"Our Security Cannot Be Taken For Granted" is a prestigious Czech national conference that has since 2014 regularly brought together top political representatives and leading security experts to assess current development and to present plans for defence and security of the Czech Republic.
On March 12, 2019, the day of the 20th anniversary of the accession of the Czech Republic to NATO, the 6th conference “Our Security Cannot Be Taken For Granted” was held in the Spanish Hall of the Prague Castle. It was part of a state ceremony for this important anniversary during which the four highest state officials of the Czech Republic delivered speeches. Among the most prominent foreign guests the event featured Presidents of Poland and Hungary, which also joined NATO in 1999, and Slovakia, which joined NATO in 2004. The conference was opened by Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State.
This edition was exceptional not only by the state ceremony, but also addressed security in a wider meaning and connected more institions than ever before. For the first time, Eva Zamrazilová, Chairwoman of the Czech Fiscal Council, or Radek Špicar, Vice-President of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, will attend a defence conference of this format. Economists and industry representatives were also invited to the auditorium, as well as officials of the integrated rescue system or teachers. The goal was to expand the traditional group of participants of debates about national security.
The conference series is organized by Jagello 2000 Association that launched this format on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Czech Republic's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance in March 2014 at the Prague Castle. Before that, it organized also conferences on the occassion of the 5th and 10th anniversary of the NATO accession.
One of the main objectives of the event is to facilitate debate on defence and security among top political figures, experts and members of the armed forces and security forces. Over the years, this unique format of interaction and factual discussion between political representation and the professional public has gained success and positive responses.
The first edition of the conference in 2014 recorded un unprecedented success by signing of the Declaration of Defence of the Czech Republic by all chairman of the parliamantary political parties (except of the Communist Party). On the basis of this conference the coalition parties signed the Treaty on Defence of the Czech Republic, in which they commited themselves to raise the Czech defence budget to 1,4 % GDP by 2020.
Traditional speakers of the conference include the President of the Czech Republic, leaders of the Parliament, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, armed forces commanders, diplomats and security experts. Each year the event features a foreign guest as an honorary speaker, such as former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former NATO Secretary General George Robertson, NATO Deputy Secretary Generals Alexander Vershbow and Rose Gottemoeller, and former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Force Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yair Golan.
The auditorium of this national political and expert debate consists of members of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, senior representatives of the armed forces, representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs, defence and interior, key Czech security experts, academia, diplomats and military representatives of NATO countries, media and other professional visitors. This time, industry representatives, economists and teachers were for the first time in the auditorium.
The 6th edition of the conference was held under the auspices of the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interion Jan Hamáček, Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček.
This event was by invitation only. Invitations were sent by the Office of the President of the Republic.