Programme 2018

Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD) 2018

NATO at 70: no time to rest

25-26 September, Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia Tallinn


Tuesday, 25 September


19.30                           Dinner Reception (Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia Tallinn, Restaurant Senso)

Welcome address by Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister, Estonia


Wednesday, 26 September


09.00 – 10.30              Opening Session: NATO at 70: no time to rest

Opening speech by Jüri Luik, Minister of Defence, Estonia

Discussion with

  • LTG Andrzej Falkowski – Representative of the Minister of National Defence, Poland
  • VADM Adm Joachim Rühle – Deputy Chief of Defence, Germany

Moderator: Sven Sakkov, Director, International Centre for Defence and Security


10.30 – 11.00            Coffee Break


11.00 – 12.30            Panel I: NATO – final pillar of transatlantic relations?

The panel will focus on the overall status of transatlantic relations and the health of the NATO alliance. What is the status of transatlantic security and defence bond after the Brussels Summit? How does the evolving EU defence dimension affect NATO? What impact do the developments in wider transatlantic relations have on NATO? Is the time right for the Alliance to develop a new Strategic Concept?

  • Jorge Aranda – Director for Security and Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal
  • Etienne de Gonneville – Strategic Affairs Adviser to the French President
  • Philip T. Reeker – Civilian Deputy and Polad, US European Command

Moderator: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs


12.30 – 14.00              Lunch


14.00 – 15.30              Panel II: 2% and then what?

The panel will elaborate on further steps necessary allies could take to increase their contributions to the common defence. Beyond raising national defence expenditures what further steps could the European allies take to increase their contributions to the continent’s defence? Which current and prospective initiatives should be prioritised? Which are the capabilities where the increases in defence spending need to be focused? What are the requirements for reinforcement and readiness of forces in the modern security environment?   

  • Douglas Barrie – Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace, International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • LTG (ret) Heinrich Brauss – former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning
  • Thierry Tardy – Research Director, NATO Defense College


Moderator: Elisabeth Braw, Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute


15.30 – 16.00              Coffee Break


16.00 – 17.30              Panel III: Defence of the Baltics: How we do it?

The panel will discuss the strengthening of the deterrence and defence posture in the Baltic region and the respective roles of the Baltic states and the Alliance as a whole in this. What are the most critical gaps in the posture which need to be addressed? How much can the Baltic nations themselves do to this end and where are the contributions from other Allies essential? Is spending 2% of the GDP on defence sufficient for Baltic nations or should the expenditures by raised further? How can Baltic nations themselves work together to make best use of their scarce resources?

  • Hans Binnendijk – Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • Robert Dalsjö – Deputy Director, Department of Strategy and Policy, Swedish Defence Research Agency
  • Saulius Gasiunas – Director of the Defence Policy and Euro-Atlantic Co-operation Department, Ministry of National Defence, Lithuania
  • Kristjan Prikk – Secretary General, Ministry of Defence, Estonia

Moderator: Tomas Jermalavicius, Head of Studies, International Centre for Defence and Security


17.30 – 17.50              Address by General Riho Terras, Chief of Defence, Estonia


17.50 – 19.30              Farewell Reception (Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia Tallinn, Restaurant Senso)