On 21 March, the first edition of the Security and Defence Forum took place in Brussels.
The inaugural Schuman Security and Defence Forum (Schuman Forum) seeked to contribute to the important partnerships that underpin the EU’s high level of ambition in security and defence.
The European Commission brought together the 27 EU Member States, representatives from 50 countries and international organisations, and representatives from 50 think tanks and academia – from Europe and beyond.
Josep Borrell, EU High representative for Foreign Policy, Security and Defence Policy, said after the conference that EU’s partners “want us to be more engaged”: “I am strongly convinced that Europe has to be a reliable security and defence partner, and for that it has to increase its own capacities.”
He highlighted that there are close to 300 civilian and military personnel from the EU’s partner countries already participating in 21 EU missions and operations, consisting of 5,000 people deployed around the world.
Borrell added that the EU wants to work together with its partners to strengthen collective resilience and address hybrid threats, foreign information manipulation, and cyber threats: “We repeat these names: cyber, hybrid, disinformation, but believe me these are the battlefields of the future. It is not only about conquering lands, it is about conquering minds. And this battle has to be fought.”
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