The three-day forum in Jūrmala, a Latvian coastal town north of Riga, focused on current transnational security and defense policy challenges. Nearly 50 young professionals from 13 different countries dealt with issues such as European defense and security policy, the nature and impact of hybrid threats, and coordination opportunities for cyber security.
Due to the geographical location of the event, which takes place alternately in one of the three Baltic countries, particular political, legal and social contexts surrounding the difficult relations between the West and Russia were discussed. High-profile experts gave practical input and discussed with the participants.
The complexity of the topics as well as the heterogeneity of the participants, of whom many came from Russia, sparked lively debate and exchange throughout the three days. Particularly during the group work phases, which offered the opportunity to delve deeper into previously discussed aspects, the multiperspectivity of the group members proved fruitful.
At the end of the forum, the participants could look back on three eventful and informative days. What remained was the conviction that long-term security and peace strategies should not be discussed without the participation of future generations. Far too rarely do young professionals get the opportunity to exchange ideas with established experts and to network with one another, one participant concluded. The Baltic-Russia Youth Forum, which FES has been organizing for the past eight years in close cooperation with the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association (EATA), is setting a good example in this respect.