News 2020

17 June 2020

RACVIAC organizes COVID-19 Pandemic - Crisis Management On-line Seminar

RACVIAC-Centre for Security Cooperation organizes the COVID-19 Pandemic - Crisis Management On-line Seminar on 17 June 2020.

The purpose of the Seminar is to present and analyse national crisis management concepts, inter-agency cooperation, challenges, best practices and lessons learned in dealing with the coronavirus crisis, by providing the platform for interaction among national crisis/emergency management and public health and civil protection experts thus contributing to the improvements of crisis management capabilities of RACVIAC Members and partners.

The event started with the opening remarks given by RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo who said: "This Seminar is dedicated to examining the national crisis management concepts and actual performance in the COVID-19 pandemic. I strongly believe it will help us understand challenges better and reconsider reactions of our crisis response systems, and thus contribute to the improvements of RACVIAC Members’ crisis management capabilities.” He continued by saying: “Since RACVIAC is the Centre for regional security cooperation, we are happy to serve our Members and fulfil our mission in the circumstances where live cross-border communication is not possible by providing this virtual platform for interaction among national crisis management, public health and civil protection experts." Director Bazo also took the opportunity to express his appreciation to all lecturers – academic representatives and subject matter experts who will present and analyse their national experiences in dealing with coronavirus crisis and to Dr Matthew Rhodes from the George C. Marshall Centre for his Introductory remarks.

This Seminar serves as a platform at which national crisis management, public health and civil protection academic and professional experts involved in COVID-19 pandemic crisis response or analysis: Mirza Smajić, PhD, Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo, Vedran Kranjčević, Head of Cabinet, Croatian Ministry of Health, Robert Mikac, PhD, Faculty of Political Science of Zagreb University, Roberto Setola, PhD, Campus Bio-Medico, University of Rome, Olivera Injac, PhD, University of Donja Gorica, Podgorica, Marina Mitrevska, PhD and Lidija Georgieva, PhD, Faculty of Philosophy, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, and Želimir Kešetović, PhD, Faculty of Security Studies, University of Belgrade, will provide presentations on COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis Management analysing and presenting best practices, challenges, and lessons learned through out all three phases of crisis management cycle: prevention, preparedness, and response phase.

The Seminar has gathered more than 30 participants, representatives and experts from ministries of defence, health, interior, demography and other, from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey, as well as representatives of OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative in SEE, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Office in Zagreb, and ISCTE-IUL Student Union from Portugal.

The uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus has affected all countries and societies of the world harder than many other challenges we have faced so far. States have proven to be the undisputed actors and creators of policies and conditions that most directly affect the functioning of life, society and the economy during this crisis. Depending on their attitudes and ability to cope with the crisis, they determined the current action within their own borders and the international environment as well as the future of relations between many actors in their society. It is the ability of states to organize an effective crisis management system, with all its components, phases of the crisis management cycle, application of knowledge of effective crisis communication, assessment and daily strategic decision-making that produces the preconditions for analysing how successful individual countries have been in dealing with this crisis. This subject is of central interest to our on-line Seminar.

05 June 2020

RACVIAC donates personal protective equipment to local dispensaries

In view of the long-standing good relations and wishing to continue RACVIAC’s support to local and wider community, especially during the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and exposure of medical personnel to the infection by COVID-19 virus, Director of RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation Major General (ret.) Jeronim Bazo made a donation on behalf of RACVIAC of personal protective equipment to the dispensaries located in the city of Sveta Nedelja.

Presenting the donation, General Bazo said it was a symbolic act of Centre’s closeness to local community as well as a modest contribution to the fight against corona virus in the RACVIAC’s home country, the Republic of Croatia. He continued by saying that with this protective equipment the Centre would like to make the daily life of the medical personnel safer in this demanding circumstances and support them in their fight against the pandemic. He emphasized that being close to the local community RACVIAC is once more proving its commitment to its main mission of fostering dialogue and cooperation in the wider SEE region. General Bazo also underlined that in time of crisis cooperation, dialogue and solidarity is even more important. He added that, since its establishment in 2000, RACVIAC has been continuously committed to the local community and to supporting those in need.

