2014 GSR Oslo – Given Nordic Perspectives on European Security.

The IISS Global Strategic Review has developed into an event that engages people from all five continents. This years GSR meeting is taken place in Oslo, Norway. Given an opportune moment to understand and prepare for how political change in any given country or region affects stability and the prospects for successful international engagement either by governments or the private sector.

The international audience for IISS work is made up of three constituencies:

  • government and international organisations;
  • strategic analysts and opinion formers;
  • international business and the private sector.

Beyond that GSR have emphasized the importance of understanding the constellation of ideas, institutions, peace and law to understand the events of the moment, but to think strategically. A central point of these arguments overlooked is the challenges of the new world order and security relations between the United States and its European allies.

On Rasmussen’s watch, NATO continued to wage what has been the longest and most extensive military operation in its 65-year history in Afghanistan, a campaign that is supposed to come to an end this December 2014. The security landscape has dramatically changed and we have to adapt.

In Iraq and Syria we see rise of so-called ISIS – a group of terrorists that have committed the most savage atrocities. We face security challenges that are more interconnected, more complex than ever before. In Europe a revanchist Russia has rejected all the rules that have helped to keep peace since end of Cold War.

At NATOSummit in Wales the Alliance did exactly that. NATOSummitUK leaders laid out the way ahead for Alliance – a fitter, faster and more flexible NATO.

In terms of global security the ISIS is by far the largest threat. These times of great changes call for a renewed close and trusting relationship with the United States. We European have our concerns about terrorist threats from ISIS into Europe, same as we had when Europe showed unwavering solidarity with the Americans after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, and we share their utmost determination to tirelessly fight terrorism worldwide.

It is also undeniable that the Ukraine crisis has had effects on relations not just in eastern Europe, but further afield, and seems to be contributing to a renewed military competition in the Arctic. In fact, there is the possibility that the Arctic could become a region characterised by unusual military cooperation rather than competition.

The consequences of Moscow’s actions were profound, and reverberated far beyond the region itself. European leaders have taken important decisions in response to actions by Russia in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and of international law, with the US taking similar measures.

At the same time, just this week Russian Su-24 aircraft intruded into Swedish airspace following three incursions into Finnish airspace in August. Such events, and a growing concern among Scandinavian populations and political elites, are fuelling increased defence spending in the north, after more than two decades of steady, post-Cold War declines.

Watch Nordic Perspectives on European Security:
Keynote Discussion: by Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden and Bård Glad Pedersen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.

– conversations on Russia, Ukraine, European borders and Europe’s security, the role of NATO and the international order. Both the keynote session and the first plenary were focused on this most strategic of issues.

According to speech by Ine Eriksen Søreide, the Minister of Defence Norway, during the debate on West’s strategic aims and capacity, the Alliance are also looking into long-term measures to enhance the security of all member states in view of Russia´s actions. NATOS capability, and credibility: the declared intent and believable resolve to protect a given interest at a time of  dramatic strategic change.

A strong Europe will be in everyone’s interest.

It will strengthen the security of our world. The international community is most effective when it is united ; the international community is truly legitimate when it assumes its full responsibility. I am certain that, in the troubled world in which we live,we need unity more than ever before for the responsibilities in pursuit of the same goal: international stability, security and peace.

  • Center for European Studies harvard – event 22 September 2014 – debate on critical challenges facing Europe.

The Ukraine Crisis: What’s Next for Europe?
A special event featuring H.E. Carl Bildt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-present) and H.E. Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy (2011-2013), on the occasion of the inaugural Summit on the Future of Europe.

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