Debate and Presentation of Project Findings
Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defence-Energy Nexus
On 7th March 2018 the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) hosted a debate and presentation of findings from the joint research project between PISM and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), titled Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defence-Energy Nexus. The event took place as a result of the publication of the final report and Polish-Norwegian intergovernmental consultations, which were held on the same day and regarded regional security issues as well as the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels.
The first part of the event was a panel discussion with the Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Marek Magierowski, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Audun Halvorsen, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, Ms. Tone Skogen and Undersecretary of State in the Polish Ministry of National Defence Mr. Tomasz Szatkowski. Issues discussed included the security situation on NATO’s eastern and northern flanks, energy policy, as well as prospects for cooperation between Poland and Norway.
The deputy ministers stressed the common interest of Poland and Norway in the further strengthening of NATO’s collective defence capabilities. The panel discussed a number of more specific issues of high importance for the Alliance’s adaptation to a changed security environment. These issues included an ongoing review of the NATO command structure, defence spending, challenges for military mobility, decision-making procedures within the Alliance, dialogue with Russia, and impact of closer defence cooperation in the EU on NATO.
In the second part of the event PISM and NUPI experts presented the results of the joint project, emphasizing that energy and defence in the Nordic-Baltic region are closely interrelated. Russia, whose energy policy is part of a broader strategy towards Europe, might attempt to exploit dependence of European countries from Russian energy supplies in order to create divisions within NATO and undermine its credibility. At the same time, new infrastructure projects of countries seeking to reduce their dependence on Russia may become the target of aggressive actions. PISM and NUPI experts also presented recommendations for closer cooperation between Poland and Norway in strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence policy. One involved the promotion of greater involvement of the Alliance in building cooperation with the EU-resilience of energy infrastructure in the region.
This event is part of the foreign policy and national security project titled “Nordic-Baltic Security in Times of Uncertainty: The Defence-Energy Nexus”, which benefits from a €100,000 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants. The aim of the project is to provide recommendations for closer cooperation between Poland and Norway in security policy, specifically within energy and defence. It also creates a platform for Polish and Norwegian government officials, scholars, and experts to exchange knowledge, experience and ideas.
13:00 – 14:00 Registration and Welcome Lunch
14:00 – 14:10 Welcoming Remarks
- Bartosz Wiśniewski, Head of Research Office, Polish Institute of International Affairs
14:10 – 15:30 Panel Discussion - Poland and Norway: Together for the Security of the Nordic-Baltic Region
Poland and Norway share a number of interests in improving security in the Nordic-Baltic region. How do both countries perceive the evolution of threats to the region since the 2014 Russian aggression against Ukraine? How is the NATO response assessed by Poland and Norway? Is there a common Polish-Norwegian agenda for the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels? What should be the next priorities of NATO adaptation and how could energy issues be better included in Allied operational planning? Could cooperation between Poland and Norway help break energy-dependency patterns that may undermine the credibility of NATO defence and deterrence policy in the region?
- Marek Magierowski, Undersecretary of State for Economic Diplomacy, America Policy and Asia Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland
- Audun Halvorsen, State Secretary, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Tone Skogen, State Secretary, Royal Norwegian Ministry of Defence
- Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland (invited)
- Moderator: Bartosz Wiśniewski, Head of Research Office, Polish Institute of International Affairs
15:30 – 15:45 Coffee Break
15:45 – 17:00 Presentation of the Project Findings and Public Discussion
The findings from the project indicate how energy policy in the region affects threat perceptions and responses to security challenges posed by Russia’s policy towards its close neighbours and NATO. The project proves that energy infrastructure might play a decisive role in a military crisis involving Russia and the Alliance. Recommendations from the project focus on areas in which Polish-Norwegian cooperation can greatly contribute to reinforcing security in the region through the prism of the defence-energy nexus.
- Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fryk, Head of the International Economic Relations and Energy Policy Programme, Polish Institute of International Affairs
- Jakub Godzimirski, Research Professor, Research Group on Russia, Eurasia and the Arctic, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
- Wojciech Lorenz, Senior Analyst, International Security Programme, Polish Institute of International Affairs
- Moderator: Marcin Terlikowski, Head of the International Security Programme, Polish Institute of International Affairs