While reflecting upon its 20th birthday, the Slovak Atlantic Commission establishes a new umbrella entity – Central European Strategy Council – to synergise activities of the SAC and its spin-off organisations CEA and CEPI, and to further advance influence of Central Europe in the global discourse.
The Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC) is a unique phenomenon within the Slovak scope, said Ambassador Martin Bútora on the occasion of the Commission’s 20th anniversary. It proves that with a focused effort, hard work and ability to connect key figures of international and security politics, economics and academia, even a small country can make its mark in the world.
The Slovak Atlantic Commission will enter its 21st year of activity with more than 30 staff members who run 60 projects in 18 countries and with two spin-off organisations – the Central European Policy Institute think-tank (CEPI) and the Centre for European Affairs (CEA).
When the SAC was founded by a group of Slovak diplomats in 1993, the first year of Slovakia’s independence, its mission was to advance country’s integration ambitions. “The Slovak Atlantic Commission played a very important role in getting Slovakia into the geostrategic and geopolitical position it has today,” reminisces Maroš Šefčovič, EU Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration.
20 years later, projects of the three organisations, the SAC, CEA and CEPI, are immensely diverse and influential in their respective missions, but they do have one ongoing objective in common – advancing the influence of Central Europe in global affairs. “We felt the need to synergise the efforts of the three organisations and further amplify the voice of Central Europe in the Euro-Atlantic arena and beyond, so we decided to establish a new umbrella entity – the Central European Strategy Council,” says Róbert Vass, Managing Director of the SAC who will take on the role of Executive Vice President of the 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,” explains Strategy Council President, Ambassador Rastislav Káčer, who remains active in the SAC as the Chairman. “The mission of the Central European Strategy Council is to advance those efforts beyond the means of individual organisations or think-tanks.”
The Council’s work will focus on increasing Central Europe’s competitiveness in the international environment through seeking practical solutions and answers to current international policy, security, economic, energy, social and other geopolitical challenges through a regional Central European approach.
Additionally, at the occasion of celebrating 20th anniversary, the Slovak Atlantic Commission awarded 23 foreign and security policy personalities with commemorative medals for their contribution to advancing Slovakia and Central Europe interests in the Euro-Atlantic arena.