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At the international conference about increasing efficiency in counter-terrorism efforts

The 6th international conference entitled »Counter-Terrorism Challenges in the Region of South Eastern Europe«, co-organised by  the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, U.S. Embassy and U.S. Centre for Civil-Military Relations and Institute for Corporative Security Studies concluded on 6 March. President of the conference, Senior Military Specialist Class XIV (OF-5) Denis Čaleta said that it was once again confirmed that such conferences were an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences, especially with pressures directed towards the reduction of resources for the operation of national security systems. 

The last day of the three-day conference was devoted to topical trends in the field of intelligence acquisition and the added value brought by intelligence sharing in the field of counter-terrorism, the increasing significance of cyber threats in general security, and the protection of personal data in relation to intelligence acquisition.

The performing participants highlighted very different experiences, which, as we have been able to establish during debates within panels, mainly opened similar or even identical dilemmas. The meeting of experts and academics thus brings added value to the development of security provision in the region of South Eastern Europe. The exchanged opinions and experiences serve as the guidance and motivation for further work in the development of new approaches, methodology and relation with others in the future.

In addition, experts at the conference warned of the numerous dimensions of terrorism. Dr Vesela Radović brought attention to the environmental terrorism, which in Serbia is perceived as pollution.  When referring to different threats, the environment appears as the key factor in the provision of security, since water and earth represent the fundamentals in the production of food for mass consumption and as such represent a risk.  An interesting view on the security in the region of South Eastern Europe was presented by Italian experts. The participants learned about the results of the recently conducted counter-terrorism research. The security situation in this part of the Europe was also an interesting topic for conference guests from the Czech Republic, Canada Bulgaria and elsewhere. Their understanding and findings were very topical. Some of them were similar, while others triggered additional debates. 

The participants, however, fully agreed on the importance of awareness of the damage caused by cyber threats.

The conference, which is the only of its kind in the South Eastern Europe, identified the remarkable importance of integration of theorists and practitioners, public and private, the highlighting of the boundaries between personal and classified information, and the importance of transparency in the operation of all participants. The safety of individuals and societies should be provided effectively, which inter alia means that security cannot and should not unduly interfere with people's privacy.

At the end of the event, the chairperson of the Conference, Senior Military Specialist Class XIV (OF-5) Denis Čaleta from the Ministry of Defence expressed his satisfaction over the discussions and said that it had once again been proved that terrorism was bringing people together, especially in finding the answers to how to stand up to this complex threat. He said that terrorism was the only threat that had within the cooperation of intelligence services brought together all entities in a close collaboration, adding that new approaches have opened up, because only new approaches, different views and responses to this complex threat can help us counter it appropriately. According to Čaleta, given the fact that we live in a time of economic crisis, which puts significant pressure on the reduction of public and other funds intended for the functioning of the national security systems, the conference opened important topics focusing on how to do more with less. These were the topics, which, in addition to the exchange and cooperation of people from the academia, practice and other interested publics, give added value to the event that will hopefully continue to take place in Slovenia.


Audio record (MP3):