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Recent Round Tables

Regular Round Tables are the key meeting format of the ESRT. These structured and results-oriented meetings bring together key actors in the field of security and defence to discuss and develop scenarios and political options for current and upcoming issues. The Round Tables are usually composed of participants from the EU institutions, national governments, business and academia or the research sector.

19.02.2013 LIMITS OF PERSONNAL FREEDOM: CIVIL RIGHTS OF SOLDIERS UNDER ATTACK?

The 19th of February, the European Security Round Table (ESRT) in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit held a conference on the issues linked to soldiers’ civil rights. From one EU country to another, soldiers may be prohibited from running for public office, face travel restrictions and even censorship during missions. The aim of the conference was to address these shortcomings in order to determine what measures could be taken to improve soldiers’ civil rights. Speakers included Hellmut Königshaus (Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces) and Emmanuel Jacob (President of the European Organisation of Military Associations (EUROMIL)).

03.12.2012 SECURITY CHALLENGES IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION AND THE CFSP

On 03 December 2012 the ESRT held a conference in the European Parliament on Security Challenges in the Easter Mediterranean region organized together with Georgios Koumoutsakos, MEP and the Foreign Affairs Magazine (Hellenic Edition). The audience gained valuable input from the high-level panelists including Georgios Koumoutsakos, MEP, Ian Lesser - German Marshall Fund, Christian Berger - EEAS, Jamie Shea – NATO, Ioannis Kasoulides, MEP. The discussion, moderated by Loukas Katsonis, Hellenic Edition of the Foreign Affairs Magazine focused on the current major changes in the region ranging from the Arab Spring to the Middle East Conflict. As those issues are highly controversial, the debate was very lively. In particular the role of the European Union and its response to the crisis was discussed since all incidents in the region have a major influence on the European Union. This geopolitical approach was highlighted by the speakers stressing also the importance of the EEAS. In his closing remarks Christoph Raab, moderator of the Q&A Session summarized the outcome of the discussion in a few words: “Greece is more than a Member State with serious financial problems – it also has geopolitical importance for the EU.

15.11.2012, HORIZON 2020 INSIGHT SERIES, PRE COMMERCIAL PROCUREMENT FOR CIVIL SECURITY APPLICATIONS IN HORIZON 2020

Within the framework of its Horizon 2020 Insight Series, the ESRT initiated a debate on Pre Commercial Procurement, which was chaired by Ioan Mircea Pascu, MEP. The discussion focused on options to implement Pre Commercial Procurement in the security sector and tried to develop practical solutions that can serve as a basis for further policy planning. Speakers included Christoph Kautz, Deputy Head of Unit – DG Enterprise, Luigi Rebuffi, Chief Executive Officer – EOS and Bill Giles Director General Europe - BAE Systems.

13.11.2012, CSDP AND CLIMATE CHANGE - ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN THE MILITARY SECTOR

Against the background of the adoption of the report on CSDP in case of climate driven crisis and natural crisis in the SEDE committee in October 2012, the ESRT organized an evening debate on CSDP and Climate Change. This meeting was chaired by Indrek Tarand, MEP, the rapporteur of the own-initiative report. Mr. Tarand gave an interesting overview over the current process achieved and the necessary follow-up work. Furthermore Sir Graham Watson MEP, President of the ELDR, shared his views on different perspectives of the report and the meeting fueled as a whole an insightful discussion between the participants.

13.11.2012, THE FUTURE OF SCHENGEN: BETWEEN INTERNAL SECURITY AND THE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

On 13 November 2012, the European Security Round Table held a Luncheon Debate in collaboration with the representation of the State of Saxony-Anhalt to the EU on the future of the Schengen agreement. The discussion focused on future challenges of border protection and due to the well-prepared speakers, the debate was very informative and highly appreciated by the audience. Speakers included Carlos Coelho and Franziska Keller, Members of the European Parliament, as well as Bohumil Hnídek, Head of Justice and Home Affairs Unit of the Permanent Representation of Czech Republic and Ionut Marin, Adviser to the Minister of Administration and Interior of Romania.

10.10.2012, CSDP MISSION BREAKFAST BRIEFING: IN PREPARATION OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON DEFENCE IN 2013 - OUTLOOK ON THE COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH

On 10 October 2012, the European Security Round Table in collaboration with the EPP group and chaired by Krzysztof Lisek MEP, hosted a breakfast meeting focusing on the preparation of the European Council on Defence in 2013. Lt. General Ton Van Osch highlighted the necessity of a comprehensive approach especially with regard to civil-military operations. With this approach the External Action Service attempts to integrate the experiences gained during past ESDP/CSDP missions within its structures.

19.09.2012, HORIZON 2020 INSIGHT SERIES, EUROPEAN SECURITY RESEARCH IN HORIZON 2020 - A SOCIETAL CHALLENGE?

Within the framework of Horizon 2020 the ESRT held a Breakfast Briefing on European Security Research in the framework witch was hosted by Dr. Christian Ehler, MEP. The discussion focussed on future challenges for Security Research in the Horizon 2020 and evaluated which measures could be taken to increase efficiency and synergies with other research areas. Speakers included Director General Daniel Calleja Crespo from the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) as well as the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency, Claude-France Arnould.

