In his opening remarks, CEPA Executive Director Peter B. Doran noted the important role that the CEPA Forum plays in strengthening transatlantic ties and building relationships which sustain a geopolitically secure and economically vibrant Central and Eastern Europe. Emphasizing that the strategic conditions of the 1997 Madrid Summit have now vanished, Doran called for permanent basing to become NATO policy in order to respond to the emerging threats of the 21st century. Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó called upon European leaders to take greater steps to secure the prosperity of the European Union (EU) in his keynote address. Minister Szijjártó emphasized Hungary’s readiness to meet the 2% defense spending goal set at the Warsaw Summit. Special Guest Speaker Raimonds Vējonis, President of Latvia, stated his strong support for Western values, human rights, and noted the pressing need to secure these values by adapting institutions to the security challenges of the modern world.