The Closing Seminar of the Fourth Year of the Security Academy was attended by Minister Lipavský

20/05/2024

From Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 May 2024, a three-day seminar was held in Brno and Prague to conclude the Security Academy programme for the academic year 2023/2024. 

The programme for the ten participants of the current year started in Brno and was marked by the visit of two major actors in the field of cyber and information security in the Czech Republic. The first of the institutions was the The National Cyber and Information Security Agency, which granted this year's Security Academy patronage. In addition to getting better acquainted with the functioning of the Agency as such, the participants of the Academy also touched upon the Agency's activities within national and international structures during discussions with several of its representatives. During the discussions, we also touched upon the Agency's oversight responsibilities, the process of reporting cyber attacks, and issues of disruptive technologies, including artificial intelligence. The second institution visited was the Cyber Forces Command. After engaging discussions with the Command's soldiers that filled Thursday morning, the group moved on to Prague. 

The Prague part of the programme opened with a discussion with Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský. He then presented diplomas to the graduates of the current year of the Security Academy together with Eva Horelová, Deputy Head of the European Commission Representation in the Czech Republic, Adela Šilar from the Hanns Seidel Foundation and CIS Director Andrea Michalcová. 

The ceremony was also attended by other invited guests from among the mentors, lecturers of the Academy or its graduates from previous years. Colonel Petr Matouš, Commander of the 43rd Airborne Regiment of the Czech Army, spoke on behalf of the mentors, and Dale Kreisher, the Embassy's Cultural and Press Affairs Counselor, hosted the closing ceremony on behalf of the American Center and the U.S. Embassy, respectively. All ten participants successfully completed the program again this year, completing two study abroad trips and a variety of regular workshops, institutional visits, and a mentoring program. The presentation of diplomas was followed by presentations of policy papers - one of the outputs of the Security Academy prepared by the participants in cooperation with mentors - and a glass of wine.

We finished the Friday programme at the Hanns Seidel Foundation. Apart from a discussion with Adéla Šilar about the functioning of the foundation and the opportunities it brings, this year's Security Academy graduates also had the opportunity to discuss with Petr Zlatohlávek from Jagello 2000, who is the Executive Director of IC NATO. The topics of the meeting included the importance of the role of public diplomacy in the field of security policy and the Czech Republic's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance, in addition to the main projects of the organisation. These include the NATO Days in Ostrava and the conference "Our Security is not a given". 

The patronage of this year's event was taken over by Vít Rakušan, 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Martin Dvořák, Minister of European Affairs, Lt. Gen. Karel Rehka, Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic and the National Office for Cyber and Information Security. 

The Security Academy is supported by Pale Fire Capital, the BLÍŽKSOBĚ Foundation, Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and the Representation of the European Commission in the Czech Republic. The study trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. During 2024, the Security Academy will mark the 25th anniversary of the Czech Republic's membership in NATO.

Lucia Macháčková and Michael Murad