Sunday, April 26, 2020

Morning - Afternoon Arrival of Participants
04:00 p.m.

Conference Opening and Welcome Remarks

Dr. Johann Wadephul, Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU-Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag

Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, Deputy Secretary General, Department Head, Department European and International Cooperation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

04:15 p.m. High Level Panel: The Broader Strategic Context - Where does the Baltic area fit into the overall strategic competition?

We are currently experiencing a return of great power rivalries and the competition between different social and political systems worldwide. Russia and China are pursuing a strategy of spheres of influence and robust enforcement of their interests. This is particularly noticeable in the Baltic Sea region and the Arctic. The U.S., NATO and the EU are increasingly trying to adapt to these challenges.

What special role does the region play in the overall strategic competition? Are the ongoing developments unique - or do they follow certain patterns that can also be found in other regions of the world? What are the different perspectives of Germany and its partners in the Baltic Sea region with respect to this issue?


Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

Vice Admiral (ret.) Sir Clive Johnstone KBE CB, Distinguished Fellow, The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

Riho Terras MEP, Member of European Parliament, Estonia


Dr. Bastian Giegerich, Director of Defence and Military Analysis, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

05:15 p.m. Coffee break
05:45 p.m.

Break-out Sessions

  1. The Cyber- and information warfare situation in Northern Europe

The Baltic Sea region is a hotspot of cyber and information warfare. At least since the cyber-attack on Estonia in 2007, an increasing number of attacks in the cyber and information space can be monitored almost on a daily basis. Cyber defence and questions of strategic communication are therefore intensively discussed in the states of the region and new strategies are constantly developed - not just among the “defenders” but also among the “attackers”.

How can the current situation in the cyber and information space be assessed and what developments can be expected in the future? What offensive and defensive strategies are currently applied? What can the rest of Europe learn from the Baltic Sea states and their defence strategies in the cyber and information space?


Tabea Wilke, CEO and Founder, Botswatch GmbH

Dr. Johann Schmid, Director COI Strategy and Defence, European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats

Bogdan Klich, Minority Leader of the Polish Senate, former Minister of Defence


Patrick O'Keeffe, Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Asia-Pacific Strategy and Security, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK)


  1. Is there a Russian-Chinese alliance forming? What does that imply?

Russian-Chinese cooperation has been deepening for years and encompasses areas such as the economy, technology or the armed forces. As a result, a military alliance between the two great powers - with incalculable consequences for the international security architecture - is not implausible any longer. Due to the cooperation with Russia, China has now direct access to the Arctic and the Baltic Sea region and is more and more becoming an actor with clear interests and ambitions in these regions.

What do these developments imply for the Baltic Sea region? What are the experiences of the different states in the region with the Russian-Chinese activities on their doorstep? How do and how should they react?


Helena Legarda, Analyst, Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)

Jo Inge Bekkevold, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS)

Dr. Marcin Kaczmarski, Lecturer in Security Studies, University of Glasgow


Dr. Sarah Kirchberger, Head of the Center for Asia-Pacific Strategy and Security, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK)


  1. The High North – melting ice in a security hot spot?

The Arctic is no longer a white spot on the strategic world map. There are great opportunities due to the melting of the ice: new sea routes become navigable and enormous mineral resources can be exploited. But these opportunities threaten to cause conflicts in the foreseeable future. At present, the picture is ambivalent: cooperative approaches stand alongside territorial demands and military armament in the region.

How will the situation in the region develop? What strategies are the Arctic states pursuing?


Prof. Dr. Rasmus Bertelsen, Professor of Northern Studies, The Arctic University of Norway

Niklas Granholm, Deputy Director, Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)

Timothy Reilly, Researcher, Scott Polar Research Institute 


Dr. Joachim Weber, Senior Fellow, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK)

07:30 p.m. Transfer to Dinner Location
08:00 p.m.

Gala Dinner

Kieler Yacht Club
Kiellinie 70, 24105 Kiel

Key Note Speech

Prof. Dr. Jan Hecker, Foreign Policy Adviser to the German Chancellor

10:00 p.m.

Transfer to Hotel Atlantic

Monday, April 27, 2020

09:00 a.m.

Summary of the first day and introduction to the second day

Dr. Johann Wadephul, Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU-Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag 

09:15 a.m.

Greetings of the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein

Daniel Günther, Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein

09:30 a.m.

