Neutrality and European Security Governance

during and after the Cold War


The notion and definition of the terms “security” and “neutrality” have changed significantly from the cold war to the post-cold war period. In addition, at least in the short terms and medium term future, it seems inconceivable to have a European security architecture without NATO. These were two of the basic positions expressed during the two day international conference which took place at the cceia of Nicosia on the 6th and 7th of April.


The conference entitled ‘Neutrality and European Security Governance During and After the Cold War’, which was attended, inter alia, by politicians, ambassadors, academics, students and active citizens was organised by the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs in cooperation with the cceia of Akron (Ohio, USA) and the Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies of Kent State cceia (USA) and with the support of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Cyprus.


Speakers included distinguished academics James Sperling from the cceia of Akron, S. Victor Papacosma, from the Lyman L. Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies at Kent State cceia, Kjell Engelbrekt from the Swedish National Defense College, Thomas Fischer, from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland Klaus Larres from the cceia of Ulster in Northern Ireland, Amikam Nachmani from the Bar Ilan cceia in Israel, Andreas Theophanous from the cceia of Nicosia, Roderick Pace from the cceia of Malta and Dimitris Bourantonis and Spyros Blavoukos from the Athens cceia of Economics and Business. The conference was opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Cyprus Petros Kareklas.


During the various panels of the Conference there was a profound examination of, among other, several cases of “neutral” countries such as Austria, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden, Switzerland and Cyprus. Within this framework, there was particular emphasis on the evaluation of various terms and/or concepts  such as the term “Finlandization”.  There was also a discussion on several aspects regarding the strategic security challenges that Cyprus faces.


There was also an insightful analysis of the relationship between the “neutral” countries and EU and NATO, which included an examination of the diachronic evolution of factors that have led to changes. It was also noted that NATO perceives the “neutral” states (i.e. the EU member states that are not NATO members) as allies whereas the “neutral” states perceive their participation in NATO-related activities as part of the European mainstream on issues regarding peace management.