The 13th 2BS FORUM, one of the leading politico-security conferences in Southeast Europe, organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, will take place on October 5-7, 2023.
The forum will mark thirteen years of its efforts to influence, change and shape new and tactical thinking and provide answers for regional and global burning challenges.

The 2BS Forum will highlight several wide-ranging themes that pose a challenge to current regional and global security frameworks and raise special concerns across the Euro-Atlantic community to re-analyze and reboot common goals and joint efforts to further strengthen and secure a sustainable and thriving future for the SEE region and the wider Europe.

Mark the date in your calendars and stay tuned for more information on how you can join us!

In case you have missed some of last year Forum discussions, find a recap of things that took place below:

Sessions Recap
2BS Forum Gallery
Livestreaming Recap

Please make sure to monitor our official website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with our announcements and developments. In case you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

2BS Forum Team

Since its establishment in 1949, NATO has been committed to promoting peace, security, and stability across the Euro-Atlantic region and beyond. Over the past seven decades, NATO has played a critical role in deterring aggression, managing crises, and strengthening international partnerships.

In today’s turbulent world, collective security has proven to be of highest importance. The strengthening of NATO, in several directions, represents one of the most significant international reactions to the war in Ukraine. Finland membership to NATO on this day will greatly strengthen the security of the Alliance.

The Atlantic Council of Montenegro underlines the strategic importance of the North Atlantic Alliance for the stability in Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area, including the Western Balkan region. Considering this, the Atlantic Council of Montenegro will enhance its efforts to raise awareness through all possible dialogue forms and to fight propaganda against the Alliance, which has brought peace to the region and defense, security, and stability to Montenegro.

We are NATO!

The Atlantic Council of Montenegro has the pleasure to announce the Open call for NGO and CSO representatives, journalists or young leaders.

Do you work in a sector/community that is vulnerable to disinformation?

Does disinformation affect your work?

Would you like to help build resilience to disinformation in your country and learn more about hybrid threats?


⭕️ 3-day regional workshop on building resilience to disinformation in Ohrid, North Macedonia
⭕️ learn how to analyze disinformation each WB6 country is facing and how to recognize information that is factual and reliable
⭕️ preparing short, informative, and up-to-date analyses using reliable and credible data that will help you in your work
⭕️ with the help of mentors and experts, you will prepare a policy paper and advocacy strategy to address disinformation in the Western Balkans


If you are aged 20-35 and interested in the issue of countering disinformation, send us your CV by April 14, 2023, 17:00h via e-mail [email protected]
Subject of the email: ‘Open Call: increasing awareness of the hybrid threats – “your name”. In the body of the email, make sure to let us know why we should choose you (two paragraphs about you and your motivation).

Please note that number of participants is limited. We have 6 places available for participants coming from Montenegro, so we highly encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

This activity is organized within the project “Increasing awareness of the hybrid threats: Strengthening resilience in the Western Balkans” and supported by the International Visegrad Fund and Korea Foreign Ministry.

The project is led by the Euro-Atlantic Council of North Macedonia, together with partners from the Western Balkan and V4 countries: Strategic Analysis SK, Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky/Association for International Affairs, KIPRED, Youth Atlantic Treaty Association of Albania, Institute of Central Europe, Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Atlantic Council of Serbia, CEID and FSI.

The Atlantic Council of Montenegro is glad to be part of the consortium of partners from the Western Balkan and Visegrad countries, in implementation of the project „Increasing awareness of the hybrid threats: Strengthening resilience in the Western Bakans“, supported by the International Visegrad Fund.

The aim of the project is to strengthen the resilience of the civil society members from the WB region. Society in the WB appears to be vulnerable to the influence of propaganda, disinformation, and hybrid threats that undermine the democratization process and stability in the region. Through the mobilization and activation of CSOs in the WB, the critical thinking of people will be strengthen, but more importantly, it will raise awareness about disinformation, especially in the online space.

