This year, SecDef '08 was looking at the effectiveness of the current European security strategy and the future direction of European security and defence. What are the EU and its member states doing to improve the security of EU citizens and can the EU be said to have a coherent strategy? What effect will regional and civil conflicts beyond Europe's borders have on the future objectives of European security? How can a collective European security strategy address the challenges posed by terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, organised crime and the risk of pandemic disease? The conference was also focused on aerospace development, maritime surveillance and cyber threats as major areas of industrial cooperation.

With two plenary sessions and three parallel sessions, SecDef '08 gave priority to debate and interactive discussions with participants on some controversial ideas.


Monday 3 November - Evening Session & Dinner


Plenary session – How coherent is Europe’s security strategy?

Palais d’Egmont — 18:00 - 19:30

Europe is today more peaceful than ever in its turbulent history, yet it still faces a plethora of threats. Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, organised crime and the risk of pandemic diseases must be added to the potential repercussions of regional and civil conflicts far beyond Europe's borders. In the background there are also the uncertainties of energy security and climate change. What is the EU and its member states doing to improve the security of EU citizens and can it be said to have a coherent strategy? How will the European Security Strategy be updated to address these issues?

Michèle Alliot-Marie, French Minister of the InteriorInterview

Comments by:

  • Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
  • Mr. Eric Trappier, Executive Vice President of Dassault Aviation International & Chairman
    of the French Aerospace Industries Association/French Defence Industries Council’s
    European Affairs Commission

Moderators: Olivier Darrason, CEIS and Giles Merritt, SDA


Speakers’ dinner at the Crystal Lounge, Sofitel Brussels Le Louise

Speakers’ dinner



Tuesday 4 November - Morning Sessions


All day Animator: Adrian Taylor, Director - European School of Governance


Plenary I – Is the EU’s drug trafficking crackdown bearing fruit?

Palais d’Egmont — 9:00-10:30

The Lisbon-based Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre - Narcotics (MAOC-N) was launched a year ago as a six-nation anti-drug unit for intercepting illicit shipments. A similar venture, the Centre opérationnel international d'enquêtes et de coordination de lutte anti-drogue dénommé en Méditerranée (CECLAD-M) was also unveiled this January as a Franco-Spanish initiative to combat drug trafficking. What stumbling blocks still stand in the way of a coherent EU anti-drug policy? Do these anti-trafficking efforts fit into broader attempts to improve the EU's maritime security, and how should these cooperative ventures fit in with FRONTEX and also with Member States' in the Mediterranean?

Session moderator:

  • Giles Merritt, Director - SDA


  • Erik Berglund, Director of the FRONTEX Capacity Building Division
  • Wolfgang Gotz, Director – EMCDDA
  • Valérie Derouet, Senior Vice-President, Homeland Security, EADS

Multi-natioanl navies

Parallel Sessions

Palais d’Egmont — 11:00-12:30

Making Maritime Surveillance a Security Priority

Shipping is among the most international industries - and is also one of the most vulnerable. Accounting for 40% of the world's fleets the EU is the world's leading maritime power, yet it seriously lacks effective coordination and cooperation between member states. Are suggestions for a European coastguard, customs agency and surveillance system in the Mediterranean desirable, and how would they fit with Member States' roles? What lessons are being learned from the FRONTEX agency's ‘Operation Nautilus 2008' that could help EU policymakers put together a Mediterranean Security Policy?

Session moderator:

  • Luc Viellard, Director, Strategic Forecasting Department-CEIS


  • Captain (N) Denis Bertrand, Chair of the Capability Working Group Headline Goal Task

    Session moderator:

    • Jean Rannou, Former CoS French Air Force, CEIS


    • Tomaz Lovrencic, Deputy Director - EU SATCEN
    • Erwin Duhamel, Administrator, Director General's Office- European Space Agency
    • Pierre-Philippe Bacri, Policy Officer for the Defence Industry, DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission
    • Filippo Bagnato, Executive Vice President, Technical, Industrial and Commercial Development, Finmeccanica
    • Jacques Cipriano, Vice President for European Affairs of Safran


    %r>Force at the Permanent Representation of France to the EU
  • Willem De Ruiter, Executive Director- European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
  • Rear Admiral (rtd) Jean-Marie Lhuissier, Director of Marketing & Sales, EU & NATO of
    Thales International
  • Paul Nemitz, Head of Unit for Maritime Policy Development and Coordination at the European Commission's DG Mare
  • Jean-Luc Ferrandi, Combat Systems Managing Director of DCNS


European Aerospace Industry


Where is Europe Heading on Aerospace Development?

