For a Free and Secure Europe in the 21st Century: Future. Europe. Security

20. Sep 2017
Warsaw, Poland
Liberal influencers visit European and capitals to discuss freedom and security in the 21st century with Europe’s leading liberals. The overall goal of the programme is to provide Europe’s decision-makers in waiting with an opportunity to broaden their network, exchange experiences and develop insights to refine policy for a free and secure Europe. Our event in Warsaw will be the second, in a continuing series on Europe's security.

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    Conference For a Free and Secure Europe in the 21st Century

    The project series ‘For a Free and Secure Europe in the 21st Century’, which is organised by the European Liberal Forum (ELF) with the support of Haya van Someren Stichting/VVD International, runs from June until December 2017. It was kick-offed with a conference during the ALDE Council Meeting in Ljubljana on 2 June 2017, which was attended by almost 60 liberals from across Europe.
    The primary objective of the ‘For a Free and Secure Europe in the 21st Century’ project is to raise awareness for the new challenges the EU faces internally and externally. It aims to formulate liberal answers to these issues, in order to keep the EU relevant in a 'G-Zero' world. Therefore the panel of speakers, consisting of Branislav Rajic (SMC), Dr Bartlomiej Nowak (Nowoczesna) and Melisa Rodriguez Hernandez (Ciudadanos), discussed the challenges Europe is currently encountering that are related to its security position and its acquired liberal freedoms. The panel was moderated by Barbara Visser (VVD). ELF president Dr Jürgen Martens welcomed the audience.
    The conference offered a stage for both a focused discussion about the external pressure on the EU’s democracies from a resurgent Russian Federation, and a holistic debate about Europe’s current challenge. For instance, all speakers presented a specific threat related to a newly assertive Russia: Mr. Rajic proposed common action to protect Europe’s freedoms, Dr Nowak called for a grand strategy for European security and Ms. Rodriguez Hernandez drew attention to the need for a common intelligence service and an energy union. However, the panellists were eager to address related issues too, which were often handed by a member of the audience. For example, question that were put forth concerned NATO’s security umbrella, energy issues, the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, Brexit and trading issues.
    Consequently, we are convinced the opening conference of the project series ‘For a Free and Secure Europe in the 21st Century’ offered a stage for a fruitful and lively discussion about the interrelated challenges that are confronting the EU at the moment. Moreover, we believe these conferences set the tone for a well-informed and necessary debate about the future of Europe that will be held during the upcoming project seminars this year.

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