On September 30 – October 2, 2014 experts, policy makers, academics, diplomats, military and media gathered in Belgrade, Serbia for the 4th Belgrade Security Forum (BSF). The BSF 2014 has been organized by the consortium of three Serbian civil society organizations: the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE), Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP) and the European Movement Serbia (EUM-S). The Slovak Atlantic Commission, member of the Strategy Council, was for the fourth year in row one of the strategic partners of the Forum.
Three days of intensive discussions on important regional as well as global topics brought many interesting outcomes. One of the main outcomes of the discussions was that the European model and international norms based on it are currently seriously challenged. They are challenged by European countries from within (Scotland, Catalonia) as well as by actors outside of this region (Russia, activities of ISIS/ISIL etc.). The experts also concluded that the EU enlargement is the policy that best demonstrates European values in practice and therefore it is important to revive it with new commitment of enlargement to the Western Balkans. At the same time, states of the Western Balkans need to take an initiative to contribute to the debates on a new European project, international norms and to strengthening international organisations. The Belgrade Security Forum is one of examples of such initiative.
BSF organizers called upon Serbia to take an initiative and engage in debates that matter to Europe during its OSCE chairmanship in 2015. Serbia should contribute to finding solutions of the current European crisis by engaging both the EU and Russia in a dialogue with the support provided by subsequent chairmanships: Swiss that precedes Serbia in 2014 and Germany that will take over in 2016.
The Slovak Atlantic Commission co-organised one of the main panels of the Forum entitled the “GLOBSEC Debate: Rethinking Energy Security – Balancing Concerns, Managing Expectations”, which dealt with a highly topical issue of the energy security in the Central European and South-East European regions.
The Forum also touched upon the issue of development in the transatlantic relations after the crucial NATO Summit in Wales, which took place just couple of weeks earlier. It was the first NATO Summit ever in history to be attended by the Serbian Minister of Defence – in the framework of the Partnership for Peace. The Transatlantic Agenda kept high profile at the Forum also thanks to the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Belgrade as the current NATO Contact Point Embassy for Serbia and the Slovak Atlantic Commission and its public diplomacy project “Partnership for Serbia” supported by the SlovakAid.