High Level Panel: The evolving security landscape in Europe’s high North and the Baltic Region - Scenarios and counter-scenarios

After decades of relative calm, the Arctic and the Baltic Sea region are back in the focus of international security and defence policy. The political, military and economic ambitions of Russia and China are becoming more and more noticeable and are causing concern in the states of this region. Questions of security, defence and deterrence are once again on the agenda. NATO and the EU are responding.

How will the situation develop, what scenarios are conceivable - and what are the goals of the countries in the region? Will there be a Cold War 2.0? Are we experiencing a new form of confrontation in the Arctic and the Baltic Sea, characterised by hybrid strategies? Or will it be possible to avoid confrontations and conflicts through consultation and cooperation?


Raimundas Karoblis, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania

Vice Admiral Andreas Krause, Chief of German Navy

Jānis Garisons, Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia

Wojciech Skurkiewicz, Deputy Minister and Secretary of State, Ministry of National Defence Poland (tbc)


Michal Baranowski, Director Warsaw Office, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:45 a.m.

Break-out Sessions

  1. Deterrence and defence – are there any new answers to old questions?

NATO is currently implementing its new deterrence and defence posture to counterbalance Russia’s ambitions in the Baltic Sea Region. It is often about a return to strategic procedures and processes and the reconstruction of military capabilities that have been forgotten or simply scaled down since the end of the Cold War. At the same time, due to political and technological developments in the 21st century, defence and deterrence must be conceived differently than during the Cold War.

Will NATO's conventional efforts suffice? What role do nuclear weapons play? What does defence and deterrence mean in times of hybrid warfare?


Dr. Brad Roberts, Director of the Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

LTG (ret.) Ben Hodges, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies, Center for European Policy Analysis

Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Zysk, Professor of International Relations and Contemporary History, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS)


Prof. Dr. Jens Ringsmose, Dean, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, University of Southern Denmark


  1. New trends in naval warfare and their political fallout in the Baltic region

Since the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Baltic Sea region also became a contested environment in which naval forces play an essential role in NATO’s deterrence and defence strategy. At the same time naval forces are still suffering from a constant underfunding during the last decades and are in heavy demand in other regions of the world.

What role does the Baltic Sea play in Russia’s regional, military and maritime strategy? How can NATO and its Baltic members strike high-end deterrence and low-end counter-hybrid naval missions?


Rear Admiral Christian Bock, Commander Flotilla 1, German Navy, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters

Rear Admiral Hans-Jörg Detlefsen, Commander Maritime Air NATO, MARCOM

Brigadier General Lena Persson-Herlitz, Deputy Head of Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters, Policy and Plans Department

Philipp Schön, Head of Product Sales Submarines, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems


Dr. Sebastian Bruns, Head of the Center for Maritime Strategy and Security, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK)


  1. A Mid-Atlantic Security Gap? - How Germany and the US can build a more robust security cooperation

In recent years there has been a significant redeployment of US troops into the Baltic Sea region and into Eastern Europe. The US continues to be the most crucial factor in NATO´s defence and deterrence strategy against a potential Russian aggression. However, with an increasing focus in the Indo-Pacific theater, American commitment will inevitably dwindle in Europe. As the largest nation in the EU and a Baltic Sea state, Germany must play an essential role in the security of the region. In recent years, Germany has significantly increased its military commitment for NATO and has given impetus to the development of a stronger European security and defence capability. But many of Germany`s partners do not regard this as sufficient and demand more.

How can European NATO members secure the US engagement for the region? Is the US engagement long-term or is it just a stopgap until more American forces are needed in the Indo-Pacific? What are realistic scenarios for Germany`s future engagement in the region? How can Germany and the US find a more robust mode of cooperation?


Sven Sakkov, Director, International Centre for Defence and Security Estonia (ICDS)

Bruce Stubbs, Director N50 of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy 

Dr. Detlef Wächter, Political Director, Ministry of Defence, Germany


Nils Wörmer, Head of Department International and Security Affairs, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

12:15 p.m.


Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, German Federal Minister of Defence

01:00 p.m.

Farewell and Official End

Dr. Johann Wadephul, Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU-Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag

Dr. Gerhard Wahlers, Deputy Secretary General, Department Head, Department European and International Cooperation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

01:15 p.m. Lunch
02:00 p.m. End of Conference / Departure