News 2021

25 February 2021

MAG Chairman visited RACVIAC

Multinational Advisory Group Chairman, Mr Dragan Nikolić, State Secretary in the MoD of North Macedonia and Ms Ana Ezhova Krzhaloska, Assistant Head of the Department for International Cooperation in the MoD of North Macedonia, paid a visit to RACVIAC-Centre for Security Cooperation yesterday.The main purpose of the visit was to discuss possible options for holding the 45th MAG Meeting scheduled for 13 Apr 2021 in Skopje, the Republic of North Macedonia.

The work of RACVIAC-Centre for Security Cooperation was presented to them in details and some ongoing and future projects were mentioned during the discussion. The guests were welcomed by RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo and Deputy Director MG Slaven Zdilar. Mr Bazo also took the opportunity to express his appreciation for the support that the Republic of North Macedonia has provided to the Centre so far.

It is worth mentioning that in the period from 2009 to 2012, the Director of RACVIAC was H.E. Ambassador Nikola Todorcevski. From the very establishment of RACVIAC, North Macedonia has been actively participating in the work of the Centre by seconding the staff, financing the budget and hosting RACVIAC's activities. North Macedonia regularly sends participants to RACVIAC’s activities in all three Pillars and in the C-WMD Network.

25 February 2021

C-WMD Phase 2 – Dual Use and Emerging Technologies Project

On February 25th at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) in Zagreb, a Workshop within the Dual Use and Emerging Technologies Project was held. During the opening speech, the Director of RACVIAC, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, took the opportunity to express his appreciation for FER contribution in organizing this one-day Workshop focused on Raising Awareness of the integrity of academic research involving dual-use items. He also emphasized the importance of such Outreach programs aimed at safeguarding the integrity of any dual-use research within academia, with the wider aim to combat contemporary WMD challenges.

Professor Nikola Mišković, Vice Dean for Research, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the Faculty hosted this activity and also his expectations for further cooperation with RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation on similar projects. Prof Mišković emphasized the importance of familiarizing the academic community with EU legislation in accordance with regimes related to Dual-Use items.

Associate Professor Predrag Pale, PhD, from the Department of Electronic Systems and Information Processing, talked about current threats and risks Involving Cyber Security/Data Protection relative to academic research. The list of lecturers included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, Department of Chancellery and Foreign Affairs from Flanders (Belgium), European Commission, the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb and other experts in the Workshop topic related field as well as lecturers from the private sector. At the end of the Workshop, representatives of Kosovo* and Montenegro presented national achievements in the field of Dual-Use.

According to global processes and technological advances, it is necessary for research organisations to have strong incentives to innovate and collaborate internationally as a basis for advancing the research. However, among many genuine and transparent collaborations that aim to develop meaningful scientific and technological advancement, there are offers of collaboration, invitations and informal exchanges with covert motives; for instance, seeking access to research involving dual-use items for other malicious purposes and possibly associated with the proliferation of WMD. The main objectives of this activity were to present Overview of Proliferation and Dual use Technology and to analyse threats and risks related to the protection of academia research.

The workshop gathered more than 40 representatives from 11 countries and representatives of the European Union Commission. The organization of the workshop is a joint project of the Republic of Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo*.

* This Designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

17 February 2021

Visit of the representatives of the International Sava River Basin Commission and the WACOM Project Team to RACVIAC

The representatives of the University of Ljubljana Prof Primož Banovec - the WACOM Project Leader and Ms Andreja Žerjav – the WACOM Project Coordinator, the International Sava River Basin Commission, Mr Samo Grošelj, Deputy Secretary for Protection of Waters and Aquatic Eco-system and Mr Robert Mikac, the University of Zagreb, visited RACVIAC on 17 February 2021.

The purpose of this visit was to inform RACVIAC on the activities of the International Sava River Basin Commission (Sava Commission) and the implementation of the Water Contingency Management in the Sava River Basin (WACOM) Project, to identify areas of common interests and explore opportunities for establishing mutually beneficial cooperation. The RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo welcomed the guests and expressed RACVIAC’s readiness to contribute to regional efforts for diminishing risks of natural and man-made disasters and building national civil protection capacities.

