ABCD 2016

Bridge over Troubled Waters: The Future of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance
Preliminary programme

Programme may be subject to change.

Wednesday, September 28



Welcoming reception

Welcome address by Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister, Estonia

Thursday, September 29


Opening session “Bridge over Troubled Waters: The Future of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance”


Welcome speech by Hannes Hanso, Minister of Defence, Estonia

Keynote speeches by

Ambassador Douglas E. Lute, Ambassador of the United States to NATO

Second Keynote Speaker TBC
Discussion with the speakers moderated by Ambassador Jüri Luik, Director, International Centre for Defence and Security


Coffee break


Panel I – Aftermath of the Warsaw Summit: strengthened resolve of the Alliance?


The Warsaw Summit needed to send a strong signal of Alliance’s ability, determination and cohesion to tackle variety of threats stemming from a volatile security environment.  Did the Summit meet our expectations? What message did it deliver to those outside the Alliance? Have Allies demonstrated sufficient unity and fair burden sharing in adapting to the challenges NATO faces? Have we found the correct balance for effective deterrence between enhanced forward presence, assurance measures and reinforcement? Is NATO’s nuclear posture sufficient in the changed security environment?


James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General of Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO
Tomasz Szatkowski, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, Poland

Markus Kaim, Senior Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

US speaker (TBC)




Panel II – Adapting to Russia’s strategic challenge: the next step?


The policies of the revisionist and militaristic Kremlin leadership mean that the Alliance will need to be prepared for a long-term confrontation with Russia involving conventional, unconventional, nuclear and other dimensions. What to expect next from Russia? How should the adaptation of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture continue in response to the Russian challenge? Are Allies adapting their defence planning and procurement priorities in relation to the threats posed by Russia sufficiently? Have our partners in the region reacted to the threats accordingly? How to balance deterrence and dialogue with Moscow?  


Arild Eikeland, Director Transatlantic and European Security and Defence Policy, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Defence of Norway (TBC)
LtGen Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, United Kingdom
Carolina Vendil Pallin, Deputy Research Director, Head of the Russia Programme at the Swedish Defence Research Agency
Tomas Valašek, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to NATO (TBC)



Coffee break


Panel III – Emerging crises: has the West found a strategy?


Continuing brutal civil wars, the rise of ISIL in a number of countries as well as the unprecedented wave of migration have all made instability in the Mediterranean Sea region a pressing concern for Europe. How to tackle the threat of terrorism and protect the region from threats posed by ISIL and other radical actors? Have we found a distribution of roles between EU, NATO and coalition frameworks? Is there a need for more active engagement by the Allies on the ground in Syria, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere in the region? What role is Russia playing in the South? What impact does it have on relations in the region?

Dr Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic, Minister of Defence, Montenegro
Friðrik Jónsson, Minister-Counsellor, Representative to the NATO Military Committee, Iceland
Sinan Ülgen, Chairman, Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM); Visiting scholar, Carnegie Europe
Fourth panellist TBC



Conclusions by Jonatan Vseviov, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Estonia


Farewell reception