Programme 2016


ABCD 2016

Bridge over Troubled Waters: The Future of the Euro-Atlantic Security


Wednesday, September 28


Welcome reception

Welcome address by Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister, Estonia


Thursday, September 29

8:00-9:00 Registration of Participants, Welcome Coffee

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

Welcome speech by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia

Keynote speeches by

Dr Milica Pejanović Đurišić, Minister of Defence, Montenegro
Hannes Hanso, Minister of Defence, Estonia
Amb Douglas E. Lute, Ambassador of the United States to NATO
Discussion with the speakers moderated by Ambassador Jüri Luik, Director, International Centre for Defence and Security

10:40-11:10 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, NATO

Gen Gordon Messenger, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, United Kingdom

Michal Polakow, Deputy Permanent Representative, Delegation of Poland to NATO

LtGen Michel Yakovleff, Vice Chief of Staff, SHAPE, NATO
Jānis Sārts, Director, NATO Stratcom Centre of Excellence

 12:40-14:00 Lunch

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?  


LtGen Fernando Alejandre, Deputy Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, NATO

Gabriel Bernier, Head of Policy Section, Defence Policy and Planning Division, NATO

Markus Kaim, Senior Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs
Carolina Vendil Pallin, Deputy Research Director, Head of the Russia Programme, Swedish Defence Research Agency
Moderator: Renatas Norkus, Director, Transatlantic Cooperation and Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania


15:30-16:00 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?

David Frum, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
Gabriele Iacovino, Coordinator of Analysts, Centro Studi Internazionali, Rome
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
Sven Mikser, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Estonian Parliament


17:30-17:45 Conclusions by Jonatan Vseviov, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Estonia
18:00-19:30 Farewell reception


The attendance of the conference is by invitation only.
Dress code for the entire event is business attire.
All sessions are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.