Re-thinking Europe's security priorities
7 November 2011
Crowne Plaza Europa, Brussels
Under the patronage of the Polish presidency to the EU
Chaired by Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
SDA co-president and former NATO Secretary General
Jan Borkowski, Secretary of State to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland
Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
Drawing from the experiences of the ongoing eurozone crisis and the Arab uprisings, panellists Jan Borkowski, Polish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Francis Delon, French Secretary General for Defence and National Security, Ivan Soltanovskiy, Director of European Cooperation at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary General of the EEAS stressed that the EU should work closer with regional and international partners to meet security challenges in the EU's own neighbourhood and beyond. Speakers stated that the drive for further economic integration should not undermine the development of the EU's capabilities under security and defence. Instability and frozen conflicts in Europe's neighbourhood, remarked speakers, will continue to give the EU impetus to further develop its defence and security capabilities. Added to this, given the importance of US defence budget cuts, Asia's rise and the importance of the BRICS, were calls from the speakers for Europe to start thinking and acting strategically in its neighbourhood and globally.
SecDef is an annual high level conference organised in Brussels which gathers key actors from both civilian and military backgrounds to exchange ideas and discuss the future of the European Security and Defence Policy.