29 May 2012, 18:00 h, Central Military Club, Sofia
On 29 May 2012, The Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, together with the Sofia Security Forum and with the special support of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, organized a public lecture of the Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Belguim H.E. Pieter De Crem, entitled “Challenges of the 21st Century in the Field of Security and Defence”.
In his speech, Mr. De Crem put great emphasis on solidarity. He stated that no country could meet contemporary challenges and deal with them alone – for this reason, we had to walk side by side, collaborating to get back on track, to emerge from the crisis stronger than before. Piracy, terrorism, human trafficking, cyber crime and proliferation of nuclear weapons were the major challenges in security and defense that he highlighted. The Belgian Defense Minister noted with regret that there was no connection between military cost reductions and increasing challenges in security and defense. According to him, another problem we faced was exactly how we would ensure the effective handling of Western countries in the presence of budgetary discipline. He maintained that the answer lied in the grouping and sharing of military capabilities among countries in the so-called model of “intelligent defense“, implemented within the framework of NATO. The creation of a European Defense Agency showed how important this was. An issue of primary importance was the maintenance of political dynamic and innovative research in the field of security and defense.