The goal of the project is to create a network of active future leaders from CSOs who will act as multipliers in their communities, thus addressing hybrid threats and disinformation in the Western Balkans. The main objective is to activate and strengthen the capacities of young leaders from CSOs who aspire to become visible actors in the fight against disinformation and third-party propaganda.

The hybrid threat associated with the dissemination of disinformation and propaganda by third actors is a regional problem that can be more effectively addressed through international cooperation and the exchange of experiences and best practices with other actors. The V4 countries involved in the project share many similarities when it comes to the problem of spreading disinformation, especially in the online space. The root causes or root causes of the hybrid threats in question are very similar.

The project uniquely combines the extensive experience of the implementers and their Visegrad partners -in working with NGO/CSO communities, with extensive expertise in working with vulnerable communities threatened by disinformation, propaganda and hybrid threats, and (3) with the extensive experience of some of the Visegrad partners working to refute/debunk disinformation and malicious fake news on the internet using facts, common sense and a healthy dose of critical thinking.

Participants in this project will gain knowledge and tools in an interactive way.

The project is led by the Euro-Atlantic Council of North Macedonia, together with 9 partners from the Western Balkan and V4 countries: Strategic Analysis SK, Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky/Association for International Affairs, KIPRED, Youth Atlantic Treaty Association of Albania, Institute of Central Europe, Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Atlantic Council of Srbije, CEID and FSI.

The Atlantic Council of Montenegro presents the second Western Balkan Security Report as a comprehensive overview of the geopolitical environment and security challenges that concern national, regional, and global security, and have strong implications for the Western Balkan region. The report aims to further stimulate the discussion on the key elements of the security situation in the Western Balkans and to see how different global geopolitical challenges are reflected in the region. The report is also an introduction to the annual 2BS Forum conference organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, where numerous security issues identified in this publication will be discussed.

We are witnessing how the security challenges in the world and the region are building up into a growing wave of crises that reinforce each other. In the conditions of war in Europe and the threat of a major military conflict, the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, with its 16-year experience, considers it necessary to create a report that focuses on the analysis of the Western Balkans, as a region that has found itself at the center of growing geopolitical competition and where once again the interests of various external actors manifest and collide, and by expanding their influence, they seek to achieve their geopolitical aspirations. The Report analyzes geopolitical circumstances and global power changes, the effects of the war in Ukraine, the role and importance of NATO due to new and growing security challenges that inevitably affect the Western Balkan region, then the role of the EU and the perspective of membership, as well as the presence, influence, and role of non-democratic external actors (countries) in this region. Also, compared to last year’s edition, the Report provides an overview and analyzes the changed political, security, and economic conditions in each of the six countries in the Western Balkans.

Finally, the Report offers an overview of specific recommendations for both regional and Western decision-makers in order to create a common vision of the region based on support for reforms and concrete results that should ultimately contribute to the stability, security, and economic development of the Western Balkans.

The complete report can be found and downloaded HERE.

At the session of the Assembly of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, changes in the governing structure of the organization were noted. The mandate of the long-serving President of the Atlantic Council, Savo Kentera, has terminated due to his election to the position of Director of the National Security Agency. The Assembly also notes the termination of the mandate of the current Vice President of the Atlantic Council, Ranko Krivokapić, due to taking over the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro.

Kentera’s remarkable contribution to the development of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro over the past 15 years was highlighted. Under his mandate the Atlantic Council has become one of Montenegro’s leading think-tanks dedicated to regional peace and security, emphasizing NATO’s strategic importance for the stability of the entire European and Euro-Atlantic area, including the Western Balkan region.

The Atlantic Council congratulates Kentera and Krivokapić on taking over state positions in this very important transitional moment for Montenegro, believing that they will make a significant contribution to protecting Montenegro’s national interests and strengthening its international reputation in their new capacities.

