Globsec: We Live in a New Reality, Peace Cannot be Taken for Granted

Globsec: We Live in a New Reality, Peace Cannot be Taken for Granted

President Čaputová delivered the opening speech at the Globsec strategic conference in Bratislava on Thursday 2 June 2022. 

She repeatedly supported the membership of Ukraine in the EU and emphasized that we could not wait for the reconstruction of Ukraine until the end of Russian aggression.  “We live in a new reality in which peace cannot be taken for granted. Our present decisions will form our future.”

According to the President we have to improve our resilience. “Underinvestment into the diversification of our energy supplies have made us even more vulnerable. We must therefore invest in greener and more sustainable development and in reducing energy dependence on Russia. This is not a choice, it is a necessity.”

The President emphasized that more than ever before we have come to realize that peace and freedom are not for free. “Our defence budgets cannot be the first to be cut and the last to be increased. At the NATO summit in Madrid, we should all come prepared to spend at least 2% of GDP on our defence, even before the originally-planned target of 2024. And we should further reinforce the eastern flank, with a forward presence becoming a well-equipped forward defence. NATO’s new strategic concept must reflect the new reality: that Russia is a threat and collective defence should be the Alliance’s main purpose.”

According to the President we cannot ignore the risks that disinformation and propaganda pose to our democracies and our security. “Social media platforms are becoming a dominant source of news for our citizens. Our expectations when it comes to their responsibility must also increase. But we must do even more to increase the responsibility of the platforms themselves for the content they provide. I am sorry to see that freedom of speech is often used as an excuse for inaction on our side. Should we take propaganda based on lies as just another harmless opinion? I don’t think so. Our democratic tools – including the freedom of speech – cannot be used to destroy democracy itself.”

The speech is available in the section Speeches