Tue Nov 24 Wed Nov 25 Thu Nov 26 Fri Nov 27

Tue Nov 24


Foreign and Security Policy Conference 2020

Opening Remarks

Foreign and Security Policy Conference 2020
Intelligence and National Security beyond Industry 4.0

Scientific development, in particular in the field of information technology, had been exponentially accelerating in the first two decades of the 21st century. This has been reshaping international relations at a faster pace than in any other historic period, where countries need to secure their independence and protect their citizens from measures taken by hostile powers. In 2020, the COVID–19 pandemic has caused major and unexpected disruption in the international system, therefore, the conference also aims to discuss how the intelligence services may aid in recovery and avoiding future calamities. With the assistance of national and international experts, the conference will examine security challenges originating from this new technological development, bearing in mind that Hungary and its allies continue to be at the forefront of scientific development. Therefore, furthering efforts in reinforcing international cooperation may improve our position in the global competition. The event puts special emphasis on the rapid development of information technology and its vital role in our everyday lives and national economies, taking into consideration challenges coming from the cyber space and the new type of arms race between national security bodies.


Zsolt Csepregi
Deputy Director for International Affairs


Foreign and Security Policy Conference 2020

Opening Lecture

The opening lecture of the conference will be delivered by Zsolt Bunford, Deputy Director General for Analysis at the Information Office  of Hungary.


Foreign and Security Policy Conference 2020

Panel I: Global Threats Originating from and Possibilities Offered by New Technologies

The panel discussion will offer an insight into new technologies, with special regard to potential uses of space and satellites in intelligence, as well as the future of information gathering in the fight between great powers and in countering terrorism. During the panel, special attention will be paid to cooperation frameworks after the Brexit, the cooperation dimension of NATO-EU, information aspect of hybrid warfare and how these platforms were disrupted or potentially developed by reactions to the COVID–19 crisis.

Péter Stepper
Senior Research Fellow


Foreign and Security Policy Conference 2020

Panel II: Intelligence Cooperation in the Cyber Space and Beyond

The aim of the panel is to discuss the future of intelligence gathering procedures, HUMINT and SIGINT, in the accelerating technological environment, which are complemented by the application of drones and AI that facilitate the process of information gathering and analysis. Our question when it comes to the fight between great powers in digital intelligence gathering is how classification and the arms race between the USA, Russia, and China to declassify will look like and what position Hungary and the EU will take in this. The panel also raises the question of how different approaches to intelligence cooperation and the utilisation of cyberspace may affect responses to global pandemics such as COVID–19.

Zsolt Csepregi
Deputy Director for International Affairs





Mission of AJAS and Welcome Remarks



Central European Talks

The lecture will focus on key social and political developments and emerging trends in Central Europe.

Among others, the lecture aims to discuss whether the Central European region could provide country-specific applicable models and good examples for the Western Balkan countries in areas related to education, culture, and other fields.

Doris Pack
Robert Schuman Institute


“Writing History or an Economic Textbook”

EU’s Response to the Pandemic

On 31 March during an interview with a German television, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte affirmed that, in that moment, the EU member states’ leaders had the opportunity to support the creation of new and more powerful common financial instruments to tackle the economic crisis triggered by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. A step as such, according to Conte, would have written history. On the contrary, refusing to show solidarity and remaining tied up to the old crisis management logic, which had disastrous effects during the last decade, would have meant the beginning of the end for the EU. Obviously, the position of the Italian premier was later reinforced by the spread of the virus in all the other member states and by the backing of France, Germany, and the European Commission. This panel will discuss the EU’s response to the coronavirus crisis, the instruments implemented by the EU institutions, and whether they are really of historic significance. Our experts will also focus on  the consequences of this crisis for the EU and the possible developments in the future.  

Moderator: Alessandro D'Onofrio, IRM, AJKC

Stefano da Empoli
President of Brussels Office

Zsolt Darvas
Senior Fellow

Jarolim Antal
Centre for European Studies, University of Economics Prague

Alessandro D'Onofrio
Senior Research Fellow


From the Inside Out

Interpretations of Central Europe

Defining Central Europe is always a challenging task, as there are many understandings of the region. The Visegrad Cooperation created and maintained by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland is often equalled with Central Europe, while many appraoches towards the region also include other countries and/or historical regions into it. The aim of this panel is to explore what Central Europe means for the “core” countries, the V4, and how it is understood from a transatlantic point of view. What does Central Europe mean today? What kind of cooperation is within the countries in CE and how effective are these cooperations? Our point of departure is that Central European countries value the region and the cooperation with each other differently. Therefore, another  aim of the panel is to understand the foreign policy relations and strategies of these countries and find out where the region and regional cooperation stands in these strategies.