Mr Samo Grošelj presented the history, mission, and activities of the Sava Commission, the implementing body of the Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin (FASRB) ratified by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. He pointed out at the regional cooperation process related to water management and prevention of hazards, i.e. floods and accidental pollution, as some of the FASRB’s specific goals supporting sustainable development of the region.

Prof Primož Banovec explained the main characteristics, planning and implementation of the WACOM Project, emphasizing the importance of coordinated response to emergencies in case of accidental pollution and floods on transboundary watercourses. This common response can be successfully achieved by developing models and protocols for emergencies.

All parties expressed great interest in the continuation of consultations with the aim to establish permanent cooperation in the area of water management, especially related to security and safety.

27 January 2021

MAG POCs Meeting held in RACVIAC

On 27 January 2021, the online Meeting of Points of Contact of Multinational Advisory Group – Steering Committee of RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation was held. The aim of the Meeting was to make an overview of the realization of RACVIAC Programme 2020, the implementation of Programme 2021 and the Finances.

Opening the meeting, RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo welcomed the representatives from Members and Associate Members saying that the Centre greatly appreciated their outstanding support and cooperation. He also pointed out the need for the participants’ interaction, engagement and expressing their valuable opinions. He also wished everyone a happy new year as this was the first meeting held this year.

As the Programme for the year 2021 was approved during the 44th online MAG Meeting in October 2020, the first session of the briefing gave an overview of the activities conducted during 2020 and the activities that will be conducted during the year 2021. It also provided representatives with information regarding the current financial situation. Following the introductory addresses by RACVIAC Director, RACVIAC Planning & Liaison Officer COL Gerhard Schweiger moderated the Meeting and presented the first speaker. Programme Manager Col Deniz Öztürk (Cooperative Security Environment Pillar), Mr Josip Mandić (Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Network), Mr Berat Jashari (Countering Transnational Security Threats Pillar) and LTC Dimitrios Biris (Security Sector Governance Pillar) presented the realization of Programme for 2020 within their respective Pillars and the projection for 2021. MAJ Sanja Kragujević (Chief of Admin&Finance) presented the Budget realization for 2020 and the Budget for 2021.

In the second part of the meeting the objective was to discuss and examine the possibilities of improving the quality and visibility of RACVIAC activities taking into consideration the times we are living in, thus upgrade the participants’ level of insight and ensure a more active engagement of Members and Associate Members. National POCs were strongly encouraged to give their national views on specific requirements that are of great interest to be further developed within the main approved Programme for 2021.

In addition, MAG POCs informed RACVIAC on their readiness to cooperate and support some particular activities and all of them expressed their hope the activities would be held live soon. RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo concluded the meeting and thanked everyone for their engagement during the meeting. He also said that we were preparing for both possibilities: for online activities but also for live activities, and hopefully there would be more of live ones

19 January 2021

RACVIAC delegation visits the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing

On 19th January 2021, RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation Deputy Director MG Zdilar, Ph.D. and C-WMD Network Leader Mr Mandić, together with Ms Irena Alajbeg, Head of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sector (Croatian MFA), paid a visit to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) in Zagreb. The RACVIAC delegation was welcomed by the FER Dean Prof. Gordan Gledec, Ph.D. and Vice Dean for Research, Prof. Nikola Mišković, Ph.D.

At the beginning of the meeting Prof. Gledec, FER Dean, welcomed RACVIAC delegation and praised the RACVIAC initiative to enhance cooperation with FER.

MG Zdilar thanked the FER management for their hospitality and briefly presented the history, mission, structure and core activities of RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation. MG Zdilar also emphasized his desire to expand the RACVIACs academic security portfolio in line with the new security paradigm, stressing the role of emerging technologies.

Mr Mandic took the opportunity to express his appreciation for FER contribution in organizing one-day Workshop which will be focused on Raising Awareness of the integrity of academic research involving dual-use items and which will be held at FER on the 25th February 2021.

Prof. Mišković, Vice Dean for Research, presented several others opportunities for further cooperation, such as Master classes for middle and senior government officials, on topics ranging from cyber security, AI and robotics to information security.

At the end of the meeting both sides agreed that future cooperation between the two organizations would be mutually beneficial and supported additional engagements in that direction.

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