The newly-established Central European Strategy Council, an umbrella organisation of the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC), Centre for European Affairs (CEA) and Central European Policy Institute (CEPI), is strengthening its executive team to further improve the organisations’ output and focus on delivering on their mission in promoting Central European interests.

One of the founders of the Central European Strategy Council and a long-serving Secretary General of the Slovakia-based Slovak Atlantic Commission, Róbert Vass, became the Executive Vice-President and CEO of the new organisation on 1 February.

“Building on the success of the Slovak Atlantic Commission and GLOBSEC we managed to establish a respected network of three organisations with more than 30 people working in the inner team running more than 60 projects in 18 countries. The personnel changes we are adopting in the executive team of our organisation are the logical outcome of the dynamic growth all three organisations, SAC, CEA and CEPI, experienced in the last few years. Their work has diversified and what we require is a united umbrella structure to coordinate and synergise their activities to prepare ourselves for another decade as a strong brand in both the European and the transatlantic context. These changes should help us become a top player in the family of European think-tanks and add the Central European voice to the map,” says Strategy Council CEO Robert Vass.

Ambassador Ivan Korčok, one of the cofounder of the CEA, reiterates the importance of the Strategy Council’s mission: “The success of the January Tatra Summit in Brussels and establishing of the CEA in the European discourse is good news for Slovakia, as events like that are yet another way of how our country aims to influence the debate about key European issues.”

Rastislav Káčer, now serving as the Slovak ambassador to Budapest, has become Honorary President of the Central European Strategy Council: “Countries of Central Europe are today more and more aware that only via ever closer cooperation they can make a bolder contribution to the Euro-Atlantic agenda. The mission of the Central European Strategy Council is to advance those efforts beyond the means of individual organisations or think-tanks,” says Ambassador Káčer.

The leadership team of the Strategy Council was further boosted by Jaroslav Naď. He joined the CEPI last year as a senior fellow and will work as the Strategy Council’s Deputy CEO. Earlier in his career, Jaroslav Naď worked in NGOs focused on defence, security and international relations, and held several senior positions at the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic and Permanent Delegation of the Slovak Republic to NATO.

At the Central European Policy Institute, Milan Nič, former head of the think-tank’s Central Europe and South-East Europe Programmes, was appointed the think-tank’s Executive Director. As the CEPI’s Executive Director, Milan Nič will rely on his years-long experience of foreign policy advisor, NGO activist and journalist. CEPI’s previous Director Dániel Bartha will continue to work for the think-tank from Budapest as the head of the Central European Programme.
Changes also affected the Slovak Atlantic Commission which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013. Milan Solár became the organisation’s Managing Director while retaining the post of its Head of the Strategic Forums Programme including the GLOBSEC conference.