Irena Götzová
Deputy Head of Mission
Embassy of the Czech Republic to Hungary

Tomáš Strážay
Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Scott Cullinane
Executive Director
US-Europe Alliance

Agata Tatarenko
Head of Department of the Visegrad Group
Institute of Central Europe

András Máté Lázár
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Wed Nov 25


Panel Discussion

North-South Energy Infrastructure Projects

Ian Brzezinski, Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Initiative, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Tamás Vörös, Head, Energy and Climate Diplomacy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary
Szymon Kardas, Senior Fellow, OSW – Center for Eastern Studies, Poland
Moderator: Péter Stepper, Senior Research Fellow, AJKC


Vision for the Future of EU

What’s next in times of uncertainty?

Different visions and proposals regarding the future of the European Union have resulted in a seemingly continuous state of division between the EU’s member states in the past years.  With the dramatic social, economic, and political effects of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, is there a chance, even if minimal, to find a common ground,?  

Viktor Kecskés
Head of Department
Ministry of Justice of Hungary

Juraj Hajko
Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Petr Zahradník
Former Member
European Economic and Social Committee

Péter Dobrowiecki
Head of Research


Shifting Powers

US-China Relations from Different Perspectives


Viktor Friedmann
Budapest Metropolitan University

Alicja Bachulska
China Analyst
Asia Research Centre, War Studies University in Warsaw

Tamás Matura
Research Fellow
Corvinus University of Budapest

Filip Šebok
China Research Fellow
Association for International Affairs (AMO)

Norbert Miklós
International Relations Manager
Asian and African Relations Department, AJKC


Unpacking 2020

Milestones of a US Election Year

The year 2020 has seen an unprecedented contest for the presidential election. Much has happened during this action-packed period: a pandemic deeply affecting the strongest superpower of the globe, heightened social tensions and polarisation in American society, and a presidential debate which was nothing like any political debate before. Within the confined timeframe they will get, our panellists are going to highlight the most important moments of this scramble and explain their significance, anticipating the paths the new presidential term might tread.

Klementina Kozma
Research Assistant
American Studies Research Institute, University of Public Service

Máté Kaló
Independent Analyst

Ryan Brockhaus
Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow, The Hungarian Initiatives Foundation




Daniel Kochis
Senior Policy Analyst in European Affairs
The Heritage Foundation

Thu Nov 26


NATO’s Future in Europe

German-US Relations and Its Effects on the Alliance

The panel “NATO’s Future in Europe–German-US Relations and Its Effects on the Alliance” will discuss the possible developments of the Atlantic Alliance in Europe and in the neighbouring countries. Moreover, the nervous relationship between the German government and the American administration, which touched an historical low, will be analysed. What was the reason to start a trade war with the German car industry? Why anti-Americanism is growing in Germany? Is there any possibility that the USA will look for new allies in Europe, for example Poland, at the expense of the traditional Washington-Berlin axes? What can we expect from the newly elected US president? How important is the strategic autonomy for Europe and what are the chances that an independent European defence policy is expected to overlap the Atlantic Alliance? These and other questions will be answered and discussed with our experts at the panel discussion.

Matthew Rhodes
Professor of National Security Studies
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Péter Rada
Associate Professor
National University of Public Service

Johannes Thimm
Senior Fellow
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

Péter Stepper
Senior Research Fellow


Eastern Partnership

What’s next?

The European Union started the Eastern Partnership project in 2008, realising the need for developing closer relations with the new neighbour countries after the 2004 enlargement. In order for the Union to become a key actor on the international stage, it is crucial to develop a neighbourhood strategy. Besides, in accordance with the European values, the EU has always considered it important to help the democratisation of its neighbours and help them in the process of becoming independent and contribute to their economic and political stability. However, the question is what the next step will be once the independence and democracy of these countries are already established. What will be the EU’s neighbourhood strategy in the future and what does it consist of now? Is there a chance for Eastern Partnership members to become full members? Questions like these will be discussed on our lecture.

Mathieu Bousquet
Head of Unit
DG NEAR, European Commission


Lunch Break



Data Capitalism and the Social Dilemma

Privacy Today

There might be little doubt that 2020 was the launch of the data decade. With smartphones everywhere and everything interconnected, information will be the most highly esteemed product for big companies—and even for states. Our panelists will talk about how companies transnationally sell and buy our data, what troubles this causes to the fabric of our society and private life, and what individuals and states can do about all this.

Balázs Bartóki-Gönczy
Assistant Professor
University of Public Service

Radim Polcak
Vice Rector
Masaryk University

János Tamás Papp
Pázmány Péter Catholic University

Zsombor Szabolcs Pál
Senior Research Fellow


Why does it matter?

The Value of Valid Information in the 21st Century

It is often highlighted that we are living in a chaos regarding information we hear and read, especially in the online world. The aim of this lecture is to understand how online media helps the spread of hoax and fake news nowadays and what can we do against them.

Matej Spišák
Research Fellow
Strategic Policy Institute


Fireside Chat


Miriam Lexmann
European People's Party

Balázs Hamar
Deputy Director, Head of Office
Brussels Office of AJKC

Fri Nov 27



with Attila Steiner, State Secretary for EU Affairs


Attila Steiner
State Secretary for EU Affairs
Ministry of Justice of Hungary

Balázs Hamar
Deputy Director, Head of Office
Brussels Office of AJKC




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