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18th Euro-Atlantic Summer School

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The National University of Public Service’s Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies is one of the organisers of the 18th Euro-Atlantic Summer School. The focus of this year’s even is examining the defence policy challenges of the “post-truth era”.

On both the international and the Hungarian scene the term “post-truth” became known last year in connection with the US Elections and the Brexit campaign. The term describes such an event, when the objective facts have less influence on the public opinion than feelings and personal beliefs. The event is accredited by the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities and is held until 28 July 2017. On the first day of the summer school, Dr. Péter Tálas, head of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies looked at how the preconceptions of the “objective” and “subjective” are in the 12st century. Following Dr. Tálas, Alex Etl, PhD student at the Doctoral School of Military Sciences examined securitisation as ruling technique in relation to the challenges of the post-truth times. Dr. Rácz András researcher of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies then looked at the workings and limitations of hybrid warfare. Last but not least, Dr. Csaba Krasznay presented the challenges of modern cybersecurity by case studies on the 2017 case of ransomware attacks.

The opening ceremony of the summer school was attended by colonel Zoltán Rolkó, deputy base-commander of the 86th "Szolnok" Helicopter Wing of the Hungarian Air Force, colonel László Drót, commander of the HDF Peace Support Training Centre, and lieutenant colonel Béla Gőcze deputy directors of the DF vitéz Szurmay Sándor Budapest Garrison Brigade. The event was organized in the framework of PADOP -2.1.2.- CCHOP-15-2016-00001 program on “Good Governance Development”.

Threats and Challenges of Hybrid Warfare for European Security Panel Discussion

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The National University of Public Service, in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States of America, the Embassy of Ukraine, the Embassy of Canada and the Embassy of the United Kingdom hosted a panel discussion titled Threats and Challenges of Hybrid Warfare for European Security under the framework of the Focus on Ukraine event series.

The event held on 15 June, 2017. generated much public interest and distinguished experts of various security fields shared their knowledge with a packed Zrínyi Hall at the Ludovika Campus. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szenes form the International Security Studies Department at Faculty of International and European Studies of NUPS, while the guests and the audience was greeted by Dr. Judit Nagy, Vice-Rector for International Affairs on behalf of NUPS.

The Vice-Rector welcomed all the distinguished guests, the ambassadors, experts and all members of the audience. She highlighted that it is an honour for the National University of Public Service to cooperate with so many embassies on such a serious and complex topic.

The Vice-Rector’s opening remarks were followed by the first part of the panel discussion, where military and security experts shared their view on the challenges of hybrid warfare, especially in the context of Ukraine and Russian hybrid warfare tactics. Before the experts’ session however, Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy to Hungary David J. Kostelancik gave a speech on the vitally important situation of Ukraine. Mr. Kostelancik clearly stated how important Ukraine is not only to the United Stated, but also to NATO and all European countries. He explained that this new warfare – hybrid warfare – is conducted by Russia with the aim of damaging Ukraine and its ties to the West. Ukraine is intimidated, violent separatists use arms, energy is used as a weapon against this sovereign state and “a smokescreen of disinformation” is raised by its Eastern neighbour. All these activities blend traditional warfare with new elements in order to achieve Russia’s strategic aims. The Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy urged Russia to honour the Minsk Agreement because the United States stands firm in the support of Ukraine.

The US Chargé d’Affaires was followed by Her Excellency Liubov Nepop, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Hungary. Her Excellency’s speech echoed Mr. Kostelancik earlier remarks and clearly stated the situation in her country. According to her, despite more than ten thousand people lost their lives since the beginning of the war that it is not only contested by military means. Russia uses disinformation, propaganda, cyber-attacks, and energy attacks in order to punish Ukraine for its Trans-Atlantic ties as well as cooperation with Europe. She deemed this action as part of the ancient “Divide and rule “principle and urged Ukraine, Europe, the United States and all its allies to stand united against such a threat.

