwhelmingly skeptical about their use?

Janusz Bugajski, Senior Fellow, CEPA

  • Michael Carpenter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia (Confirmed)
  • Jānis Kažociņš, National Security Adviser to the President and Secretary to the National Security Council, Office of the President of Latvia (Confirmed)
  • Tomasz Szatkowski, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of National Defence, Republic of Poland (Confirmed)
  • Gen. Riho Terras, Commander-in-Chief, Estonian Defence Forces (Confirmed)
First Respondent: Martin Michelot, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Czech Republic (Confirmed)
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.


1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


America’s transformative legacy in Europe is great, but the transatlantic relationship is evolving—fast. Past victories in the Cold War are no guarantee of future success in the face of new probing from the restive East. In an era of finite defense resources, rising demands in Asia, and in light of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, is the Atlantic Alliance in danger of becoming over reliant on the U.S. security umbrella? What advantages are to be gained from tighter regional cooperation through formats like Visegrád+? Can economic ties, such as energy or defense industrial cooperation sustain the transatlantic link in this new era of uncertainty?

MODERATOR: Peter Doran, Vice President of Analysis, CEPA

  • István Gyarmati, President, International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT), Budapest, Hungary (Confirmed)
  • Julianne Smith, Senior Fellow and Director of the Strategy and Statecraft Program, Center for a New American Security (Confirmed)
  • Tomas Strazay, Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA), Bratislava (Invited)
First Respondent: Ambassador Dr. Stanislav Raščan, Director of the Department for Strategic Studies and Analyses in the Directorate for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia (Confirmed)

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


The West’s core principles are under attack as never before. Even at home, the liberal consensus is fraying. The West’s ability to defend itself against external challenges is weakened when voters and policymakers lose confidence in the system. What weight does a democratic society give to national, linguistic, ethnic and cultural identities in the face of unprecedented migration flows? Can the liberal economic model still benefit the many as well as the few? Does multilateral rules-based co-operation trump democracy and sovereignty? 

Edward Lucas, Senior Vice President, CEPA


Battlespace Breakouts: Land, Info, Cyber and Energy

Day 2

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Meridian International Center
1630 Crescent Place, NW, Washington, DC 20009

9:00 a.m.

Arrivals and Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


Land Warfare

Europe's frontline states face a daunting dilemma: the United States is far away and prone to distraction; Russia is near, modernizing, and aggressive; and the CEE region itself is not a military great power. After Russia’s military foray into Ukraine, old questions of how to defend territory are back – such as the local balance of conventional capabilities and the nature of the Russian threat. These are fundamentally different problem sets from those encountered during the out-of-area deployments of the last two decades. How has the Ukraine War shown that CEE states need to fill defense gaps: doctrinally, in posture, new capabilities; What role should the United States play in the territorial defense of CEE frontline states; How will armies need to retool their capabilities from the “Long War” of the past to the new dangers facing CEE?

Jakub Grygiel, Senior Fellow, CEPA

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


The War on Truth: Russian Disinformation and How to Combat it

Russia’s information-warfare offensive against the West and its allies is sophisticated, ubiquitous and increasingly effective. Countries whose media regimes are based on free speech and free markets are struggling to deal with targeted propaganda. What mixture of legal, regulatory and social pressure can constrain hostile and subversive media? Is rebuttal effective? What, if anything, can we do to counter-attack? The panel will discuss these questions based on the case studies and other material compiled from CEPA’s Information-Warfare Initiative. 

MODERATOR: Donald N. Jensen, Senior Adjunct Fellow, CEPA (Confirmed)

  • Urve Eslas, Information Warfare Monitor, CEPA (Confirmed)
  • Thomas Kent, the President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Confirmed)
  • Mikk Marran, Director General, Estonia’s Information Board (Confirmed)
  • Mustafa Nayyem, Member of the Parliament of Ukraine (Confirmed)
  • Michael Weiss, Senior Editor, The Daily Beast (Confirmed)

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.


Ghosts in the Machine: “Cyber,” Myth and Reality 

Computers and networks are now the military, criminal-justice and commercial front line. Malefactors—whether soldiers, spies, criminals or pranksters—find the internet, with its flaw-strewn hardware and software, badly designed networks and ill-trained, complacent humans, a paradise. It is high time to assign priorities in cyber-defense. What are the right public-private partnerships and boundaries? What is the balance between criminal and civil litigation, competitive pressure, social censure and other possible constraints against carelessness? How can we take the fight to the enemy, deterring those attackers motivated by political aims, and disrupting the business model for the criminal economy?

Edward Lucas, Senior Vice President, CEPA

  • Frank J. Cilluffo, Associate Vice President & Director, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (Confirmed)
  • Sven Sakkov, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Tallinn (Confirmed)
  • Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution (Confirmed)

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.


Breaking the Chains: Is America on Europe’s New Energy Map?

America has become a significant exporter of both oil and natural gas, just at the time that Europe has largely shed its dependence on Russia, thanks to the vigorous intervention of the European Commission. How are V4 countries in particular building a more resilient energy network in Central Europe? Is the U.S. role now merely as a balancing factor, providing small but symbolically important quantities of LNG—or is it greater? And what role can the U.S. still play in pipeline politics—for example in promoting gas exports from the Caspian region to Europe? 

Peter Doran, Vice President of Analysis, CEPA

  • Kristof Altusz, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary (Confirmed)
  • Robin Dunnigan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy (Confirmed)
  • Ivan Krastev, Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies (Confirmed)
  • Rokas Masiulis, Energy Minister, Republic of Lithuania (Confirmed)
  • Alan Riley, Professor and Director, LLM Programme, The City Law School (Confirmed)

12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.


The World We Lost—and How to Win it Back

Keynote Speaker: Jackson Diehl, Deputy Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Post (Confirmed)
MODERATOR: Wess Mitchell, President, CEPA (Confirmed)