Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR’s collapse, successive Belgian governments have adapted their political priorities and sought to benefit from the peace dividend. The events of the last ten years, ranging from the return of geostrategic rivalries to natural and man-made disasters, conventional warfare on European soil and hybrid actions, using cyberspace, energy and natural resources, bring us back to the harsh reality! A sovereign state is responsible for protecting its citizens, defending its territory and ensuring its independence. It is essential to be prepared for the crises and wars to come. Thirty years of disinvestment have left our country and its population more vulnerable than during the Cold War. The resilience of our society to hybrid threats must become a priority again. One of the major challenges governments need to take up, lies in human capital. Not only is the quality of individuals indispensable; the mass of people that can be mobilised at short notice, in all the critical areas necessary for ensuring a country’s existence and enabling it to resist, has once again become a fundamental element in absorbing destabilising shocks, both virtual and physical.

The colloquium initially aims to make the participants reflect on two concepts that are essential to face crises: the resilience of our society (with our way of life and our values) and total defence. Our colloquium’s ambition is to raise the question whether investments, materials and a limited structure are really enough. To what extent should the mobilisation of a wide range of societal resources not be thought through, translated into detailed interdepartmental plans and coordinated, synchronised and directed with the necessary tools? In a second step, we will look at two particular cases: 1) the human capital pool, in particular the ready-to-use reserves that can be mobilised in different time frames and for different durations depending on the circumstances; 2) the indispensable civil-military cooperation, the private-public partnerships to be put in place to protect not only our critical infrastructures, but also the ecosystems that guarantee their functionality.

Download invitation and programme (update 18/04/2023)

Research line: Belgium

Source images: BE Defence


Belgian Security 2040:
which societal resources to mobilise?

Colloquium videos and Power Point presentations:

PANEL 1: ‘Total Defence’ Concept
Dr Paal Sigurd Hilde video & ppt
Dr Joakim Berndtsson video & ppt
Dr Ieva Bērziņa video & ppt
Colonel Erik Claessen video & ppt
PANEL 2: Resilience
Dr Viktoriia Vdovychenko ppt
Dr Rasmus Hindrén video
Mr Jan Bayart video
Mrs Cathy Berx video & ppt
PANEL 3: Reserve Forces
Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud le Grelle video
Mrs Myriam Broeders video & ppt
Commandant FASF Benoît Chaucheprat video & ppt
Colonel EMG Alexandre Vautravers, PhD video & ppt
PANEL 4: Civil-Military Cooperation
Mrs Leen Depuydt ppt
Mr Filip Smeets ppt
Mr Marcel van Eck video & ppt

Download invitation and programme (update 18/04/2023)

Languages: English, Dutch and French
Simultaneous interpretation in English, Dutch and French

19 April 2023, 9:30 – 19:30
> 9:00: Registration
> 9:30: Colloquium
> 17:30: Reception

20 April 2023, 9:30 – 17:30
9:00: Registration
> 9:30: Colloquium

Campus Renaissance
Rue Hobbema, 8
1000 Brussels