Central European Perspectives
’Central European Perspectives’ Series
The Center for Strategic and Defense Studies has been organizing two expert events annually in cooperation with Central European partner institutions on security and defense policy issues of mutual interest since 2013. Since then, policy analysts, independent experts, government officials and diplomats participated in these events and have exchanged their ideas and experience from various ’Central European perspectives’. The series includes the following events:
German Answers to a Deteriorating Security Environment
09 December, 2016
The aim of the seminar is to gain a more detailed picture and thorough understanding of German foreign and security policy in the European dimension, with a special emphasis on Central Europe. As vigorous political discussions have occasionally turned into heated debates in the past couple of years regarding various security-related issues, like Germany’s possibly changing role in NATO and EU security policy, crisis management in Ukraine, our stand towards Russia, etc., our meeting on December 09, 2016 offers an opportunity to gain comparative views of German experts of foreign and security policy, as well as Central and Eastern European political and social scientists.
Understanding threats – Explaining threat perceptions
08 December, 2016
The 7th event of the Central European Perspectives workshop series focuses on the subjective perception and objective content of the threats and challenges that Central European countries face. These can be accounted for as a result of Russia’s resurgent great power stance, long-term effects of the economic crisis, the direct and indirect challenge of mass migration flows and the increased potential of terrorism. As public opinion polls suggest, Central European societies seem to perceive such threats to a significant extent, even though their exposure to them is different. Participants of the workshop are to explore the patterns and their underlying causes in a comparative manner.
From Newport to Warsaw – Measuring Central European contributions to NATO
20 May, 2016
The aim of the workshop is to review how NATO’s Wales decisions have been implemented by Central European countries, mapping up how these countries have responded to current threats and challenges, and contributed to collective defence, burden sharing and efforts of capability development within NATO.
Reactions to Europe’s Deteriorating Security Environment
22 October, 2015
Reflecting on recent unfavourable developments in the European neighbourhood and emerging crises, the aim of the workshop is to share and discuss both official national stances and experts’ opinion, specifically reflecting on the Ukraine crisis and the threat posed by the so called ‘Islamic State’ (IS). The expected outcome is mapping up those issues that trigger either converging or diverging actions on behalf of Central European countries along specific national interests. The workshop highlights the case-specific patterns of cooperation versus opting-out, comparing and contrasting the degree of alignment with international action undertaken.
Sharing Best Practices of Institutional Development for Defense Policy Think Tanks
05 February, 2015
On 01 February 2015 a new Faculty of International and European Studies had been established at the National University of Public Service, to which the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies also belongs. On this occasion CSDS invited some of its Central European trusted partners in the field of defense policy research for sharing best practices in institutional development. The purpose of the workshop was to compare respective working models with partners in order to reposition CSDS within the new faculty. Furthermore, the workshop offered an opportunity to elaborate upon our current cooperation and identify those concrete areas where the partners could cooperate within the next 1-3 years, including cooperation in joint research, publications, co-funded projects and exchange programs.
Regional Multilateral Defense Co-operation in Europe
17 September, 2014
The past couple of years have seen a proliferation of newly formed regional multinational co-operations in Europe, as well as the resurgence of traditional frameworks for cooperation. Hungary is also actively involved and engaged in such entities, including the Visegrad Battle Group to be created by the Visegrad countries, the Central European Defence Initiative (CEDI), a multinational coordination forum of 5 Central European countries, and the Defence Co-operation Initiative (DECI), a regional co-operation framework promoted by Italy among countries of Central Europe and the Western Balkans. Elaborated research on regional multinational co-operations in Europe, aimed at uncovering the drivers and dynamics of cooperation, is therefore also a relatively new field of study. In order to learn best practices and lessons identified in this field, CSDS hosts young experts from France, Belgium and the United Kingdom, accompanied by Hungarian experts who share the Central European regional specificities of defense co-operation.
Exchanging Views on Security Perception and Possibilities of Enhancing Co-operation in Central Europe
28 February, 2014
The shared desire of Central European countries for democratization and modernization have been embodied in Euro-Atlantic integration throughout the past two and a half decades. The period of peace, stability and prosperity these peoples have never enjoyed before was successfully achieved by means of deepening cooperation. However, the financial crisis that has hit some countries in the region particularly hard, intensified societal tensions and strengthened the desire to pursue diverging short term interests, giving rise to nationalist, populist and extremist tendencies. Recalling the lessons learnt from regional cooperation as opposed to confrontation, we firmly believe that Central Europe must react to these challenges with boosting cooperation among our societies and political elites, as well as experts. As there are plenty of opportunities in this regard even in the specialized fields of security and defense, the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies invited esteemed researchers of political and social sciences, as well as security policy experts from Hungarian and regional partners to a workshop in Budapest on 28 February, 2014. The aim of the workshop was to exchange views on security perception in our respective countries and on possibilities of enhancing cooperation in Central Europe.
Expert Workshop on Capability Development among the V4 countries – ‘How to Tailor Needs to Deeds?’
27 August, 2013
International experts have been paying ever growing attention to multinational forms of defense cooperation and capabilities development since the financial crisis hit the defense sector in Central Europe with an austerity not seen since the end of the Cold War. The need for innovative ideas that tailor needs to deeds and provide deliverable options is great. However, expert papers are mostly limited to comparing strategic cultures, security identities or national security documents, thus are unable to dig deep and formulate open-minded, ambitious – though realistic – proposals for capability development options.
After the defense dimension of the Visegrad Cooperation was relatively fruitless for two decades, 2011-2012 brought V4 countries to a new level: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia decided to establish a joint EU Battlegroup. Still there is a long way to go to make the V4 BG a reality, but there seems to be considerable space left for other capability development initiatives as well. Therefore, the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies building on the momentum provided by the ongoing Hungarian V4 Presidency organized an expert workshop on August 27, 2013. The aim of the workshop was to openly discuss capability gaps and identify potential options and concrete proposals for multinational cooperation in this field.