At the external seminar in Riga our members debated about the threat of cyber security and EU-Russian affairs and visited the NATO military base of Adazi to witness first-hand how European nations can work together at the EU’s border. 

Security, including cyber security, is at the heart of today’s challenges facing the EU. Our member Dainis Turlais, who recently wrote the report “Proposal for a European Defence Fund’ in which he supports a European Defence from the bottom up, invited our group to Riga to witness first hand how (cyber)secrurity can put many member states at risk – including his country of Latvia – and how some countries such as Russia already use it as a weapon of mass disruption.

Our President Bart Somers said:

Local and regional politicians need to raise awareness at citizen level of the cyber security threat to our democracy and society. We need to empower people so they can better understand and identify credible information. Moreover, we need a narrative that defends an open society and democracy. Cities and regions need to work with national governments to prepare their defence against future cyber attacks

NATO military base of Ādaži

The seminar included a study visit to the National Armed Forces Military Base in Ādaži, a NATO military base, where our members had a tour of the facilities and spoke to several members of the NATO-mission there, consisting of Spanish, Slovakian, Albanian, Italian and Canadian troops.

Our seminar in Riga on 23 April 2018, which was opened by Mr. Turlais, was also addressed by Andris Ameriks, Vice Mayor of the Riga City Council, as well as Mr Jānis Karlsbergs, Policy Director and Vice State Secretary, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, and Jarno Limnell, Professor of Cyber Security at Aalto University, Finland.