Munich Security Conference meets in Washington D.C. to discuss NSA-spying scandal

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) continues its successful series of “MSC Core Group Meeting” events and holds the fifth edition of the Core Group Meetings on November 5 and 6, 2013 in Washington D.C. Consequences of the present NSA-spying scandal on transatlantic relations as well as current questions of cyber security will be among the main topics to discuss.

After the successful Core Group Meetings in Washington (2009), Moscow (2010), Beijing (2011), and Doha (May 2013), transatlantic relations are again the focus of attention in the U.S.-capital on November 5 and 6, 2013. Important issues abound: the present NSA-spying scandal, current questions of cyber security and the negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), as well as Syria, Iran and West-East-relations. Under the patronage of Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State, and chaired by MSC chairman, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, and the presidents of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe, and Brookings Institution, Strobe Talbott, the meeting will convene close to sixty high-ranking decision-makers and experts from Europe, the Middle East and the United States. 

High ranking representatives of international politics and economy
Among others, participants will include: the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Belgium, Pieter de Crem, Miroslav Lajčák, Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Slovakia, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, former Federal Minister of Defence, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, as well as high-ranking representatives of parliaments and academia. On the part of the U.S., MSC expects to welcome Senator John McCain, and the former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright. Jane Harman, Director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, David Ignatius, Co-editor and columnist of The Washington Post, Matt Thomlinson, Chief Information Officer of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing and Hans-Jörg Rudloff, Chairman of Barclays Investment Bank are also participating.

Wolfgang Ischinger about the fifth MSC Core Group Meeting in Washington D.C.:
"The timing for the fifth MSC Core Group Meeting in Washington D.C. is perfect: the current debate about freedom and security in cyber space, the U.S. Iranian thaw, the crisis in Syria and the beginning negotiations for the transatlantic free trade agreement alone, promise an interesting and vivid debate. The spying scandal on Federal Chancellor Merkel constitutes particular need for discussion. This act poses an enormous stress test for transatlantic relations. It is a big breach of trust, a MCA, and it will not be easy to fix. However, it would be wrong to set up a package deal with the negotiations for the transatlantic free trade agreement. Europe is not negotiating this to please the U.S. but out of self-interest. Putting the negotiations on hold, we would only be harming ourselves. It will be of great importance to discuss those matters openly during the Core Group Meeting, especially regarding the fact that a rising number of U.S.-congressmen are agreeing that intelligence has lost the right degree. Together, we want to talk about a better and more effective control mechanism to restrict spying activities and about a comprehensive international regulatory framework for cyber security in general. This is a key issue for transatlantic relations about whom we need to talk together rather than to talk about each other, in order to rebuild mutual confidence."

About MSC Core Group Meetings
Since 2009, this format takes place in addition to the annual conference in Munich. These meetings are intended to give a small, exclusive group of high ranking participants an opportunity to discuss key issues of international security policy in more depth at changing locations around the world. The intention is for ideas generated by the Core Group Meeting to contribute to the further development of the Munich Security Conference.

30 October 2013, by MSC