First of the experts to share his opinion was Colonel Gábor Boldizsár, from the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training. Colonel Boldizsár started his presentation first by defining the term “hybrid warfare”. Then he drew on his extensive field experience in military missions to both Afghanistan and Kosovo. Colonel Boldizsár also set up a theoretical framework in his speech by identifying 4 phases of hybrid warfare. In this concluding thoughts he mentioned that Hungary stands as an ally of Ukraine and Hungarian military scientists help in the development of Ukrainian military higher education.

The second presentation of the session a joint effort by military aviation experts Colonel Dr. Zoltán Krajnc and 1st Lieutenant János Csengeri, both represents the Faculty of Military Science and Officer Training. In their two-part presentation they underlined the role of airpower in hybrid warfare situations. Dr. Krajnc mentioned why airpower is one of the ideal tools of hybrid warfare, since it has “minimal intrusiveness, rapid response, rapid mobility, rapid engagement and improved strategic, operational, and tactical situational awareness“. In the second part of the talk Mr. Csengeri identified 3 aggression categories "nonviolent subversion, covert violent actions, conventional warfare supported by political subversion” and also showed an example of a hybrid conduct of war in Kosovo in 1999, when conventional weapons, terrorism against the population, and irregular forces were used too.

The final expert of the first section was Dr. András Rácz senior lecturer at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. Dr. Rácz is a renowned expert of the topic as he was the first person in Hungarian to write about hybrid war. Dr. Rácz underlined how much Russia uses and develops its hybrid strategies. That is it part of the official Russian military doctrine to conduct such operations and that is has evolved a lot since 2008 when the Russians first used modern hybrid strategy against Georgia. He also made it clear that the strategy works undeniably well for Russia as it is illustrated by the situation in Ukraine and also in Syrian since the Assad regime is still has not be toppled. “There is no reason to believe that Russia will stop using this method in the foreseeable future” – said András Rácz. In fact, he pointed to other developments of Russian strategy that have been used lately, such as naval and long distance strikes in Syria – the first time their warplanes engaged in action outside of their country of since the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980’s – and also interfering with election in both the United States and France. Dr. Rácz concluded that Russia is an adversary that is constantly improving its strategy and we must quickly learn how to counter it, which is he believes can be done by more cooperation.

The speeches were followed by a question and answer session where, among others His Excellency Petri Tuomi-Nikula, Ambassador of Finland to Hungary, and Her Excellency Isabelle Poupart, Canadian Ambassador to Ambassador to Hungary, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina raised issues for discussion.

The second part of the panel discussion continued following a short coffee break and saw speeches from Péter Kaderják, the Director of the Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research at the Corvinus University of Budapest, Dr. Botond Feledy, Director of Saint Ignatius College and Dr. Csaba Krasznay, director of the Cyber-Security Academia at NUPS. Mr. Feledy talked about civilian and military cooperation in cyber-security, and how fake news can be combated. Mr. Kaderják detailed how energy is used as a weapon against Ukraine and how the gas supply systems in Central and Eastern Europe. Last but not least, Mr. Krasznay presented a case study in detail about a Russian cyber-attack on a Ukrainian power plant, where a malware was used as a weapon. In his final remarks he stressed that cyber-security education is the easiest way to counter such threats and that is why NUPS also places great emphasis on cyber-security education as part of the Cyber-Security Academia.

The Strength of an Alliance is Always Defined by its People

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"A change of mindset, flexibility and coordination are required to ensure that contemporary security challenges are well handled by NATO" – said on 22 March Admiral Manfred Nielsen, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation within NATO during his presentation at the National University of Public Service.

Admiral Manfred Nielsen delivered a presentation to the students of NUPS on 22 March. The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation within NATO arrived to Hungary as a guest of the NATO Transformation Seminar.

During his presentation held at the University, the Admiral briefly outlined the significance of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation’s activities then he added: in recent years the alliance has been facing unexpected and unprecedented challenges in the Euro-Atlantic region, which are moreover threatened from several directions by several actors. Organized crime, climate change and economic instability only further aggravate the situation. In addition, because of the technological revolution, the safety and security environment are changing faster than ever before in history. Moreover, the Organisation is facing new challenges due to the hybrid threats from the states and non-state actors.

