On 21st-22nd September the European Leadership Network, in conjunction with Egmont – The Royal Institute for International Relations and NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, hosted in Brussels a private workshop on managing hazardous incidents in the Euro-Atlantic area. The event brought together experts from non-governmental institutions (think tanks, academia, and retired military officers) from the U.S. and major European countries, including Russia. The aim of the workshop was to discuss in depth the dangers connected with military-military and military-civilian incidents, to assess the relevance of the existing mechanisms for managing them, and to put forward proposals for tackling the problem more effectively.
Over the past two years, there has been considerable discussion on the potential for accidents or hazardous incidents involving military and civilian aircraft and ships especially around the Baltic Sea, across the Black Sea region and on other theatres of operation where the armed forces of NATO and Russian come in close proximity. Several recent incidents have drawn attention to the bilateral and multilateral instruments available to address such incidents. In recognition of the gravity of these dangers and the repercussions following a potential NATO-Russia incident, this workshop examined practical methods for increasing the effectiveness of the arrangements currently in place and analysed the ways in which further arrangements can be introduced.