October 10, 2020, BRATISLAVA — Held over 4 days, GLOBSEC Forum 2020 welcomed hundreds of participants, including key governmental and EU decision-makers, experts and top business representatives, and U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink. The event took place in two different locations, in Bratislava on October 7-8, and in the High Tatras on October 9-10. Hosted by the NGO, the Forum and Summit tested the effectiveness of the pandemic’s anti-epidemiological regulations on a larger scale, and received high praise by the media for its safety measures.
The Forum’s main theme of this year was “Let’s Heal the World Together,” displaying another way in which the pandemic affected the event. The goal was to look for common European solutions to the serious crisis, all while showing and motivating all event organizers that it is possible to move forward in the COVID-19 era.
Matters discussed at the conference were to help find common solutions to today’s changing world, both politically and economically. The topics included: NATO’s 2030 agenda, seizing the post-pandemic momentum, financing the way out of COVID-19, the future of democracy in the post-COVID world, rebuilding the EU economy after COVID-19, innovation for a greener and smarter recovery, future defence and security policy, as well as the gender impacts of the pandemic.
Ambassador Bridget Brink, along with three other panelists, spoke on the topic of ‘Women and COVID’ at the GLOBSEC “CEE Her” breakfast panel, highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on women. Gender equality and the women empowerment experts in the international forum is a priority for GLOBSEC’s “CEE Her.” During the discussion, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of recognizing gender inclusion and their effects explaining,
“We all win when we let everyone compete to solve today’s global challenges. Women’s voices are also needed in political discussions…If women and men have equal access to finding solutions to today’s global challenges, it expands the response and benefits society as a whole.” Ambassador Bridget Brink continued highlighting the importance, stating, “If there is one thing this pandemic has laid bare, it is that structural inequalities in society translate directly to health outcomes and economic impacts. I think that now, policy makers have a specific set of steps to take to ensure that all people are better protected from future crises. These include efforts to include more women at all levels of the economy and government. Businesses and governments that embrace diverse backgrounds and viewpoints are fundamentally better equipped to handle a crisis. True gender equity, whether in the home, in the workplace, or in government, is in everyone’s best interest, and the COVID-19 crisis has only made this truth more obvious.”
The conference, both at the Bratislava Forum and the High Tatra Summit, showed resilience and pointed the way forward in the unprecedented times of COVID where the future of Europe is at stake.