A new member, Vlatko Cvrtila, joins the renewed structure of the Governing Board of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro consisting of Milica Pejanović-Đurišić, Sharyl Cross, and John Allen, while Azra Karastanović will represent the Atlantic Council of Montenegro as the Executive Director.

In the future, the Atlantic Council will continue to strongly advocate for the democratic development of Montenegro and Montenegrin society on the Euro-Atlantic and EU path. It will continue to respect and strengthen Western values, making even greater efforts to improve the understanding, importance, and role of the NATO Alliance, which brought peace to the Western Balkan region as well as security to Montenegro.

For the sixth issue of our ACM Briefs, published in May 2022, we would like to introduce a study on War in Ukraine and Russian action towards Western Balkan. These policy briefs are a part of the bigger project funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (GMF) and USAID, aimed at providing laser-sharp insights into the political and social trends in the region, strengthen dialogue, present concrete policy recommendations regarding pressing international and security issues in the Western Balkans.

Policy Brief gives an overview of how Russian war in Ukraine can affect the Western Balkans. Russia is exploiting Moldova, Georgia, and the Western Balkans as potential new avenues to undermine Europe where Russia resorts to its well-known playbook of exploiting existing divisions and exacerbating secessionist tensions. The war in Ukraine also has an impact on the Western Balkans and the West should look for early warnings in the information space, as they are good indicators of Russia’s moves. Understanding these operations is essential in shaping an appropriate response from the West. That response must actively challenge and counter Russia’s information operations in the Western Balkans.

The complete Brief is available here

The events in 2022 showed a greater degree of readiness of the West to oppose Russian hybrid action, is the conclusion from the Online discussion organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro.

Ivana Stradner, Advisor to the foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and journalist Biljana Jovicević participated in the panel on the topic of Russian disinformation activities in the Balkans. The panel was moderated by Milan Jovanović from the Digital Forensic Center.

Ivana Stradner said that Russia has not lost the information war, pointing to the offensive information operations that the country is conducting around the world, in regions where its strategic interests exist. She stated that Russia conducts its information operations in Africa and Asia, but also in the United States and Europe. Information warfare exists in the Balkans and can be very dangerous because it completely polarizes society and raises tensions that could further escalate, Stradner said.

She also pointed out the specificity of the Russian understanding of hybrid warfare, which implies a combination of information operations and kinetic use of force that, according to her, was clearly shown on the example of Ukraine. In that context, she especially emphasized the implementation of a hybrid strategy within Russia itself, in which, as she assessed, there is media darkness. Stradner believes that Vladimir Putin uses such an internal environment to achieve long-term goals of Russia’s foreign policy – delegitimization of NATO, overthrowing the international liberal order and establishing a multipolar world where Russia would sit at the same table with the United States and China.

Speaking about the Western Balkans, she pointed out that Russia does not aim to occupy the region militarily, but to occupy its information space. In order to prevent that, Stradner emphasizes the importance of detecting such influence, but also the existence of will, as well as partner support in its suppression.

From the point of view of the journalistic profession, Biljana Jovićević spoke about the network of Russian media proxies in Montenegro and the region, noting that Russia is much more successful in conducting propaganda in relation to the conventional war. She believes that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shown the right editorial policy of some of the most influential media in Montenegro, which are controlled by the funding from Serbia, and which operate in such a small market for political reasons. Jovicević said that Russian influence was indirectly spreading through the Serbian media, whose editorial policy was adjusted to the Russian narrative. Among them, in her opinion, the IN4S portal is leading as a classic Russian-Serbian newspaper that experienced its rise in Montenegro with the mixing of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and Serbian and Russian political actors in internal political events. Other media she cites are the Borba portal, whose editorial policy she sees as similar but less aggressive, as well as Serbian tabloids, which have significant support in Montenegro. She also identifies the media that tried to take a neutral position in the context of the war in Ukraine, but gradually adjusted to the official position of the West, and cites the National Public Service as an example.