Admiral Manfred Nielsen said: NATO needs to adapt to the requirements of the modern age in order to remain effective and relevant as well as prepared for the new challenges. This requires flexibility, agility, faster decision making, more aligned coordination of the Member States’ activities and more efficient use of resources and skills avoiding unnecessary duplicates. This requires both on short- and long-term a change of mindset in each area, including design, procurement, social relations and communication. If possible, the establishment of overly bureaucratic structures should be avoided not only in the relation of the alliance’s Member States but also within the framework of partnership programs. He emphasized the strengthening of NATO’s and EU’s actions as well as the efficient cooperation in facing common challenges. The Admiral encouraged the students to always be curious, to initiative and to take risks because the strength of an alliance is never defined by the alliance itself but by the people who make it.

After the presentation, the Admiral visited the NATO Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine operating in Hungary.

No.1 soldier of NATO at NUPS

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General Petr Pavel, Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee held a speech at the Ludovika Campus of NUPS on 30 September 2016. The Nr.1 soldier of NATO met with Prof. Dr. András Patyi, Rector of NUPS and shared his thoughts on the Alliance after the Warsaw Summit.

In his speech, General Petr Pavel provided a thorough overview of the current threats ahead of NATO which primarily appear from the East and the South. Regarding the former, the Czech general reminded that the measures introduced in Warsaw are not threatening but deterring in effect, while regarding the latter, he highlighted the issue of weak and failed states unable to provide security, the demographic trends and the challenges coming from these issues.

He also reminded the audience that while the security guarantee which organization provided from its foundation (NATO 1.0) was a great achievement in the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union created a new situation in which the Alliance based peace and security on the respective nations’ inclusion (NATO 2.0). Subsequently, crisis management, international missions and the fight against terrorism were set in the forefront (NATO 3.0) with the Alliance being globally aware, globally connected and globally capable.

Regarding the Alliance’s upcoming phase of development (NATO 4.0), the Czech general noted that although it currently seems that NATO is solely focusing on Europe, it continues to have a global view. He also added that NATO cannot solve today’s issues alone by itself, thus the era ahead of us should be one of effective cooperation and international networks.

During his visit to Hungary, the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee met with Hungarian President Dr. János Áder, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Minister of Defence Dr. István Simicskó. In his speech at the Ludovika Campus, General Petr Pavel remarked that the format of education, realized by the National University of Public Service, is one of the best platforms, as it allows university students to not only learn about their respective fields of public service but also about the fields of public service represented by the other faculties.

General Petr Pavel studied at such renowned institutions as the Czech Military Academy and King’s College of London where he received an MA diploma in international relations. Before becoming Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee (CMC), he was Commander of Special Forces of the Czech Army, Chief of the Czech Armed Forces, as well as an attaché in Brussels. He is also the first CMC from the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

NATO cyber defence ahead of Warsaw Summit

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The International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon) is one of the world’s most significant conferences dealing with cyber security, organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia. This year’s event – held between 31 May and 3 June, focusing on cyber power – included the participation of Gábor Berki and Dániel Berzsenyi, representatives of the Doctoral School of Military Engineering and the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies respectively.

CyCon’s origin goes back to 2009 and has been enjoying the participation of 500 political and strategic decision-makers, high ranking military officers and cyber security experts each year. Similarly to other renowned conferences, CyCon also offers simultaneous presentations and round table discussions, so that participants could attend the discussions they most prefer in various topics. Day Zero of this year’s Cycon was a day of workshop when apart from the education of cyber defence and the management of cyber crises, the practical aspects of smart phones’ criminalistical examination was also on the agenda.

