On November 8–10, 2022, the European Values Security Center hosted the 8th European Values Summit, an international conference on security policy.
The European Values Summit (formerly known as the STRATCOM SUMMIT) provided an opportunity for more than 200 international experts from 30 countries to discuss strategies focused on security policy and the threats arising from current hostile influences. Guests who were not able to attend the event in person could watch a live stream of the public part of the summit, a recording of which is available here.
Experts and government officials shared best practices and responses to current threats arising mainly from the influence of Russia and China, with a focus on
- How to protect European and transatlantic security,
- Energy security in light of the Russian aggression against Ukraine,
- The postwar reconstruction of Ukraine,
- Confronting Russian and Chinese proxies in Europe,
- How effective strategic communication can help combat disinformation,
- Chinese interference at universities in Europe, and
- The role of Taiwan in Europe’s pivot to the Indo-Pacific.
For the first time in the summit’s history, Orbán’s Hungary was a major topic.
RUSSIAN AND CHINESE INFLUENCE, COUNTERING DISINFORMATION, AND STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
In his opening remarks, Vít Rakušan, first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, stated that the Czech government will remain committed to its unwavering support for Ukraine and democratic values. Among concrete measures to combat security threats, he mentioned the Counter Foreign Interference Manual for the Czech Academic Sector, which contributes to the understanding of the need to manage the risks of foreign influence. The manual was published by the Centre against Hybrid Threats, whose director, Benedikt Vangeli, later discussed Chinese influence in academia with Tinantin Khidasheli, the former Georgian defense minister, and Matej Šimalčík, head of the international China-Europe Academic Engagement Tracker project.
Joseph Wu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), also delivered opening remarks in which he expressed support for Ukraine: “We recognize our responsibility as a member of the international community to support those who are on the front lines of defense of democratic order. We have also allocated a budget of roughly 56 million USD, which is ready to contribute to the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine.“
Jan Lipavský, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, spoke about information warfare, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the importance of communication. He also spoke about China’s influence and the Czech response to it and officially declared that one of his deputy ministers would soon be visiting Taiwan, elevating cooperation between the Czech and Taiwanese governments to a new level.
Marcin Jerzewski, head of the Taiwan office of the European Values Center for Security Policy, spoke about the Czech Republic’s strengthening role in the Indo-Pacific. During the summit he visited the University of Defense in Brno, where he together with the retired Lieutenant General Liu Te-Chin, a high-ranking Taiwanese military leader, gave a lecture on Chinese belligerence against Taiwan.
On the second day of the summit, Vice-President of the European Commission Věra Jourová addressed the guests via video message and highlighted effective strategic communication as a key defense against disinformation: “We are in crisis communication mode, and we should adjust our methods.” Among other things, she said that it is absolutely crucial to ensure that citizens have accurate information about what the EU is doing to address the current crises.
At a discussion panel, the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence shared research findings identifying the most successful communicators in the Slovak and Czech information scene on defense-related themes.
GROWING THREATS RESULTING FROM THE INFLUENCE OF THE HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT
The speaker of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, in response to the Hungarian government’s undermining of democratic principles, said she would not attend the V4 Summit in Bratislava: “Hungary is behaving like a Trojan horse of Russia right now among the EU and NATO countries, and we should really be very aware of what is happening and about all the Hungarian influence in the Western Balkans as well.”
The links between Western Balkan governments and Hungary were later addressed by Maja Stojanović, the executive director of Civic Initiatives and president of the board of directors of the Human Rights and Democracy House in Belgrade: “We had a panel on Russia and now on Hungary; we can copy paste the authoritarian regimes, how they abuse human rights.”
Ruská válka na Ukrajině ukázala, že hybridní hrozby jsou pevně spjaty s kremelskou válečnou doktrínou. Cílem je každou pravdu zpochybnit.— Markéta Pekarová Adamová (@market_a) November 10, 2022
Bezpečnostní centra jako @_EuropeanValues se tomuto problému dlouhodobě věnují. Děkuji za to i za příležitost vystoupit na jejich summitu. pic.twitter.com/xNP3AcRYdz
Olga Richterová, the Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, contributed to the discussion by encouraging support for independent media in Hungary: “I think they’re in a position very similar to that of so-called normalization in 1970s Czechoslovakia.” As an example of the dysfunctional media in Hungary, she spoke about videos being edited and manipulated to make it look like an opposition leader was making false statements about Ukraine. These videos were then broadcast on state television and significantly influenced election results.
The summit also featured several side panels, which gave attendees the opportunity to discuss certain topics in even greater depth. An online recording of the public part of the summit is available here.
This year’s summit was be held under the Presidency of the Czech Republic in the Council of the EU.
The next European Values Summit is planned for May 2023.
Speakers at the European Values Summit 2022 included:
President, Free Russia Foundation
Natalia Arno founded the Free Russia Foundation in 2014 after she was exiled from Russia for her pro-democracy work. Prior to founding the Free Russia Foundation, Ms. Arno planned and executed countrywide programs in the fields of education, grassroots organizing, civic education, party building and civil society development.
Dr. Anne-Marie Brady
Professor of Political Science, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
A specialist in Chinese, Pacific, and New Zealand politics based at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is a founding executive editor of The Polar Journal, which publishes multidisciplinary research on governance and policy issues within the polar regions.