The donation was received by the Head of Zagreb County Health Center Većeslav Bergman, M.D. who said: “The fight against coronavirus is not finished yet, as the second wave is expected in autumn. This donation is an evidence that there are people who think of us and who are ready to support us. We appreciate it very much”, he concluded.

Deputy Mayor of the City of Sveta Nedelja, Ms Marija Hršak, also attended handover of the donation and on behalf of the Mayor expressed her appreciation of the continuous support RACVIAC is providing to local community.

05 June 2020

Four ambassadors paid an informal visit to RACVIAC

The four Ambassadors, H.E. Riza Poda, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Peter Susko, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Slovak Republic, H.E. Andrew Stuart Dalgeish, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and H.E. Robert Kohorst, the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Croatia, paid an informal visit to RACVIAC yesterday.

The guests were welcomed by RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo and Deputy Director MG Slaven Zdilar.

During the informal discussion several questions related to RACVIAC Programme of activities and some ongoing and future projects were raised.

MG (ret.) Bazo also took the opportunity to express his appreciation for the support that these countries have provided to the Centre so far but also for their readiness to intensify mutual cooperation in the future.

It is worthy to mention that these four countries do not have the same membership status in RACVIAC: the Republic of Albania is a Member, United Kingdom is an Associate Member while Slovak Republic and the United States of America are Observer countries.

11 March 2020

Visit to Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 11 March 2020 Director of RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During the meeting with Minister Fahrudin Radončić Director Bazo acquainted him with RACVIAC activities planned for 2020 and availed himself of the opportunity to thank Bosnia and Herzegovina for its ongoing and invaluable support.

In continuation the most pressing security challenges for Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the South East European region as a whole, such as illegal migration, rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters, and coronavirus, were discussed. Both agreed that in the future there is a lot of space for intensive cooperation in each security area.

Minister Radončić expressed the readiness of the Ministry of Security to continue cooperating with RACVIAC as well as to organize joint activities in the forthcoming period.

At the end of the Meeting RACVIAC Director underlined the full dedication of the Centre to continue supporting Euro-Atlantic integration efforts and to foster security cooperation and dialogue between its Members thus contributing to overall stability and security in the SEE region.

04 March 2020

Croatian War College students visit RACVIAC

The 22nd generation of students of the War College "Ban Josip Jelačić" of the Croatian Armed Forces, led by Colonel Mijo Kožić, the Head, visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on 04 March 2020.

The visit was a part of their Studies Program and its purpose was to familiarize students with RACVIAC as the only international organization located in the Republic of Croatia.

The students were welcomed by RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Deputy Director BG Gordana Garašić, and other staff members.

After a presentation that covers the history, mission, and Programme of the Centre Director Bazo provided further explanations relating to the status and obligations of RACVIAC Members, secondment of personnel as well as RACVIAC role in fostering security dialogue and cooperation in the SEE region. Talking about the increasing security challenges and considering the fact that security interests and geostrategic goals of the regional countries might differ sometimes Director Bazo said that the best approach is to maintain an ongoing dialogue and cooperation.

In the discussion that followed questions about the future of RACVIAC, its new Strategy, and some new Programme areas were raised.

The 22nd generation of students of the "Ban Josip Jelačić" War College has 18 participants: 10 officers from the Croatian Armed Forces, one senior level official from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, one police advisor from the Ministry of Interior, one member of the Croatian Fire-fighting Association, two officers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one from Montenegro, one from North Macedonia, and one from Slovenia.

The "Ban Josip Jelačić" War Colege was established in 1998 as the highest-level military school in the Republic of Croatia that is offering education for senior officers and civil servants of the Republic of Croatia and partner countries.

25 February 2020

SEEBRIG Commander visits RACVIAC

On 25 February 2020 the Commander of the South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG), the Multinational Peace Force South-Eastern Europe (MPFSEE), BG Tudorica Petrache, accompanied by two staff members, visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation.

The guests were welcomed by RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Deputy Director, BG Gordana Garašić, and RACVIAC staff members.

Following a presentation that covers the history, mission, annual Programme, and accomplishments of the Centre, RACVIAC Director provided some additional explanations related to the development of Programme of activities emphasizing that over the years it has been changing and evolving in order to reflect the Members’ needs and requests. MG Bazo underlined that, for almost two decades, the Centre has been serving as an excellent platform for networking and building of security and confidence among the countries in the SEE region.