Nearly all participants of Day 1 focused on the possibility of NATO’s leaders declaring cyber sphere as the fifth dimension of warfare at the upcoming Warsaw Summit. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves stated his expectations regarding NATO’s decision in this matter, which was further emphasized by the words of Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky who reminded that nations should be ready to develop their defence capabilities in the fifth dimension of warfare as well. Admiral Manfred Nielson, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT) mentioned the significance of understanding and handling cyber sphere separately from the traditional four dimensions of warfare. Several high ranking military officers agreed that while cyber sphere is a novel area, it is not special or unique. There was also an agreement in that future military operations will utilize cyber sphere regardless of whether it will have become the fifth declared dimension of warfare or not. On the other hand, they considered the acceptance of cyber sphere as the fifth dimension important, in that it could advance the formation of NATO’s comprehensive cyber defence and cyber operations policy. Accordingly, the first day’s presentations also focused on force projection in cyber sphere, the defence of weapon systems, the state cyber activities, as well as the cyber threats related to air traffic.

Day of CyCon was hallmarked by the participation of such renowned experts as Thomas Rid, professor at King’s College London, Martin C. Libicki, professor and senior management scientist at RAND Graduate School, and Mikko Hypponen computer security expert, research director of F-Secure. The speakers highlighted the development of interactions between humans and machines from the 1940s, the role of information warfare in today’s conflicts, as well as the transformation of the capability of deterrence in the Internet’s world of no geographical boundaries. Libicki described cyber warfare along 5 characteristics with it being extremely volatile, unpredictable and not kinetic, difficult to interpret, and persistent phenomenon. Discussions after the presentations focused on the political changes related to cyber security, as well as on the Russian cyber operations, and the advantages and drawbacks of the Snowden-leakage.

Day 3 of CyCon provided an opportunity for participants to recap and discuss what they have learnt and experienced throughout the conference. The participants have concluded that several governments most likely misinterpret the definition of cyber power, and as a result focus too much on tactical achievements and do not deal with the long-term effects of operations. The increased role of short-term successes is also highlighted by the fact that instead of lasting cyber conflicts, the incidents are related to espionage or temporary disturbance of systems. Jan Neutze, Director of Cybersecurity at Microsoft, focused on the role of norms within cyber sphere, and compared the approached of government and industry, whereas David Sanger reminded that the arms race within cyber sphere sets a serious arms control and deterrence issue for humanity. The final presentation of CyCon2016 was held by Jaan Tallinn, founder of Skype, who mentioned that artificial intelligence may have negative consequences if humanity does not prepare itself for its utilization in time.

One of the most important lessons of the four-day conference was that challenges coming from cyber sphere cannot be ignored, as that would lead to lagging behind which could lead to national security challenges and threats already in the short-run. The management of these challenges, and the establishment of appropriate defences require efforts that government cannot display on its own but with the inclusion of industry and academia. Should NATO’s Warsaw Summit declare cyber sphere as the fifth dimension of warfare, it will initiate such changes within the Alliance that will be in relation to the cyber capabilities of all member states, including Hungary.

Central European security from the view of experts

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The Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies (CSDS) at NUPS held an international workshop titled “From Newport to Warsaw – Measuring Central European contributions to NATO” within the framework of the event series “Central European Perspectives” on 20 May 2016.

“We have arrived at the end of a two-year cycle in Warsaw where members will evaluate the implementation of the decisions made at the previous NATO summit in Newport – something that we have decided to previously do ourselves with regards to Central Europe” – reminded Dr. Péter Tálas, Director of CSDS about the workshop’s goal in his summary of the event. Professor Tálas added that “it is quiet noticeable that Poland has made decisive steps in the past 15 years in order to become a medium power in Europe: politically, she is willing to take a leading role, has volunteered for serious military tasks in international crisis management in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has begun the extensive modernization of her armed forces since 2009, thus becoming a provider of security in Central Europe. After the crisis in Ukraine, Poland has been trying to extend and deepen these efforts across the entire East-Central European region. It is important to realize that what steps our regional partners have made in relation to their respective military capabilities and to their adaptation to the deteriorating security environment, as the deepening of our defence cooperation relies on that.”

