On 30th March, TransConflict Serbia organized an initial public discussion about NATO’s new Strategic Concept in Belgrade. Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, this initiative has been designed to promote active debate about, and involvement in, the development of a new Strategic Concept amongst specific key target groups from throughout Serbia.
In her opening address, TransConflict Serbia’s executive director, Mirjana Kosic, emphasized that “our main aim is to…help broaden and diversify public debate on a variety of topics pertaining to the realm of security – such as energy dependency, terrorism, the economic aspects of collective and national security, the fight against organised crime and trafficking of humans, arms and narcotics – primarily from a Serbian perspective”.
Ms. Kosic also explained how the “conclusions and recommendations resulting from this initiative will be communicated to NATO’s relevant structures”, therefore ensuring that the new Strategic Concept is “more in accordance with Serbia’s national strategic interests”.
Her Excellency Mrs. Hana Hubackova, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia, described the new Strategic Concept as “one of the major issues for NATO this year”, as “there has been a clear need after a decade to look back at the threats and risks the Euro-Atlantic community is facing nowadays and to reflect those appropriately in a new document”.
With respect to Serbia’s role within the process of developing a new Strategic Concept, Ambassador Hubackova spoke about how, “the Secretary General has opened up the possibility for the wider public to contribute to this debate…[this is] where we see the value added of the project that is being launched today by TransConflict Serbia”.
In conclusion, Ambassador Hubackova underscored how, “the project offers a very good framework for those in Serbia who have an interest and the knowledge to get engaged and to formulate their views on the subjects that TransConflict Serbia has wisely selected”, adding that “we hope that the foreseen workshops will contribute to understanding about Euro-Atlantic issues; an understanding which is, in our view, important for the whole Partnership for Peace community, whose important member Serbia is”.
In the final session, TransConflict’s co-founder, Ian Bancroft, specified that “even though each respective nation’s concept of security may differ from those threats perceived at the broader global level, it is imperative that Serbia actively participates in the global debate about NATO’s new Strategic Concept in order to have its own say on matters affecting its domestic security and defence policy. NATO’s future shape, structure and orientation will unavoidably be of relevance to Serbia”.
Mr. Bancroft went on to add that, “the ever shifting security landscape ensures that the debate about collective security will not end with the formulation of a new Strategic Concept. NATO will continue to adjust and adapt to an ever changing security environment. However, the contours of any future debate will certainly be defined by this new Strategic Concept”.
In their closing words, TransConflict Serbia reiterated the importance of active engagagement by, and the committment of, the four key target groups in the process of deliberation and devising of Serbia’s contribution to NATO’s new Strategic concept, and placed particular emphasis on the dual role and responsibility of the media to not only contribute to the discussion, but also to inform the Serbian public in an objective and fair manner.
This project, Facilitating Serbia’s Contribution to NATO’s New Strategic Concept, will continue throughout the spring and summer with a series of workshops exploring topics that are pertinent to the development of a new Strategic Concept, including contemporary security challenges, the economic dimensions of collective security and crisis preparedness.
To watch a video of this initial discussion please visit:
For further information about this project, please refer to the following links: