The integrity of the technology we rely on in daily life is a key dimension of modern security.
Commissioner Julian King
On 15 March 2019, Commissioner Julian King participated in a Citizens’ Dialogue at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Ljubljana University, with 80 attentive participants from all ages and backgrounds. The Dialogue focused on the question “Are we safe in Europe?"
After an introduction by the Commissioner on the concept of security as regards terrorism and cyberattacks, the debate, moderated by Dr. Jelena Juvan, assistant professor at the Defence Studies department, touched upon three main issues related to security: The challenges of cybersecurity, the fight against terrorism and EU defence capabilities.
On the topic of cybersecurity, one participant asked Commissioner King about the challenges it poses for citizens and organisations.
In the aftermath of the terror attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a participant wanted to know which measures the EU takes to protect minorities.
The debate then turned to matters related to European defence capabilities. A participant asked if the EU could envisage a joint European army in the future.
Commissioner King was sceptical about this possibility and stressed the necessity to step up efforts to reinforce defence capabilities, with better coordination to get better results.
The link of the future EU defence policy with NATO was also debated, with a participant asking about the potential impact of an EU army on NATO relations, in particular on the EU-US relationship. Another participant wanted to know whether the EU relies too much on NATO.
Participants also asked questions about Brexit, namely the impact of a no deal Brexit on the EU’s security policy. “Would the ties between the UK and the EU on security matters be cut off?”, asked one participant. Commissioner King stressed that he hoped that close security cooperation would be maintained.
Populism, Artificial Intelligence and climate change were among other topics also discussed during the debate.
At the end of the Dialogue, Commissioner King also commented on the result of a Sli.do poll asking participants what security meant to them in one single word.
The most mentioned word was “Freedom”, to which Commissioner King replied that freedom is "at the heart of the values that are important to defend and protect".
In his conclusion, he encouraged the audience to vote in the European elections and to remain engaged with Europe.