The sixth and the latest event of the three year old expert workshop enjoyed the contribution of Czech, Estonian, Polish, Lithuanian, Romanian, Slovak and Hungarian security policy experts. The first half of the workshop focused on the developments of the 2014 NATO summit in Wales. Gergely Varga, adjunct researcher at CSDS provided a thorough review of the changes of the security environment in the last few years and of the responses made by NATO, highlighting the renewed importance of collective defence. He also examined the most important decisions made at the Wales summit and the current status of their implementation at the alliance level. Anna Péczeli (CSDS) overviewed the most important aspects of the European ballistic missile defence system, reminding that despite the fears of Moscow, the system is not directed against Russia. She also touched upon the possibilities of cooperation with the Russians in missile defence. Gábor Csizmazia, assistant lecturer at the Department of International Security Studies of NUPS evaluated the role of the Visegrad countries within NATO following the Wales summit. Despite the differences in their threat perceptions, the V4 countries have achieved successful cooperation in various areas of defence policy in the last few years. Their contributions include the participation in the stabilization mission in Afghanistan, the force contribution to NATO’s VJTF and, most visibly, their participation in various military exercises in East-Central Europe.

The second panel of the workshop focused on the current threats faced by NATO. Annamária Kiss (CENS) examined the relationship between NATO and Russia in a political aspect, analysing the reasons why and ways how Russia’s and the West’s perceptions of each other have changed in the last years. Dániel Berzsenyi from the Doctoral School of Military Sciences, provided a presentation on the policy and capabilities of NATO regarding cyber security, emphasizing the globally increasing role of the Internet and cyber security itself while also touching upon NATO’s possible role in the cyber security efforts of its member states. The presentation of Máté Szalai from the Hungarian Institute of International Affairs and Trade provided an overall view of the threats faced by the “Southern flank” of NATO. In addition to the structurally different (such as Syrian or Libyan) civil wars, the wider region of the Mediterranean and the Middle East reveals long-term instability, with this complex situation demanding adequate goals and responses from NATO. Apart from today’s challenges, NATO should also look at the potential threats of tomorrow, such as the possible destabilisation of Egypt or the negative effects of climate change and the impacts thereof in the region and beyond.

The speakers of the third panel discussed the capability development measures of Central European countries between 2014 and 2016. The experts reviewed the subject in hand from the perspective of their respective nations’ efforts with Sandra Kaziukonyte focusing on the Baltic states, Lukasz Kulesa on the national contributions of Poland, Lukas Dycka on the Czech Republic, Marian Majer on the Slovak Republic, Mirela Atanasiu on Romania and Tamás Csiki on Hungary respectively.

SACT liaison to the Pentagon at NUPS

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Dr. BG Imre Porkoláb, liaison officer of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) in the Pentagon and an expert on guerrilla warfare and counterterrorism held a lecture at the Faculty of Military Science and Officer Training at NUPS on 4 February 2016.

In his presentation titled “NATO integration: the impact of future security challenges and the changes of warfare on the capacity-development of NATO”, Brigadier General Porkoláb emphasized that the already noticeable and comprehensive challenges demand continuous future-analysis. This task was initiated after the Chicago Summit in 2012 and is projected until 2030.

The speaker also reminded about the importance of developing military capabilities and outlined its 10 different areas. Regarding strategic thinking, Brigadier General Porkoláb highlighted the definition of resilience which contains the correlation between robustness, fragility, re-construction and constancy. As for foresight, he referred to the risks arising from urbanization (with nearly 2,5 billion people living in large cities, 90% of which located on the seaside), to the issues of global reconnaissance (using inter alia drones), and to hybrid warfare gaining ground in the changes in the nature of warfare.

From the perspective of leadership, Brigadier General Porkoláb explained Clausewitz’s definition that war is the conflict of human wills. As for the future, the speaker mentioned adult education, cognitive dominance and technology as the main factors of a good leader. He emphasized how differently young people think about leadership, as highlighted by researches. The speaker also pointed out that nearly 40% of leaders actually have an impact on their subordinates, whereas 20% explicitly halters the organizational operation and 30% being devoted and supportive of operation.

