The 9th CEPA Forum took place in Washington, DC, between September 21-22, 2017. The Forum, organized by the Center for European policy Analysis and by Hungary, focused on Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change.

The annual CEPA Forum has become the leading transatlantic security conference in Washington, DC devoted to U.S.-Central and East European relations. Seven exciting panel discussions on V4 and Transatlantic cooperation, hard and soft security measures, information war, hotspots and future challenges, 40 speakers and more than 500 participants characterized the two-day forum. The program was also the flagship event of the Hungarian V4 Presidency in Washington. In his opening speech, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó confirmed that “the countries of the Visegrád Group and the United States are natural allies”. Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis and CEPA Executive Director Peter Doran also addressed the Forum.

In the first session of the Forum the V4 leaders (Minister Péter Szijjártó, Minister Witold Waszczykowski of Poland, Czech State Secretary Petr Gajdušek and Slovakian State Secretary Ivan Korčok) confirmed that the Visegrad Group’s importance and vitality are a platform for cooperation within the EU. Péter Szijjártó enumerated a number of challenges that the EU needs to tackle: migration, terrorism, the Ukrainian crisis, energy security and Brexit. Answers to these questions should be found through internal EU dialogue, together with the United States. In many of the important issues, such as migration, border protection, sovereignty, and the Western Balkans, the V4’s standpoint is closer to that of the United State than “mainstream” Europe.

Similarly to last year’s event, the Embassy of Hungary organized an invitation-only gala dinner on Thursday, September 21 for attendees of the CEPA Forum. The new building of the Embassy of Hungary provided an exclusive venue to the event. Keynote speeches were delivered by Ambassador Dr. László Szabó, Executive Vice President Peter Doran and General Ben Hodges, Commander of U.S. Army Europe. Altogether 110 guests attended the dinner, including ministers from Poland and Lithuania, high-level government representatives of the V4 countries, directors from the National Security Council and the State Department, leaders of think tanks, as well as Ambassadors and other senior officials from the Central Eastern European region.

More information on this year’s CEPA Forum can be found at http://cepaforum.org/Program.

For the photo gallery of the CEPA Forum 2017 and the Gala Dinner, please click here.