On 25–26 April, Hybrid CoE hosted the main exercise for the ‘Resilient Civilians’ project, funded by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme and led by UiT the Arctic University of Norway.
With keynote addresses by NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Mr James Appathurai, EEAS Security and Defence Policy Director Ms Joanneke Balfoort, and Finnish Security Committee Secretary-General Petri Toivonen, the event drew some 70 participants to Helsinki from Hybrid CoE’s Participating States, including the private sector, academia and civil society.
The aim of the exercise was to hold scenario-based discussions in order to enhance preparedness for crises caused or instrumentalized by hybrid threat activities. “Civil society engagement in the face of a crisis caused by hybrid threat activity is of paramount importance,” stated Hanna Smith, Research Director at the Centre. “Civilian agency must be integrated into crisis response because civilians are the first witnesses, targets, and responders in many hybrid threat-related crises.”
The exercise findings will feed into the Resilient Civilians project results and constitute a major deliverable for the project.