Brigadier General Porkoláb highlighted on the fact that – due to the achievements in microelectronics, telecommunications, and the production of synthetic materials – weapons have also become subjects of science. Artificial intelligence or “human-machine collaboration” also belongs to this area. As a result of this process, today the traditional linear combat has been replaced by combat utilizing variable electronic systems.

NATO cyber defence course at NUPS

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NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence held its first offsite course in Budapest between 25-29 January 2016. The course titled “Introductory Digital Forensics” was jointly organized by the Hungarian Defence Staff CIS and IS Directorate and NUPS, and was held at the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training at NUPS.

The main target group of the event consisted of professionals and system administrators whose job is to detect and manage the anomalies occurring in IT systems and to efficiently conduct researches in this area. Dr.(COL) Károly Kassai, Director of the Hungarian Defence Staff CIS and IS Directorate emphasized the importance of continuous development in the field of national cyber defence and their relevance for the Hungarian Defence Forces. The support of national cyber defence also requires inter-institutional cooperation which also includes the National University of Public Service.

In fact, the involvement of NUPS also supported NATO CCD COE’s goal of handing over the entire training package to the sponsor nation in the future, thereby realizing the “train the trainers” concept.

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NUPS participates in NATO’s cyber defence researches

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Last week saw the publication of the report reviewing cyber defence organizations in Hungary, prepared by Prof. Dr. László Kovács, Vice-Dean for Science and International Affairs at the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training of NUPS and Gergely Szentgáli from the Hungarian Ministry of Defence.

The document displays the domestic information society’s level of development, briefly reviews the situation of domestic e-government, and provides an elaborative introduction of the Hungarian strategic documents on cyber defence and the related legal environment. The study has a separate focus on organizations that provide cyber defence in Hungary.

The situation of NATO members regarding cyber defence is mapped by experts under the leadership of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. This study is a part of a series that displays the national cyber defence organizations of NATO allies, the tasks of these organizations, and ultimately these countries’ capabilities in cyber defence, thereby providing an opportunity to compare their situation in cyber security.

The study reviewing domestic cyber defence organizations is available here.

NUPS Conference on NATO Summit

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Hungarian experts and officials shared their views on the NATO Summit in Wales at a conference on the 8th of September organised by the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies on the Ludovika Campus of NUPS. The event focused on the political messages of the decisions in Wales, the relationship between Ukraine and Russia and the role of Hungary within the Alliance.

Szabolcs Takács Deputy State Secretary for Security Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade reminded the participants that the Wales Summit was the most important summit of NATO in its latest history, as decisions were made to strengthen the Alliance while reacting to armed conflicts within its direct neighbourhood in North-Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Without a doubt the message of the meeting in Newport was that North Atlantic Treaty Organization continues to remain a coherent, single and strong political and military alliance that is capable of defending all of its members. Szabolcs Takács pointed out that during the summit the Hungarian government emphasised the strengthening of the stability and prosperity of neighbouring regions which requires keeping the NATO accession of countries in the Western Balkans on the agenda as well.

Péter Siklósi, Deputy State Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Defence stated that in accordance with the Wales Declaration on the Transatlantic Bond and the Summit Declaration the Hungarian government has also made its commitment to increase defence spending. Hungary’s offers and pledges include the improvement of the Pápa Air Base supporting NATO’s Strategic Airlift Capability. In addition, Hungary will increase the participation of its Armed Forces in the Alliance’s military exercise and training programmes held in Poland and the Baltic states and will give host multinational exercises in 2015. In handling the crisis in Ukraine, Hungary will participate in the financial funds thereby supporting training and logistics programmes and the rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers wounded in the conflict.

During the second half of the conference, focusing on the relationship between NATO, Ukraine and Russia, Gergely Varga research fellow at the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies reminded that the relationship between the West and Russia in the last 25 years has been characterized by both co-operation (e.g. NATO-Russian Partnership for Peace 1997, the co-operation after the 11th of September 2001 and the “reset policy” in 2009) and confrontation (e.g. Kosovo in 1999, the coloured revolutions between 2003 and 2005, the war between Georgia and Russia in 2008 and the 2011 intervention in Libya). Regarding the crisis in Ukraine, Péter Tálas Director of the Centre stated that Western countries do not want a new cold war and are looking for a political solution for the crisis. He added that while Russia in the short term seems to be victorious from a military perspective, on the medium and long run it could face serious economic and political problems due to the conflict.

