CEPA Forum 2017
2017 Highlights
Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change

Day 1

Willard InterContinental
1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

8:00 a.m.
Arrival and Breakfast

Atlanticism is under strain as priorities shift, old ties fray, and memories fade. Yet a strong security relationship between Europe and the United States remains vital—for both sides. This year’s CEPA Forum looks at the looming threats to the Atlantic Alliance, and at the efforts all parties must make to adapt and renew it.

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Peter B. Doran, Executive Vice President, CEPA

Opening Keynotes

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary 

Special Guest: Raimonds Vējonis, President, Latvia 

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

American priorities in Central Europe remain focused on security. Yet the cohesion of the Visegrád group has come under increasing scrutiny, with different emphases and approaches in Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw. Expertise within the region remains formidable and the geostrategic location is crucial. But for what? How far do the strains within Visegrád, and its rumbling disagreements with the European Commission over migration policy and other issues, affect relations with Brussels and Washington? What can the V4 countries do to restore their role in the transatlantic security architecture? How does the V4 relate to more pressing security worries in the Baltic Sea region, the Black Sea, and Ukraine? How should the V4 approach American priorities within NATO?

MODERATOR: Sławomir Dębski, Director, Polish Institute of International Affairs 

Petr Gajdušek, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic 
Ivan Korčok, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia 
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Witold Waszczykowski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland

10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Even though NATO is the most successful military alliance in human history, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. From “out of area or out of business” to the restoration of contingency planning and territorial defense, NATO now faces new challenges as it responds to the Trump administration’s focus on countering terrorism, and develops new capabilities in cyber and information warfare. The administration’s insistent demand for higher defense spending requires most NATO members to rebuild the political consensus which sustained alliance efforts during the Cold War. How should NATO decision-makers react?

MODERATOR: Peter B. Doran, Executive Vice President, CEPA

Jānis Garisons, State Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Latvia
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commander, U.S. Army Europe
Daniel Kostoval, Deputy Minister of Defense, Czech Republic
Jüri Luik, Minister of Defense, Estonia
Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Defense, Poland

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

America has a superpower’s priorities; the frontline states have theirs. The task for Atlanticists is to minimize and manage the tension between these two sets of goals. Worries about a sudden grand bargain between the United States and Russia have abated in 2017, but what might the next phase in this relationship bring? Washington has urged Moscow to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine, to join a common effort against terrorism, and to stand in the defense of Western civilization. How should transatlantic leaders interpret the administration’s opening moves; and where do the biggest risks and opportunities exist for synchronizing interests with allies on core issues like energy and security?

MODERATOR: Janusz Bugajski, Senior Fellow, CEPA

Károly Grúber, Head of Department of Common Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lithuania 
Tomáš Valášek, Director, Carnegie Europe

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Doom-mongers proclaim a “post-truth” era. But the battle with disinformation is long-running, and is far from lost. Western countries are belatedly waking up to the threat from Russia and other adversaries, though granular information about the reach and impact of hostile, trust-corroding narratives is still scant. How do information attacks fit into the broader picture of hybrid warfare? What emphasis should we place on countering specific disinformation, and how much on improving our overall resilience? What are the roles of the private and public actors in the information space? And how, if at all, should we counter-attack?

MODERATOR: Edward Lucas, Senior Vice President, CEPA

Urve Eslas, StratCom Program Contributor, CEPA
Daniel Kimmage, Acting Coordinator, Global Engagement Center, Department of State, United States 
Jukka Savolainen, Director, Community of Interest “Vulnerabilities and resilience,” European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats 
Jānis Sārts, Director, NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence
Brian Whitmore, Senior Russia Analyst, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty 

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Controlling borders is a central element of sovereignty, and sharing public goods is a fairly crucial legitimizing factor for democratic decision-making. Yet the flow of people across national frontiers results from complex economic, historic, humanitarian, and legal factors too. How can the United States—a country built by immigrants, but simultaneously wanting to prioritize security—best discuss migration with Central European allies?

MODERATOR: Donald N. Jensen, Senior Adjunct Fellow, CEPA

Michael Doran, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Dušan Fischer, Researcher, SFPA
Martin Michelot, Deputy Director, EUROPEUM
Márton Ugrósdy, Deputy Director of Strategy, Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Day 2

The Meridian International Center
1630 Crescent Place, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

9:00 a.m.
Arrival and Breakfast

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Welcome

Peter B. Doran, Executive Vice President, CEPA

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Western militaries have deployed to NATO’s frontline states as part of the groundbreaking European Reassurance Initiative. This has increased regional deterrence and security, but what now? Should we concentrate on plugging the remaining gaps in Baltic defense, or shift the focus to other priorities, such as the Arctic Sea, the Black Sea, and the North Atlantic? And how should Atlanticists react to an evolution of the European Union’s defense and security policy? Should we maintain our previous skepticism about duplication, or welcome all efforts that improve capabilities and share burdens? Can European countries develop their own sub-nuclear strategic deterrents—such as EMP warheads on stand-off missiles—that would lessen the burden on America’s nuclear guarantee?

MODERATOR: Peter B. Doran, Executive Vice President, CEPA 

Bogdan Aurescu, Presidential Counselor for Foreign Affairs, Romania
Elbridge Colby, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy & Force Development, United States
Péter Siklósi, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Hungary
Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Defense, Poland
Jim Thomas, Principal and Co-Founder, Telemus Group

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Resilience and deterrence are no longer the task of the regular military. In an era of hybrid war, terrorism, cyber, and other asymmetric threats, building a strong security culture across all parts of a society is a top defense priority. What lessons can we as Americans and Europeans learn from each other in new efforts to make our societies more resilient to 21st century dangers? What is the right mix of hard and soft power to defend against known and unforeseen perils?

MODERATOR: Edward Lucas, Senior Vice President, CEPA

Maj. Matt Dreher, Special Forces Officer, United States
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Former Deputy Assistant to the President, United States
Pauli Järvenpää, Senior Research Fellow, International Center for Defense and Security
Maj. Gen. Meelis Kiili, Estonian Defense League 
Robertas Šapronas, Defense Policy Director, Ministry of Defense, Lithuania 

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 

Kurt Volker, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, United States