Tuesday, December 21

15:00 – 16:00h (CET)

Online event

The Atlantic Council of Montenegro is pleased to invite you to a public virtual event on December 21, 2021, from 15:00 – 16:00h (CET) on the Western Balkans Security Challenges in a Digital World. The event is a part of the project supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (of the German Marshall Fund) and USAID and is the third out of five Online Talks Series that will be organized to support and enhance discussions regarding peace, security, and stability in the region.
Growing digitalization that touches every aspect of our lives, has increased the importance of cybersecurity. Cyber threats are becoming more complex and are growing in terms of scope, frequency, and sophistication. The need to focus on network and system securities is only accelerated with the unique nature of digital challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Western Balkans, like many regions across the world, is navigating the disruptive effects of COVID-19 on their economies, while also digitalizing numerous critical sectors. Discussions around cybersecurity and digitalization are increasingly necessary as cyberspace has emerged as an area of global strategic competition. The European Union and the USA have increased their activity in the Western Balkans in the context of infrastructure development and digitalization. However, the EU and USA are not the only major powers active in Western Balkans. Both Russia and China see the region as an important springboard in their foreign policy. The purpose of Western involvement and investment in this space is to try and curb certain technology imbalances as well as to mold the “technology orientation” of the Western Balkans towards the West.
As digital transformation accelerates, the next five years seem to be crucial for the Western Balkans’ digital agenda. What can the EU, NATO, and US do to strengthen the capacities and support the Western Balkan region in developing strong cybersecurity measures? With constant attempts for abuse and control of new technologies, threats to the open, free and secure internet, and increased pressure on fundamental rights, freedoms, and democracy, what governments need to do to create a safer digital space and protect the fundamental rights of citizens online? How to empower citizens and build more resilient democracies in the digital age? What is, and what should be the role of the private sector in strengthening democracy?

Milica Pejanović-Đurišić, Member of the Governing Board of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Former Ambassador of Montenegro to UN, and Former Minister of Defence

Milan Sekuloski, Senior Regional Cybersecurity Adviser, Center for Digital Acceleration, DAI
Damir Marusic, Senior Fellow, Europe Center, Atlantic Council
Laura G. Brent, Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program, Center for a New American Security
Irina Rizmal, Senior Associate, Cyber Security Policies, Risk Assurance Solutions, PwC