Dr. Daniel Hegedüs
Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Dr. Daniel Hegedüs writes and speaks extensively on populism and democratic backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe, and the European and foreign affairs of the Visegrad countries. Prior to joining GMF he worked in different research, lecturing, and project-management positions at Freedom House, the German Council on Foreign Relations, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
Kristy Tzun-Tzu Hsu
Director, Taiwan ASEAN Studies Center at Chung-Hua Institution of Economic Research
Her research interests include Southeast Asian studies, regional economic integration, international trade policy and law, trade and development issues, and gender issues. She currently serves as associate research fellow at the Taiwan WTO and RTA Center of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) and as non-resident senior research fellow at the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation.
Dr. I-Chung Lai
President, Prospect Foundation
President of the Taiwanese political think-tank the Prospect Foundation. He is also a member of the executive board of and director of Foreign Policy Studies of Taiwan Thinktank, a Taipei-based public policy research institute. Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Lai served as special assistant to Taiwan’s representative in Japan and as the executive director of the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party’s US representative office.
Geopolitical analyst, Political Capital Institute, HU
Lóránt Győri has a master's degree in the social sciences from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, where he is currently working as a geopolitical analyst for the think-tank Political Capital on issues such as Russian soft power, disinformation, and populism in Europe.
Dr. Martin Jirušek
Assistant Professor, Masaryk University; Managing Editor, Czech Journal of Political Science
Dr. Jirušek works as a researcher at the International Institute of Political Science and lectures within the Energy Security Studies program. His research and teaching focus on geopolitics, energy security in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), and the transatlantic dimension of energy security.
Chairperson, Civic Idea; Former Minister of Defense, Georgia
Tinatin “Tina” Khidasheli became president of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association in 1997 and played an important role in observing elections, exposing electoral fraud, and lobbying for the creation of legal aid services for the poor and disenfranchised. In 2010 she was elected to and served on the City Council of Tbilisi, and in 2012 won a seat in the Georgian parliament.
Dr. Sonya Koshkina
Editor-in-Chief and Founder, Livyi Bereh; Partner, EVC Information Defense Hub
Before Dr. Sonya Koshkina became the editor-in-chief and founder of the news portal Livyi Bereh (LB.ua), she worked as a political commentator for the Ukrainian newspaper Den and the news portal Obozrevatel. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, she has been operating from Prague, where she collaborates with Radio Ukraine, Charles University (Department of Journalism, Faculty of Social Sciences), and the European Values Center for Security Policy.
Senior Research Officer, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies is the official think-tank of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Brussels. Prior to working at the Martens Centre, Lilkov served as head of the Bulgarian office to a MEP and worked for the EU Committee of the Regions. He is also the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, blEUprint, which provides research and analysis on key EU policies and Bulgaria’s role in integration.
Senior Adviser, Office of the Minister of Interior of the Slovak Republic
Daniel Milo, JUDr., is a senior adviser and the national coordinator of counter-extremism policies at the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic. He is also a senior research fellow at the GLOBSEC Policy Institute. His main fields of expertise are extremism, cyberhate, international extremist networks, and the use of propaganda by foreign actors. Daniel Milo studied law at Comenius University in Bratislava and holds a Doctor of Law degree in criminal law.
Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Dr. Dalibor Roháč is a senior research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies the political economy of the European Union, US-EU relations, and the post-Communist transitions of countries in the former Soviet Bloc. For the past decade, he has also been a senior research fellow in politics and international relations at the University of Buckingham’s Max Beloff Centre.
Prof. Dr. Setsuko Aoki
Professor, Keio University; Chairman, Panel of Experts on Japan’s Economic Security Policy
Dr. Aoki Setsuko is a professor at Keio University Law School where she teaches international law. She specializes in international space law, arms control, and export control. She holds a Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) degree from McGill University.
Executive Director at Civic Initiatives / Građanske inicijative, RS
Maja Stojanović is also president of the board of directors of the Human Rights and Democracy House in Belgrade. She has over nineteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including working for the anti-Milošević movement and on other issues through the Students’ Union of Serbia, and serving as executive director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights. She can describe the Serbian government’s efforts to undermine democracy and its links to the Hungarian government.
Prof. Dr. Kazuto Suzuki
Professor, University of Tokyo; Adjunct Fellow, Japan Institute of International Affairs
Kazuto Suzuki is a political scientist and professor of science and technology policy at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo, Japan. His research has contributed to the fields of international political economy, space policy, economic statecraft, nuclear safety, and European integration. Dr. Suzuki holds a PhD in contemporary European studies from the University of Sussex.
Executive Director, Central European Institute of Asian Studies (CEIAS)
Matej Šimalčík is the executive director of CEIAS, a Bratislava-based think-tank that focuses on foreign and security policy issues related to East Asia. He also provides consultation to other think-tanks and research organizations, including CELIS and Hybrid CoE. Šimalčík’s research looks at China’s economic and political presence in Central Europe, and the role of European legal bodies in checking Chinese influence.
Secretary, Economic Security Council of Ukraine; Member of the Board of Directors, DiXi
Roman Vybranovsky is a media expert and journalist. Much of his experience is in the field of policy communications – at the Information and Analytical Center of the National Security and Defense Council (2014) and as adviser to the Minister of Energy (2015-2016), as UKMC communication project manager (2017-2018) and Senior Communication Advisor to USAID Anti-Corruption. From 2019-2020 he worked as the communication director of the Voice Party.
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