The Nordic Forum for Security Policy 2012: Empowering the Nordic-Baltic Relations - Challenges of the 21st Century
In May 2012, the Nordic Forum for Security Policy came be back to Vilnius, Lithuania for the second time in its history. Due to Lithuania’s status as an EU Member State as well as a Baltic Sea State, and its important location in the neighbourhood of Russian Kaliningrad and Belarus, the country’s capital was chosen to host the Nordic Forum. The two-day international conference yook place at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University, in the centre of the Old Town.
Twenty years ago the path for new cooperation was opened. After the collapse of Soviet Union and the EU´s eastern enlargement, the development of the Baltic Sea Region has been rapid. Many different policies have been drawn to foster the dynamic Baltic Sea Region in the sphere of economy and environment, regional cooperation, as well as in overall security and safety.
The Nordic-Baltic cooperation has been seen as one of the well-functioning regional frameworks between the countries. However, the prevailing economic crisis has affected the most part of the region. Therefore today it is crucial to ask how we can tackle the current challenges the Baltic Sea Region faces in order to secure open, tolerant and equal future for the region?
In the the opening plenary, the future prospects of closer cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic relations was discussed, as well as regional energy security developments.
The Forum’s core political and expert-level themes dealt with topical broad security challenges facing the Baltic Sea Region today: cooperation over cyber and missile defence security issues, as well as environmental and energy matters.
Much attention was also brought to the human dimension; in particular to the interconnected issue of media freedom and the growing intolerance phenomena in the region. In addition, the current situation in Belarus and how to support the country’s civil society was also discussed in the Forum.
The Nordic Forum for Security Policy 2012 was launched in Helsinki on 1.12.2011 in the Kick off seminar that took place in the Parliament House.
Expert views were heard concerning the topics of the 2012 Forum. The presentations were followed by a panel that included Finnish parliamentarians discussing about energy, environment and growing intolerance issues currently facing the Baltic Sea Region.