SC131 Regional Approaches and MD Field Study - Greece/Athens part 2
For its second day in Athens, SC131 was welcomed by the Commandant of the Hellenic National Defence College (HNDC), Vice Admiral Diakopoulos Alexandros, in the same impressive facilities as the day before. An academic panel was organized for SC131 to discuss “Greece’s security concerns and issues”. The two panelists were Prof Marilena Koppa from the Panteion University and Dr Georgios Filis from the American University of Greece.
Dr Filis started with a presentation entitled “Welcome to a Brave (new-Medieval) World”. He first gave an overview of the challenges in Europe as well as in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region using the classical McKinder model of geopolitics. In his analysis, he expanded on the aspects of Defense & Security, Economics, Politics and Culture (Major Forms of Geopolitical Power) in all regions to make an overall assessment of the situation and deduce some consequences. Subsequently, he proposed some measures for the European Union and, depending on the scenario, saw a potentially important role in the future for Greece (for example, as a strategic hub). In his conclusions, he made some forecasts regarding US-EU relations, the post-ISIS situation and a possible future US grand strategy.
Prof Koppa presented the Regional Security Concerns, focusing on the Balkans. She assessed the situation resulting from a complex mix of internal and external factors involving economic parameters, democratic aspects and EU-membership issues. She also mentioned nationalism and organized crime concerns in the region. Using sources from European Union decisions and quotes from different speeches by European officials, she showed the evolution of perspectives as seen from Brussels. She underlined the stabilizing role of NATO and the EU as crucial in the future and cited “enhanced cooperation” as a key factor for the region. She concluded that for the future security and enlargement should be enhanced.
After a successful discussion period, Vice Admiral Diakopoulos Alexandros closed the session, thanking the speakers and expressing his satisfaction at the high level of discussions in the morning.