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Ninth International Regional Conference, entitled "Counterterrorism Challenges in South-Eastern Europe"

A Word of Welcome by the Minister of Defence

Dear Conference Participants,

I am greatly honoured that the Ministry of Defence is hosting the ninth International Regional Conference, entitled "Counterterrorism Challenges in South-Eastern Europe", organised in cooperation with the Joint Special Operations University in Tampa and the Embassy of the United States of America.

We live in a rapidly changing complex security environment, which poses serious challenges to the management of risks in our countries and consequently our organisations. International terrorism, organised crime, risks related to the cyber space and uncontrolled migration pose a serious threat to both national and international security. These threats can be countered effectively only with close cooperation among various entities at the national and international levels. For this reason, the joint efforts of experts coming from governmental, non-governmental, academic and international institutions are an important factor in the process of countering these risks in Europe and beyond. The aim of this international conference is to deepen cooperation and exchange experiences and good practice in the understanding of cyber-threats and associated violent extremism, the threats our countries are increasingly exposed to.

The main topic of this year’s conference "Violent Extremism and Radicalisation as Important Factors Regarding Cyber Terrorism Threats to Critical Infrastructure Operating and Security Implications to Europe" is mutual cooperation in managing the issue of violent radicalisation and extremism and associated security risks. In terms of its topic, the conference represents a further step forward, following the international conferences which took place in Slovenia in the period between 2007 and 2018. Considering the current security processes and risks existing in the region, the focus of this conference could not be more topical or pressing.

It is my great pleasure to invite you and welcome you all at the conference.

Karel Erjavec, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia