Round table: “Investments In Defense Capabilities – Investments In Economic Growth“

From Wales 2014 To Warsaw 2016 – Round table “Investments In Defence Capabilities – Investments In Economic Growth“

When: 17 November 2015, 10:00 – 13:00 (Registration: 09:30 – 10:00)
Where: The Ceremonial Hall, Central Military Club (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Simultaneous translation in English and Bulgarian will be provided.
Download the full program (Bulgarian and English) here.


One year after the NATO Wales Summit in 2014, the assessment of the new challenges and threats to the international security such as the Russia – Ukraine conflict, the activation of the “Islamic State”, the threats emerging from the Hybrid Warfare and the terrorism were reconfirmed. The Syria crisis has deepened, provoking a complicated political and military co-operation to eliminate the “Islamic State” factor and to restore the law and order in the country.

One of the most important decisions of the NATO Wales Summit was the consensus of the member states to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP to 2024, where 20% of them to be invested in new armament and equipment and 2% in Research and Development (R&D) activities. There are less than 8 months until the next, Warsaw NATO Summit is to be held, and Bulgaria does not show even a hint of a “political will” or activities aimed at this commitment’s implementation. This is invoking the negative assessment of our country as a free-rider “consumer of security” underlining our country’s “inability to generate new or improved defense capabilities” and “misunderstanding that the planned increase of the defense budget will be in favor of overcoming the negative effects of defense capabilities deterioration (“rusted out”), caused by the years-long inadequate defense funding”.

In that context the present round table presentations and discussions are aimed at:

  1. Analyzing the present national security and defense policies and to reveal the real reasons that caused the inadequacy of the defense system and its incapability to cope with the conflicts in areas very close to Bulgaria’s borders – indeed, the external border of NATO and EU.
  2. To make concrete proposals to formulate adequate and achievable – in the period to 2024 – financially supported economic programs, related to the process of development of the defense capabilities of the country and to the rearmament of the armed forces.


09:30 10:00           Registration  
10:00 – 10:10 OFFICIAL OPENING:

Chairman of the “George C. Marshall” Association –
Mr. Iliya Nalbantov.

10:10 – 10:40 Keynote speech by Ms. Desislava Yosifova, Deputy Minister of Defence.

Keynote speech by Dr. Peter Kolb, Deputy Head of the German Mission in Bulgaria

Keynote speech by Mr. Chris Karber, Acting Deputy Head of the US Mission in Bulgaria

10:40 – 11:20 FIRST PANEL:


10:40 – 11:00 „Defence and/or development“ – Mr. Stanimir Ilchev, Editor in chief of “NATO – Bulgaria” magazine. (confirmed)
11:00 – 11:20 „Operational interoperability – the technical and technological aspects of the rearmament process” – Mr. Russell L. Grimley, USEUCOM,
11:20 – 11:40 Discussion
11:40 – 12:00 Coffee

“Financial And Economic Opportunities For Developing Programmes For The Armed Forces Defence Capabilities Development”

12:00 – 12:20 “Economic indicators and possible tools for the implementation of the defense capabilities development programmes” – Mr. Krassen Stanchev, Institute for Market Economy (confirmed)
12:20 – 12:40 “The release of surplus assets for the implementation of programs of rearmament”  – Mr. Evgeni Kanev
12:40 – 13:00 “Research and Development programs for ensuring the defense capabilities development” – Captain (N) Yancislav Yanakiev
13:00 – 13:20 Discussion
13:20 – 13:30 Closing remarks
13:30 – 14:30 Networking/ refreshments