Climate Security in Central Europe: Challenges and Opportunities

Online panel discussion organized within the ACCESS – Addressing the Challenges of Climate, Defence and Security Nexus project, 25.11.2022

The discussion focused on the impacts of climate change on security and defence and featured presentations by leading global experts on the topic, as well as representatives from NATO and the Ministry of Defence of the SR.


The future of air and missile defence of the Slovak Republic

Expert roundtable discussion, organized within the framework of the project of the same name in Bratislava, 24.6.2022

Round table on the topic of effective provision of air defence of the Slovak Republic with the aim to create a space for professional, open and inclusive discussion of relevant participants in the process of modernisation of air defence systems of the Slovak Republic. The involvement of senior government officials (State Secretary of the MoD Marián Majer) was crucial in order to draw attention to the importance of the discussed topic and the commitment to adequate financial coverage of defence needs in general. In order to comprehensively assess all aspects of the process, the discussion was attended by key representatives of the MoD SR, the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces and the Air Force of the Slovak Republic, together with selected representatives of industry and academia, including the professional public.




Get info on disinfo

Workshop organized within the project Disinformation: Raising Awareness and Building Resilience, Banská Bystrica, 1.12.2021

The workshop at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, primarily intended for university students, consisted of a discussion with political leaders and experts on the topic of disinformation and a strategy game Fight for the Truth, which ICE prepared as part of the Get Info on Disinformation guide for schools. The aim of the event was to raise young people’s awareness of and resilience to disinformation. In view of the pandemic situation, the workshop was held in a hybrid format.



Propaganda tools of Russian actors on social networks – how to recognise and counter them?

Workshop organized within the framework of the project Strengthening Slovakia’s Resilience to Hybrid Threats from Russian Actors – Disinformation Campaigns on Social Networks, Bratislava, 7.10.2021

Workshop focusing on identifying common characteristics of disinformation campaigns in the countries most affected by disinformation campaigns (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia). Disinformation experts from the above mentioned countries discussed with representatives of the MoD, MoI SR, Police SR, SIS, academia and civil society the lessons learned from the Russian disinformation actors abroad in comparison with the experience of the Slovak Republic. The aim of the discussion was also to look for ways to strengthen the resilience of Slovak entities to such disinformation campaigns.





Disinformation changes society and threatens the state

On the first of December, the event “Get info on disinformation” took place at the University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica (UMB), the aim of which was to raise awareness among Slovak students about controlled and targeted disinformation campaigns, their nature and impact on society. The workshop was organised by the Institute for Central Europe, c.a. in cooperation with UMB thanks to the support of NATO Public Diplomacy Department.

The event featured a panel discussion with Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament, Marián Majer, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, Martin Klus, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, as well as Jozef Michal Mintál – academic from the Department of Security Studies at UMB and Peter Köles, Head of the Strategic Communication Department at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.  

In relation to disinformation campaigns, MEP Lexmann stressed in particular the fact that the managers of the largest social networks are aware of the fact that their platforms greatly contribute to the spread of disinformation and fake news. Nevertheless, they tolerate algorithmic presets in a form that encourages the spread of radical and false information.  

In this context, State Secretary Marián Majer stressed that disinformation campaigns nowadays no longer represent only a misleading of the public, but a real threat to the democratic character of the states that are most exposed to them. He stressed that building the natural resilience of our fellow citizens is the only way we can combat disinformation, apart from responding quickly to information operations.  

According to Martin Klus, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we are facing a “serious challenge” in Europe due to disinformation campaigns, and in his opinion “it is high time to take action”. He stressed that there are more than 1 700 disinformation sites and groups operating in the Slovak internet space on Facebook alone. Equally alarming, he said, is the fact that up to 56 percent of Slovaks believe in disinformation, which is the highest in Central and Eastern Europe, according to surveys.  

In the second part of the event, students took part in a simulation game called “Fight for the truth”, in which they had the opportunity to practice planning and implementing a disinformation campaign as well as a defence campaign in two opposing teams.  

As part of the project, the Institute for Central Europe will also produce a “Hybrid Threat Handbook”, which will be aimed primarily at young people and university students, but also at the wider general public.