Afterwards BG Petarche took the opportunity to present the history, mission, structure, troop contributing countries, force strength and core activities of the SEEBRIG. During the discussion that followed questions related to the activities of common interest as well as possibilities for more intensive cooperation in the future were raised.

The South-Eastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) is currently a brigade-size formation established by seven participating nations in order to contribute to the regional security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, and to foster cooperation among the South-Eastern European countries. The Initiative is consistent with the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter and is available for possible employment in UN, OSCE, NATO or EU-led conflict prevention and other peace support operations. For the last twenty years the Brigade has passed an intensive way of organizational development and enhancement of its operational readiness. The military personnel of the currently six participating countries are working harmoniously together under the motto "One team – one mission".

25 February 2020

Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop starts

A two-day Chemical Weapons Convention Workshop, organized in partnership with the OPCW, started in RACVIAC on 25 February 2020.

The 2020 Workshop is a continuation of fruitful cooperation between RACVIAC and the OPCW in promoting the implementation of the CWC in South-Eastern Europe, which directly enhances regional stability, transparency and trust. Activities focusing on the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) have been organized in RACVIAC annually since 2004.

The purpose of this Workshop is to discuss relevant issues related to the CWC and provide a broad overview of the Convention and its implementation procedures with a specific focus on chemical safety and security. OPCW seeks to gain a clear understanding of the measures that are currently in place in the different countries in the region and of the mechanisms deployed by them.

This year the main focus will be put on the issue of “Chemical Security Management through Scenario Based Strategies - an Advanced Approach”, thus building on the last year’s conclusions to have a more advanced approach to the topic.

Opening the Workshop RACVIAC Director MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo said: “It is essential for all players in this very complex and also specialised field, encompassed by the CWC, to have a complex picture about the issues, the ways of prevention, the other players as well as the possible solutions and answers if problems arise. In order to support these players, i.e. all of you, the Workshop will provide an updated overview of the CWC implementation issues, it will explore by means of scenarios the tools for managing chemical safety and security and will, among other issues, provide a detailed overview of how to develop an effective action plan to cope with chemical threats. Furthermore, this year, we will continue with the more practical approach which proved to be very successful last year, a Table top Exercise that will be conducted within the framework of the Workshop”, concluded Director Bazo. He also took the opportunity to extend his gratitude to the representatives of OPCW, Dr Rohan Perera (Senior Programme Officer) and Mr Vaclovas Semaskevicius (Programme Officer), for their invaluable contribution and cooperation.

Speaking on behalf of the OPCW Dr Rohan Perera said: “The work of the OPCW, a Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation, has brought the international community closer to achieving a world free from an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.” He continued by saying: ”The Convention in now close to obtaining universal adherence, with a membership that currently stands at 193 countries making it one the most successful disarmament and non-proliferation treaties.” Speaking about safety and security management Dr Perera underlined that the key approach is to reduce and eliminate the risks from the use of the toxic chemicals through the supply chain.

The Workshop has gathered 16 participants, senior/junior military or civilian recommendation-makers dealing with CWC issues and/or responsible for chemical safety and security issues, from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo* who will be also given an opportunity to deliver a short presentation on their agency’s core tasks considering the focus of the Workshop: safety and security - good practices.

* 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.

12 February 2020

Canadian Ambassador visits RACVIAC

H.E. Mr Alan Bowman, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to the Republic of Croatia, visited RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation on 12 February 2020.

After a presentation on RACVIAC history, mission and accomplishments of the Centre Director MG (Ret.) Jeronim Bazo provided further explanations related to RACVIAC members, partnerships, and execution of Programme of activities. Director Bazo emphasized that apart from enhancing dialogue and cooperation between SEE countries the Centre serves as a platform for networking thus building bridges and promoting mutual trust and supporting aspiring countries on their path towards European and Euro-Atlantic integrations.

MG (ret.) Bazo also took the opportunity to express hope to intensify cooperation with Canada as a RACVIAC observer country in the future, possibly in the fields of good governance, rule of law and human rights.

10 February 2020

Austrian Ambassador visits RACVIAC

On Monday, 10 February 2020, the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Mr Josef Markus Wuketich, paid a courtesy visit to RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation.

