Conference to Mark 10th Anniversary of NATO Accession
On 3-4 April, the conference entitled NATO Open Door: Ten Years after the ‘Big Bang’ will be held in the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania (S. Daukanto Square 3, Vilnius).
The year 2004, when seven countries joined the Western European and Euro-Atlantic communities, marks the turning point in Euro-Atlantic region after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. At the same time, significant changes took place in the domestic politics of the Alliance’s neighbors (Ukraine, Georgia), which have led to transformations of their foreign policy. In parallel, an approach to threats has changed, i.e. more attention was focused on asymmetric, hybrid-by-nature threats such as energy supply disruptions, economic and financial crisis (the main cause of the declining defence spending), migration challenges, cyber threats, etc. As a consequence NATO started and in some cases completed the missions which determined the direction of the organization’s development for more than a decade. All in all, almost everything, including structure, capacities, complexion of the operations, and relations with partners, has changed during the last decade.
CEE countries (including the Baltic States) took the opportunity to lead the important processes within the Alliance. Creation of centres of the excellence, active participation in NATO operations, contribution to the new NATO security concept, sharing the experience of NATO accession with close partners and future members in the South and in the East are only few examples to mention in this regard. Today the time has come to assess the changes in the Alliance and the CEE region, evaluate the security situation in the region, the region’s contribution to the Alliance, and these countries’ interests and aspirations within NATO. This conference, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Baltic States’ NATO membership, is a perfect time to do that.
The conference is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania, Vytautas Magnus University, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence, and the Centre for Geopolitical Studies.