Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD) 2017

European Defence Cooperation: Out of the Shadows?


5-6 September, 2017

Nordic Hotel Forum (Viru väljak 3), Tallinn, Estonia


Tuesday, 5 September


Welcome Dinner

Welcome address by Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister, Estonia

Wednesday, 6 September


Registration of Participants

09.00 – 10.30

Opening session "European Defence Cooperation – Out of The Shadows?"

Welcome speech by Jüri Luik, Minister of Defence, Estonia

Keynote speeches by TBC



Coffee Break


Panel I – Getting More Serious about European Defence?


After years of soul-searching and modest success, EU defence cooperation seems to have taken some steps forward. With some supporting the idea of EU strategic autonomy, some advocating multiple-speed European defence cooperation such as through PESCO, and  some more concerned with the internal-external security nexus, Europe is facing a key question of principle: should EU defence cooperation be driven by unity or effectiveness? And what is the best way to achieve these? With many options on the table, politicians have to decide how to create more added value in defence for European citizens before the present momentum is lost.


Daniel Fiott, Security and Defence Editor, European Union Institute for Security Studies
Riina Kionka, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor, Cabinet of Mr Donald Tusk, President of the European Council (TBC)
Ciaran Murphy, Assistant Secretary General and Defence Policy Director at the Irish Department of Defence (TBC)
Pedro Serrano, Deputy Secretary General, European External Action Service  
Moderator: Žaneta Ozoliņa, Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science, University of Latvia





Panel II – Resources and Political Will – It Takes Two to Tango


In the 21st century, Europeans have, until recently, believed themselves to be living in a period of long-lasting peace and harmony. Now, politicians need to convince voters to support the ideas of spending more and spending better on defence. Credible military capabilities, in particular for higher-spectrum military tasks, come with a real price tag and demand long-term commitments in development and procurement. Motivating Member States to contribute and cooperate more is more important than ever.  Can CSDP be a driver for Member States to invest in military capabilities? What specific capacities and military capabilities do we need for CSDP to tackle current and future challenges?


Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive, European Defence Agency
Pascal Heyman, Director Diplomatic Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Belgium
General Mikhail Kostarakos, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (TBC)
Christian Mölling, Deputy Director, Research Institute, German Council on Foreign Relations (TBC)
Moderator: Tony Lawrence, Research Fellow, International Centre for Defence and Security



Coffee break


Panel III – CSDP in 2025 – Quo vadis?


What are the limits of European defence cooperation? There seems to be an appetite to turn the EU into a credible defence actor, including through the use of hard power and military force. We have witnessed the revival of discussions about a European army. Some advocate the establishment of an EU military headquarters. EU-NATO cooperation might take unexpected turns, such as the use of EU tools to allow military freedom of movement. Further, the EU’s security and defence relations with the United Kingdom and the United States will enter uncharted waters.


Alejandro Alvargonzález, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, NATO (TBC)
Dr. Géza Andreas von Geyr, Director General for Security and Defence Policy, German Federal Ministry of Defence (TBC)
Urmas Paet, Member of European Parliament, Estonia
Nathalie Tocci, Director of Istituto Affari Internazionali and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini
Moderator: Dr. Margarita Šešelgytė, Studies Director, Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University



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


Farewell Reception