He was accompanied by COL Reinhard Stradner, the Defence Attaché.

The guests were welcomed by RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Deputy Director BG Gordana Garašić, and RACVIAC senior staff members.

Following the presentation covering the history, mission, and annual Programme of the Centre MG (ret.) Bazo briefly summarized the greatest achievements and major challenges of the Centre emphasizing that it will continue to foster dialogue, mutual trust and build bridges as crucial prerequisites for stability and security of the SEE region. He also took the opportunity to express his appreciation on behalf of the Organization for the constant and invaluable contribution and support that Austria, as an Associate member, has been providing to RACVIAC since its inception in terms of finances, expertise and overall support.

In continuation some aspects related to the membership, RACVIAC main Programme areas, and some future plans were discussed.

Ambassador Wuketich thanked for the information provided and expressed his appreciation for RACVIAC contribution to security of the SEE region as a whole.

03 February 2020

Phase Two of C-WMD Network project kicks off in RACVIAC

The three-day Meeting, “C-WMD National Strategies - Nuclear Material and Security”, started today in RACVIAC.

This is the first meeting of Phase Two of the C-WMD Network project, organized with continuous support from U.S European Command (USEUCOM) that facilitates the participation of experts from the U.S. Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the International Counterproliferation Program (ICP), the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and the Republic of Croatia.

Opening the Meeting RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, said: “Since its beginnings in 2015 the C-WMD Network aims to assist, together with our partners, in the development of C-WMD National Strategies as well as building a strong community and network of experts in this domain. Five years later the great majority of participating nations in this project have developed or adopted C-WMD National Strategies and Action Plans. The process of testing and validating at the national level is well on its way and we are hoping that the whole cycle will be completed in the upcoming year.” He continued by underlining: “The risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has increased due to the evolving nature of terrorism and is further complicated by the rapid advances in science, technology and international commerce. That’s why it is of great importance to look for the way ahead and find practical ways to enhance further regional cooperation in the field of counter proliferation.”

Maj Stephen M. Siegner from USEUCOM and LtC Donald Hausser from DTRA-ICP shortly welcomed the Meeting participants on behalf of the co-organizers.

During the next three days the Meeting will focus on further facilitating and reviewing the progress in the development of national C-WMD strategies and action plans, examining recent trends and emerging technologies in WMD proliferation, and discussing topics connected to Nuclear Material and Security. Additionally, the participants will exercise using the RACVIAC Portal established as a mechanism that will further enhance regional cooperation and information sharing in the area of C-WMD.

The Meeting has gathered 26 national representatives, members from drafting/working groups of the participating states, competent authority planners and implementers engaged in the implementation of the C-WMD national strategy, and 14 experts from USEUCOM, DTRA, US Department of Energy, European Space Agency and the US Embassy in Zagreb.

The event is designed as an expert forum and it will be conducted through open discussions, case studies, presentations from experts, group exercises and a tabletop exercise.

28 January 2020

Meeting of the WG on the new RACVIAC Strategy held in RACVIAC

On 28 January 2020 the second Meeting of the Working Group on the new RACVIAC Strategy and its Action Plan 2021-2026 was held on RACVIAC premises.

The purpose of the Meeting was to discuss and coordinate details related to the inputs received from RACVIAC Members as well as to propose new topics relevant to national and regional needs regarding the proposed draft of the new Strategy and Action Plan that outline RACVIAC way ahead and main fields of interest in the future.

Opening the Meeting RACVIAC Director, MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, welcomed the representatives and subject matter experts from Members and Associate Members saying that the Centre greatly appreciates their outstanding support and cooperation that contribute to Centre’s future performance and overall stability and security of the region.

The Meeting continued with an introductory presentation by the Planning and Liaison Officer Col Josef Pulko who provided brief information on the inputs and proposals received so far.

In accordance with the Meeting Agenda participants were divided into syndicates related to a specific area of interest, and discussed several details that resulted in more precise and concrete topics and activities that support the achievement of each defined objective.

The Meeting gathered representatives and subject matter experts from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Turkey, who, with their national inputs and expertise, invaluably contributed to better shaping the Centre’s way forward.

Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec