First Annual Baltic Conference On Defence (ABC / D) to be held at the Baltic Defence College

On 1-2 June, the Baltic Defence College will be hosting the first Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABC/D), organised by the Ministry of Defence of Estonia and the BALTDEFCOL. This event is a joint initiative of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to promote a debate on conceptual and practical issues of defence reforms and military transformation. The idea of the ABC/D stems from the effort of the Baltic states – eager and successful reformers themselves - to stimulate and sustain a reformist mindset and innovative approach to the challenges of transformation within the Euro-Atlantic security and defence community. The project draws upon the links forged within the BALTSEA (Baltic Security Assistance) forum and underlines the changing nature of Baltic states’ participation in the overall process of building new military capabilities – from merely adopting and following established models and practices to actively generating innovative ideas. The first conference will bring together about 70 policymakers, military officers and academics from 20 countries and international institutions and will focus on the transformation of NATO, with a specific emphasis on the issues pertaining to the forthcoming NATO summit in Riga. Its three panels will cover such topics as challenges of transforming thinking in security and defence, catalysing effects of the ongoing operations on the progress of transformation, the role of education in defence reforms as well as NATO force generation and common funding issues. It will further provide the platform for the exchange of views on the emerging agenda of the NATO summit. Discussions will build upon the presentations of the invited speakers from Denmark, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the United States, Canada, Germany, Finland as well as the Allied Command Transformation (ACT). Official presentations of the ABC/D will be published and released to a broader audience. However, to encourage frank and open exchange of ideas and views, its discussions will be conducted under the Chatham House rule.

Tomas Jermalavicius
Chairman of the ABC/D
Dean of the Baltic Defence College

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