21.06.2012, CSDP MISSION BREAKFAST BRIEFING: POOLING AND SHARING/SMART DEFENSE-DEVELOPING EUROPEAN CAPABILITIES

On 21 June 2012, the European Security Round Table, in collaboration with the EPP group and chaired by Michael Gahler MEP, hosted a breakfast meeting on the developments in the pooling and sharing of European capabilities. With Lt. General Ton Van Osch, the discussion focused on the feasability of pooling and sharing in these times of austerity and whether or not this truly would be an infringement of EU member-state sovereignty. Finally, the importance of European capabilitiy development in the transatlantic relationship was brought up, showing that growth in EU capabilities also has implications for NATO.

19.06.2012, WORKING GROUP “ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CYBER CRIME CENTER AT EUROPOL”

On 19 June 2012, the ESRT held a working group, chaired by Monika Hohlmeier MEP, on the establishment of the European Cybercrime Center at Europol. With half a billion citizens and being one of the richest areas of the world, the EU has become an increasingly prominent threat for cyber criminal activities. During the meeting, necessary steps for the set up of the EC3 were discussed along with the future challenges it may face. Given that cyber crime is a relatively newer threat, questions on acquiring the most effective resources were discussed.

06.06.2012, HORIZON 2020 Insight Series: Breakfast Briefing on Maritime & Marine Research

In June 2012, the ESRT holded the second briefing of the “Horizon 2020 Insight Series” with a focus on maritime and marine research. The aim of the briefing, hosted by Gesine Meissner MEP, was to raise awareness about the major strategic importance of the sea and maritime matters, and to discuss, whether this is reflected in an adequate way in the proposal for the next European Research Framework “Horizon 2020”. Given the fact that maritime and marine research is perceived as a “Societal Challenge”, the actual added-value of this research field for society was also discussed.

31.05.2012, The Social and Human Dimension of CSDP Missions in the Perspective of Deployed Forces

On 31 May 2012, the European Security Round Table, in collaboration with EUROMIL and chaired by Michael Gahler MEP, hosted a breakfast meeting on the Social and Human Dimension of CSDP Missions at the European Parliament. The need to develop common social and legal standards on EU level for military personnel has been significantly increased. Therefore, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss and analyse which approaches in the discussion between Member States are currently under way to create such common standards and which role the EU can play to foster the process. Finally, the issue of whether UN practices in harmonising treatment of soldiers could be applied or not to EU missions was brought up.

CSDP Mission Breakfast Briefing: THREE EU MISSIONS FOR THE HORN OF AFRICA – ARE WE ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

On 7 March 2012, the ESRT, along with Michael Gahler MEP, hosted a CSDP Mission Breakfast Briefing at the European Parliament. The debate focused on the three CSDP Missions at the Horn of Africa seen in the light of a comprehensive approach towards the region. The Roundtable was opened with introducing statements given by Lieutenant General Ton Van Osch, Director General of EU Military Staff, and Gilles Janvier, Deputy Civilian Operations Commander of the CPCC, providing a detailed insight into the alignment and implementation of the missions from the military and civilian side. The participants, coming from various EU Institutions, NATO and Think Tanks, discussed the complex challenges existing at the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia, and reflected means of how to further both security and development. A focus was also placed on how to frame the coordination between all relevant actors, not only within EU Institutions, but also internationally.

Round Table on Cyber Security:
Which Role for the European Parliament?

On Tuesday 22 November, the European Security Round Table (ESRT) hosted in coordination with Tunne Kelam MEP their event "Round Table on Cyber Security:
Which Role for the European Parliament?" in the Parliament's Altiero Spinelli building. The event focused on concrete ways that the Parliament could establish itself as a forceful actor in cyber policy at the European level. Included in the discussion was the exploration of how to get a constant stream of expert information on cyber incidents and technical developments into the European Parliament, and balancing legislative speed vs. democratic accountability. And the quickly changing nature of cyber threats compounds the difficulty in finding an effective and long-term solution.

We would like to thank Christian Ehler MEP, Ivalio Kalfin MEP, Prof Peter Martini, Marietje Schaake MEP, Monika Hohlmeier MEP and Anze Erbeznik for their leadership of the discussion. The European Security Round Table continues to follow the issue of cyber security and is in the process of organising additional conferences in Washington DC and Brussels in 2012.

Pooling & Sharing - Reconciling budget cuts and growing political ambitions of deployable capabilities

The ongoing topic of Pooling & Sharing was the focus of a Round Table in the European Parliament on 18th October 2011, hosted by the European Security Round Table with support of Michael Gahler (MEP). The debate was introduced by Dick Zandee, Senior Research Associate of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague, and Christian Moelling of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. After their presentation of scientific findings on potential benefits of Pooling & Sharing, Ana Gomes (MEP), Commodore Mike Finney, Deputy UK Military Representative to the EU, Graham Muir, head of Policy and Planning Unit, EDA, and Michael Sieber, R&T Acting Director, EDA, discussed among more than 30 participants how budget cuts and growing political ambitions of deployable capabilities could be reconciled. One of the key questions was how to avoid double structures regarding the EU member states as well as NATO and how to coordinate the downsizing due to economic crisis. The ESRT will follow the ongoing discussion in that field and initiate a follow-up debate.

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