SECURITY CHALLENGES CONFERENCE
Prague, 6th October - In cooperation with the conservative think-thank Institute 2080 and under the patraonage of the Martin Lank, Member of the Czech Parliament, EAF organized another successful international conference in the Lower House of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
The conference was divided into two themes. The morning was reserved for Topic 1:
Rethinking the draft - the new roles of the military in the 21th century
After the end of the Cold War, massive reduction of national militaries took place all over the European continent. The army of the future was intended to be fully professional, equipped with hi-tech weapons and mostly used far from the home country. The need for a territorial defence was mostly underappreciated, not least because of absence of a credible threat.
As of 2017, the wave of terrorism in Western cities, as well as the ongoing migration crisis, put a heavy strain on the professional armed forces of Europe. Looking at countries which never lived in a lasting peace (Israel, South Korea), a new appreciation for an intelligent draft policy has emerged. Trained citizens may never reach the skill level of a professional army, but can still play a large role in protecting the country against threats both internal and external.
The conference gathered renowned speakers from the field and attracted an audience of more than 150 people.
The afternoon session dealt with Topic 2:
Europeanization of Islam, or Islamization of Europe?
Muslim communities in Europe have been growing since the late 1960, both through high birth rate and through immigration from the Muslim world. This tendency does not seem to be slowing down. On the contrary, mass immigration from the Muslim world only seems to be picking up pace, not least because of the massive population growth in the source countries.
With the growth, Islam began to assert political and cultural influence on the traditionally Christian European countries. Sociological research indicates that the younger generations of European Muslims seem to be more religious and less secular than their parents. The growth of the Salafist stream of Islam, generously financially supported by the Gulf oil-producing countries, gives birth to a major threat of fundamentalist-inspired violence. What should European countries do?
The conference opened a series of questions, and provoked an interesting debate within the audience.