SBSR 2020: Young Leaders for Democracy and Security

Hybrid times require hybrid formats. Thus, in order to keep up with the good tradition and continue to contribute to the sustainability of the Black Sea Region, “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy (ANIMV) organized the 7th edition of the international training program Security in the Black Sea Region. Shared challenges, sustainable future (SBSR) in three different segments: two online and one onsite, with physical and online attendance.

While focusing on a quite specific target for our trainees – emerging leaders in intelligence and security – this year’s theme of debate was Strategic Communication to Counter Security Threats in the Disinformation Era, addressed during:

  1. an interactive online course which took place during June 1st – July 13th, 2020, designed through the CRESCENT project – Mind the gap in media CoveRagE and Strategic Communication in CasE of Security Threats;
  2. a webinar on hybrid warfare, which took place on August 5th, 2020 – the debates focused on lessons learned and practices used by policy makers in order to build a strategy to counter hybrid threats. The event gathered both academics (Professor Ruben Arcos, University “Rey Juan Carlos”; Professor Iulian Fota, Director, Romanian Diplomatic Institute) and representatives of transnational institutions (Mr. Jose Morgado, Director of EU Intelligence and Situation Centre; Mr. Costinel Anuța, Counsellor, Permanent Delegation of Romania to NATO);
  3. an interactive workshop held in Bucharest, Romania, on September 3rd, 2020, during the Black Sea and The Balkans Dialogue Week, as a back-to-back event with the New Strategy Center’s Black Sea and the Balkans Forum.

The event allowed participants and speakers to attend physically or virtually, the onsite sessions being live-streamed via the Cisco Webex platform.

This year, the SBSR Program was addressed to emerging young leaders on the Black Sea Region and the Balkans area, therefore its last phase focused on identifying strategies to build secure societies within the region and create resilience to hybrid threats. A special mentoring session was delivered at the end of the Program. Among the invited speakers were: Lt. Gen. Mihai ȘOMORDOLEA, State Adviser, Secretary of the Supreme Council of National Defence; Brig. Gen. Cristian BIZADEA, Deputy Director, Romanian Intelligence Service; Professor Adrian-Liviu IVAN, Rector, “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy; HE Ambassador Sorin DUCARU, Honorary Chairman of the Scientific Board of the New Strategy Centre, Director of the European Union Satellite Centre; Mr. Dan NECULĂESCU, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Associate Professor Corneliu BJOLA, Department of International Development, University of Oxford; Professor Alina BÂRGĂOANU, Dean, Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration; Mr. Greg MELCHER, Chief Operations Officer, New Generation Warfare Centre.


Organized under the high patronage of the Romanian Presidential Administration, the Program benefited from important partners, such as Harvard University and the New Strategy Center.


Lecturers and participants from the Black Sea Region and the Western Balkans, USA, and Europe attended the Program.

Access the Photo Gallery.