Our Europe – An analysis of Slovak public attitudes towards the EU

The material is an output of the project “Our Europe – Nationwide Citizens’ Consultation in Relation to EU Membership”, implemented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Its ambition is to qualitatively map public attitudes towards the future of the EU, the position of Slovakia and the perception of the EU by Slovak citizens. The project also includes the development of recommendations for the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, as well as the Government of the Slovak Republic, in relation to the ongoing Conference on the Future of Europe, as well as the provision of ideas for the calibration of the necessary strategic communication with the Slovak public. This proves to be particularly crucial in light of the declining positive sentiment of Slovak citizens towards the EU, as demonstrated by recent opinion polls.

The first part of the document summarises the results of the nationwide citizens’ consultations carried out in the form of focus groups as part of the project. The individual findings are organised in a natural sequence according to the thematic areas covered by the consultation. At the end of this first section, we also present the cross-cutting findings that emerged from the individual discussions.

In the second part of the document, the results of the in-depth interviews are further categorised and interpreted in the form of a clear SWOT analysis, which describes and assesses the individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats associated with the perception of the European Union, its future and membership and the Slovak public’s perception of the Slovak Republic’s role in it. This analysis is further followed by recommendations, categorised according to the addressee. A special annex to the document is a list of questions asked to the respondents during the in-depth interviews, as well as a list of selected authentic quotations from the participants of the consultations. The latter illustrates the interpretative part of the analysis and at the same time presents an original summary of the references made by Slovak citizens for the purposes of KOBE.


The entire document, prepared by Katarínou Cséfalvayovou can be found here:

Realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic under the Grant Programme of International Relations and Foreign Policy of the Slovak Republic. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Institute for Central Europe.

Slovak Innovation Centre for Defence and Security Technologies

2.2.2023 – 30.11.2023



International cooperation is a prerequisite for technological development and provides external know-how that can be used to strengthen and improve a country’s innovation capacity. ICE recognises the added value of such a collaborative approach. As part of its project “Slovak Innovation Cluster for Defence and Security”, which aims to map and assess the most appropriate strategy for the creation of a defence cluster in Slovakia, ICE representatives met with representatives of countries and organisations whose geographical proximity, characteristics and structural set-up are similar to Slovakia’s and whose excellence in the field of cluster establishment and management is unquestionable. Special attention was paid to 3 countries including Estonia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Estonia is one of the leading innovators in the field of defence, including dual-use technologies. ICE representatives met with representatives of the Estonian Defence Cluster, an NGO that helps to increase the innovation potential of the modern defence industry as well as the economy as a whole.

The project “Slovak Innovation Cluster for Defence and Security” to explore the possibilities of establishing and operating it is supported by the MoD SR.


Strengthening Slovakia’s resilience to hybrid threats from Russian actors – disinformation campaigns on social networks

1.7.2021 – 31.12.2021



The main objective of the project was to identify the main elements of disinformation campaigns of Russian actors on social networks as an integral part of hybrid operations, using the experience and expertise of relevant foreign experts, and to draw attention to possible patterns of behaviour and penetration of disinformation in the conditions of social networks used by Slovak users. The aim was also to strengthen the resilience of the Slovak Republic to such threats in the social networking environment.


Handbook of disinformation campaigns

How to counter controlled misinformation on social networks? Experiences from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova

Disinformation: Raising Awareness and Building Resilience

1.9.2021 – 31.12.2021



The aim of the project was to increase both awareness of and resistance to disinfectants, especially among young people. Within the framework of the project, we conducted a workshop with Slovak university students and published a handbook for university and high school students, which was supported by the Minister of Education of the Slovak Republic for inclusion in the curriculum as supplementary study material.



Our Europe – National citizens’ consultation on EU membership

1.9.2021 – 28.2.2022

The project was aimed at conducting nationwide civic consultations and qualitative assessment of the attitudes of Slovak citizens in relation to their views on the European Union, Slovakia’s place in it and the desired future development in terms of the further involvement of the Slovak Republic in European structures.