Europe is second only to the US as the world's largest buyer and producer of military aerospace equipment, and is placing increasing emphasis on collaborative R&D, procurement and manufacture on both European and international level3E

Cyber warfare


Are Cyber Weapons the Shape of Future War?

Cyberwarfare has entered into the collective mind. Behind every cyberattack, we see the work of a cyberterrorist - and yet, no one has ever seen a cyberterrorist and no state has yet experienced a cyber attack on a grand scale. Is cyber warfare therefore a ‘myth' which reassures (a virtual war) and worries (an electronic "Pearl Harbor") at the same time? The rare large scale cyber attacks that have taken place to date mainly consist of attacks on external, or "visible" websites, and use classic attack methods (i.e. distributed denial of service attacks). But the highest risk lies in a cyber attack which will affect systems at the centre of key infrastructures, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems: their growing interconnection with the Internet and the tendency to stick with standard protocol procedures for reasons of cost and interoperability considerably increase the risk. While the United States considers cyber space to be a veritable battlefield, what is the current thinking of the EU and its member states on the numerous challenges in the cyber area: rules of engagement, political viability, recruitment and maintenance of operational conditions, etc?

Session moderator:

  • Guillaume Tissier, Director, Operational Risks Department – CEIS


  • Lauri Almann, Permanent Undersecretary - Estonian Minister of Defence
  • Luc Beirens, Superintendent, Department Head of the Federal Computer Crime Unit, Federal Judicial Police, Belgium
  • Christian Aghroum, Director, National Cyber crime Unit (OCLCTIC), Ministry of Interior - France


Palais d’Egmont – 12:30-14:00


Tuesday 4 November - Afternoon Session

Plenary II — What are Europe’s training strengths and weaknesses?

Palais d’Egmont – 14:00-15:15

The training of security and defence personnel is a key priority for the European Union. The stakes are evident: the best trained personnel, disposing of a common knowledge base are equipped for superior interoperability. Ensuring this interoperability would suggest the creation of a common European security and defence culture is needed as well as knowledge-sharing between EU member states. Shared training efforts for security and defence forces are therefore an efficient way to create an influential common reference centre at the European level. But intentions aside, who should be given responsibility for coordinating European security and defence training programmes? Could the European Defence Agency (EDA) host such a structure? What role for the European Police College (CEPOL)? How best to coordinate training needs? Which are the best programmes currently in existence, and what programmes can we expect in the future? What complimentarily could new programmes find with existing structures in member states or NATO?

Session moderator:

  • Olivier Darrason, CEIS, President of Institute of Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN) - France


  • Lt. Gen. David Leakey, Director General, European Union Military Staff (EUMS)
  • Gen. Patrick de Rousiers, French Military Representative to the European Union
  • Carlo Magrassi, Deputy Chief Executive of Strategy, European Defence Agency (EDA)
  • Emile Perez, Head of international technical cooperation, French Ministry of Interior — Chair of the CEPOL Governing Board
  • Ulrike Volejnik, Head of (e)learning - T-Systems Multimedia Solutions


Video Address

Palais d’Egmont – 15:15-15:25

Hervé Morin,French Minister of Defence

Keynote address

Palais d’Egmont – 15:25-16:20

Introduction: Bruno Masnou, Key Account Leader France of EADS’ Defence & Security Division

Jacques Barrot, European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security

Jacques Barrot, European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security

Closing remarks

Palais d’Egmont – 16:20-16:30

Jean-Dominique Giuliani,President of the Robert Schuman Foundation


End of Conference