Jovicević believes that Montenegro should be viewed as part of a comprehensive Russian strategy for the Balkans, which aims to have an alternative battlefield and, consequently, undermine the political unity of the European Union and NATO. She estimates that this strategy had some success in the case of Montenegro, but that the invasion of Ukraine resulted in regrouping of forces within the European Union and NATO and their significant attention to this area.

Milan Jovanović emphasized that, despite the fact that there is no officially registered Russian media in Montenegro, Russian propaganda is almost equally strong. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the activities of certain media in Montenegro intensified and consistently synchronized with the views of the Russian and Serbian media. Drawing a parallel between the Russian and Serbian media, Jovanović said that, unlike Russia, where there is obviously censorship, in Serbia, despite the free flow of information, tabloids have a great influence on forming the attitudes of citizens. Jovanović concluded that the current global crisis has highlighted the importance of NATO and Montenegrin membership in the Alliance, further highlighting internal weaknesses that reflect Montenegrin political, national and social fragmentation and the continued interference of malignant influence from the outside.

“Masks have fallen and everyone has shown their faces in Montenegro, but we have also seen the faces of other countries. We have seen who the real allies of Montenegro are, and now we know very well what we can count on in the period ahead. ” said the President of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Savo Kentera, at a conference organized by the Center for Foreign Policy and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The topic of the conference was Western Balkans in the context of the war in Ukraine.

Kentera pointed out that the previous government had shown no sincere intentions about Montenegro’s pro-Western orientation, and that the delay in imposing sanctions on Russia over its aggression against Ukraine was an indication of that. As he says, it revealed everything we knew and what we warned about from the Atlantic Council. According to him, August 30, 2020 is still considered one of the best things that happened to Montenegro because, in addition to the change of government, we realized how much potential Montenegro has and how much it was ahead in the EU integrations compared to other countries, and “how much we suddenly began to stagnate and stay behind the others and how close we were to Russia at one point.”

The war in Ukraine exposed the intentions of certain parties, individuals, and countries in relation to Montenegro and the Balkans, “so now we can, it seems to me, much easier and more decisively enter into a formation of a government that must be, above all, a completely pro-Western, pro-European, and a pro-NATO government, which will not leave anyone in any dilemma when it comes to Montenegro. “

Montenegro wants the best relations with everyone, and as Kentera states, “if someone does not want to build such relations with Montenegro, and if someone wants to pursue their interests that conflict with the interests of Montenegro and the interests of NATO, and to carry it into effect here, then they must get an adequate answer for it. “
Commenting on the formation of the new government, the president of the Atlantic Council said that Montenegro paid the price by implementing the wrong policy for over a year and a half and that it was time for Montenegro to unequivocally make everyone aware of its pro-Western orientation. All those who think well for this country, who live in this country and who want to build their future here together with all the others who live here, and to really stand for a better future, then they are more than welcome to participate tomorrow in that government and to really contribute to a better quality of life in Montenegro. ” Kentera concluded.

For the fifth issue of our ACM Briefs, published in March 2022, we would like to introduce a study on War in Ukraine and implications for Montenegro’s EU membership. These policy briefs are a part of the bigger project funded by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (GMF) and USAID, aimed at providing laser-sharp insights into the political and social trends in the region, strengthen dialogue, present concrete policy recommendations regarding pressing international and security issues in the Western Balkans.

This Policy Brief gives an overview on the uncertainty over the future course of the EU enlargement policy in the Western Balkans region. After more than two decades of stabilization and accession process, and years of the stagnation of the EU integration dynamic, there are a few different opinions regarding the impact of war in Ukraine on that EU policy. The key question is the following: does the EU plan to extend its absorption capacities for the enlargement towards eastern neighbors or, on the contrary, to postpone them, through differentiated or staged accession for an undefined period? This question directly affects Montenegro’s accession in the EU, which is the focus of the brief. There is an optimistic conclusion that the EU’s 2025 enlargement agenda is still achievable for Montenegro, even though the country faces strong Russian influence and a very delicate political and social moment.