At a conference held on July 17-18 in Washington, the Atlantic Council, a major U.S.-based foreign policy think tank, and GLOBSEC, a Bratislava-based security and foreign policy think tank, announced a collaboration to address current issues focusing on the central European region. At the two-day conference entitled, The United States and Central Europe: Celebrating Europe Whole and Free, Building the Next Century Together, an impressive group of foreign policy officials, and analysts from academia and the think tank community reviewed historical developments in Central Europe, particularly since the events of 1989, analyzed recent events and trends, and looked ahead to future policy of Western allies.
Representing the two organizations were, Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council, and Amb. Rastislav Káčer, Chairman of GLOBESEC, and former Slovak ambassador to the U.S. They introduced the conference and announced the release of a joint study entitled The United States and Central Europe: Tasks for a Second Century Together. They also announced that one of the authors of the report, Amb. Daniel Fried already a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council responsible for overseeing its work on Central Europe and other areas, was to be designated as the new Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow. This new position was created with support provided by Amb. Ronald Weiser, who served previously as U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia from 2001 to 2004. The involvement of GLOBESEC and Amb. Káčer, and the support of Amb. Weiser, highlighted the relevance and importance of a Slovak-related perspective in the analysis of current foreign policy issues in Central Europe and the West generally.
A Slovak perspective was further in evidence at the conference as three key Slovak figures participated and made significant contributions. The current Slovak ambassador to the U.S., Ivan Korčok participated in the panel that presented the joint report noted above. Pavol Demeš, Transatlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund, participated in the panel, Identity, Values and Democracy: What Does the West Stand For? Finally, Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák followed a panel of the foreign ministers of Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic with inspiring closing remarks that brought the themes of the conference together and pointed a way forward for transatlantic relations.
Friends of Slovakia were well represented among the attendees at the conference, by Chairman Scott Thayer, Vice Chairman Ken Bombara, and Board members Martina Hrvolová, Richard Marko and Jan Surotchak. Click the following link for a detailed summary and videos of the conference: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/the-united-states-and-central-europe-what-s-gone-right-what-s-gone-wrong-and-what-s-next