György Deák András, senior research fellow at the Institute of World Economics within the Hungarian Academy of Sciences reminded that it is the financial sanctions that hit Russia the most and that in the long run these could force Moscow to withdraw from its policy. He pointed out that while due to economic reasons Vladimir Putin has to hurry in finding a solution, due to the parliamentary elections this fall, a longer crisis could, in a paradox way, strengthen Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s position.

The third panel of the conference, moderated by Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szenes, Head of the Department of International Relations and Security Studies at NUPS, evaluated the outcome of the summit, the relationship between NATO and Russia and the probable developments in light of Hungary’s 15 year old membership in the Alliance. István Kovács, former Hungarian Ambassador to NATO was also sharing the opinion that in terms of economy Russia vulnerable and with consistent policy on sanctions it is possible to influence Moscow. This was supplemented by Dr. László Makk, Head of Secretariat for Security and Defence Policy Issues at the Directorate for Foreign Relations of the National Assembly, in his presentation on Russia’s view of NATO.

János Szőnyegi, Head of the Department for Strategic Analysis at the Ministry of Defence said that from a Hungarian perspective the last 15 years’ main achievement was the development of the professional Hungarian armed forces, which has been confirmed by their wide international acknowledgment for their participation in crisis management. In his closing remarks and looking into the coming years, Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szenes depicted a “probably smaller, more modern and internationally active Hungarian Armed Forces” for the audience, the foundations of which are further enhanced by the decisions at the Wales Summit.

Péter Tálas reminded that, in addition to the evaluation of the NATO Summit, the aim of the conference was to help the field of security and defence policy to receive further attention at NUPS – for which another example was the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies’ project titled “Defence Matters – Hungary” realized with the support of NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division.

Summer University in Light of NATO Accession

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The 15th Euro-Atlantic Summer University coincided with the 15th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The accredited program, held in the HDF Peace Support Training Centre in Szolnok between 28th of July and 1st of August, had a major emphasis on NATO’s tasks, crisis management and the organization’s answers to new types of security challenges.

This year’s summer university had 64 participants (lecturers and students) coming from the defence sector, public administration and the National University of Public Service (NUPS). The programme provided insight into the theory and practice of crisis management, the current challenges and the vision of NATO with a special focus on the antecedents of the Alliance’s 2014 September summit and on the challenges demanding the cooperation between members of the military, law enforcement and public administration.

Professor Péter Tálas, Director of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, organizer and head of the summer university reminded that while this year’s event was first and foremost targeted at people in this profession, the summer university included entertaining and interactive programmes as well. Professor Tálas added that in addition to the lectures and seminars, a series of sporting and teambuilding exercises made the event more colourful with such new programmes like the “Fight Filmclub”.

“Already the first day’s panel discussions made it obvious that our goal of fostering constructive dialogues can be achieved, however, later intense debates throughout the week were beyond our expectations. Whether the talks were about the security perception of the Hungarian society and that of the political elite, the internal factors of the crisis in Ukraine or about the changes in global power, our students were active participants who did not only reveal their interest but their knowledge regarding these issues as well. The exchange of views was also beneficial for us and we hope that this informal, outspoken and open dialogue will remain between people of this profession” – summarized Professor Tálas.

The summer university jointly organized by the Hungarian Defence Force and the National University of Public Service, however, the event’s preparation included the joint efforts of the colleagues at the “vitéz Szurmay Sándor” Budapest Garrison Brigade Protocol, the Cultural Subdivision of the Directorate for Recreation and Cultural Affairs, the HDF Peace Support Training Centre in Szolnok, the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies at NUPS and the students of the Special Student Community for Security Policy.

Further information available at