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A Word of Welcome by the Minister of Defence

Dear Conference Participants, 


Allow me to avail myself of this opportunity to extend to you a warm welcome to Slovenia. I am greatly honoured that the Ministry of Defence is hosting the eighth International Regional Conference, entitled "Counterterrorism Challenges in South-Eastern Europe", organised in cooperation with the Joint Special Operations University in Tampa and the Embassy of the United States of America.


We live in a rapidly changing complex security environment, which presents us with serious challenges in the management of a whole range of risks to our countries and consequently to our organisations. International terrorism, organised crime, risks related to the cyber environment, uncontrolled migration and associated risks pose a serious threat to both national and international security. These threats can be countered effectively only by the close cooperation of various entities at the national and international levels. For this reason, the joint efforts of experts coming from governmental, non-governmental, academic and international institutions are an important factor in the process of countering these risks in Europe and beyond. The aim of this international conference is to deepen cooperation and exchange experiences and good practice in the understanding of extremism and radicalisation, which are becoming links between a whole range of threats facing our countries.


The main topic of the upcoming conference is mutual cooperation and the exchange of the latest knowledge and best practice in managing the issue of violent radicalisation and extremism and associated security risks. The title of the conference is "Violent Extremism and Radicalisation Processes as Driving Factors in Terrorism Threats in the Western Balkans and their Security Implications in Europe". In terms of its topic, the conference represents a further step forward, following the international conferences which took place in Slovenia in the period between 2007 and 2014. These conferences discussed the roles and responsibilities of individual entities within the national security and international environment in the field of countering terrorism and other related threats from various points of view, as well as the need for active mutual coordination and concerted action in the exchange of intelligence information. Considering the current security processes and risks existing in the region, the focus of this conference could not be more topical.


I look forward to meeting you at the upcoming conference. You are all most welcome to attend the event.


Andreja Katič

Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia