European Western Balkans

CEPSlab18 – Europe in the World Lab

EU Flags; Photo: Pixabay

BRUSSELS – Where is Europe’s cyber-defence force? Is the Western Balkans Europe’s black hole? What best practices exist for tackling the root causes of fragility, conflict and violence? Those are some of the topics that will be adressed at the event “CEPSlab18 – Europe in the World Lab” in February 22-23 in Brussels.

It is stated that the EU member states do not have sufficient capacities to counter the spread of cyberattacks capable of disrupting critical infrastructures, and that therefore are motivated to cooperate at the EU level.

However – given the speed of cross-border traffic and attacks on the weakest links in a largely ungoverned cyberspace, should not any future EU Cyber Defence Facility do more than simply coordinate? This will be the topic of the panel “Where is Europe’s cyber-defence force?.”

Conflict (in)sensitive? Crisis response by the EU, UN and World Bank” will be the topic of the second panel, which will try to provide the answer on the question – Are these largely HQ-based reforms fit for operational purposes? How can collaboration be fine-tuned and deepened to achieve tangible results on the ground? What best practices exist for tackling the root causes of fragility, conflict and violence?.

This Lab session is organised in the context of ‘EUNPACK’, a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Commission.

Third panel will be dedicated to the Western Balkans and the question – is the region Europe’s black hole?

“Ahead of an EU-Western Balkans summit in May 2018, to be held in Sofia, what are the prospects of introducing meaningful political reform in the countries of the Western Balkans? Is EU enlargement helping to strengthen the rule of law? What prospects are there for the settlement of bilateral disputes (such as Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia/Kosovo)?”

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