Skip to main content
Apr 8, 2022
banner image

Fourth EUVP Alumni Webinar - “EU as a Security and Peace Actor”

Online event
27 April 2022 - 15.00-17.00 Brussels time

The European Union Visitors Programme (EUVP) is pleased to announce its fourth EUVP Alumni webinar! The event will be dedicated to Security and Peace and will feature EUVP Alumni guest speakers from United States, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as representatives from the European Institutions.

Join us to get the most up-to-date insights partner policies of the European Union and to hear from international partners.


15.00 – 15.10 - Welcome message from Mr Klaus WELLE, Secretary General of the European Parliament

15.10 – 15.20 - Speech by Ms Raquel DE VICENTE, Director, Directorate for Committees, Directorate General for External Policies of the Union, European Parliament 

15.20 - 15.30 - Speech by Lieutenant Colonel Peadar Ó CATHÁIN, PR/PI Officer European Union Military Staff (EUMS),  European External Action Service (EEAS) 

15.30 – 15.40 - Speech by Ms Halimah NAJIEB-LOCKE, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience at the U.S. Department of Defense, USA

15.40 – 15.50 - Speech by Dr. Maryna VOROTNYUK, Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, London Member of the Board, Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”, Ukraine

15.50 – 16.00 - Speech by Mr Srecko LATAL, Editor and writer at Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), Bosnia and Herzegovina

16.00 – 16.30 - Discussion between the panellists moderated by Ms Sarah SHEIL, Head of Communication and Outreach Unit, Directorate General for External Policies of the Union - DG EXPO, European Parliament

16.30 – 17.00 - Q&A Session

Introduction to Speakers and Panellists

EUVP Alumni


ms najib-lockeMs. Halimah Najieb-Locke is currently Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience at the U.S. Department of Defense. Ms. Najieb-Locke was most recently senior advisor of industrial base and innovation for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense where she advised on complex and high priority special assignments in areas such as federal procurement acceleration, joint experimentation, and the investment landscape. Before that she was the senior procurement counsel for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis where she conducted investigations and issued findings as they related to the health specific response to the coronavirus crisis, with a focus on procurement activities from companies that are government contractors and federal agencies.    Ms. Najieb-Locke was counsel for the majority staff of the House Armed Services Committee where she handled all acquisition related policy issues and legislative development, including Title XIII, acquisition workforce, industrial base policy, Foreign Military Sales (FMS)/export controls and technology transfer. She previously served as senior professional staff for the House Small Business Committee during the 115th Congress handling contracting, entrepreneurial development, veteran’s issues and the SBIR/STTR programs. She is originally from Los Angeles, California and is an alumna of both the University of San Francisco and The George Washington University Law School.


ms vorotnyukDr Maryna Vorotnyuk is an Associate Fellow at Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) in London. Previously, she held the position of Research Fellow in the International Security Studies team at RUSI. She works on security developments in the Black Sea region, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish foreign policies, and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Before joining RUSI in January 2021, she worked as a researcher for the Centre for European Neighbourhood Studies at the Central European University in Budapest (2017-2020), and as a visiting lecturer at the Department of Political Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia (2015-2017). From 2006 until 2015, Maryna was affiliated with the National Institute for Strategic Studies in Ukraine and the Centre for International Studies of Mechnikov Odesa National University. Maryna has held several international fellowships and authored numerous publications in her field. She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, Slovak, Turkish and English.

Mr Srecko LATAL

mr latalAs Associated Press correspondent and editor, Mr Srecko Latal covered conflicts in the Balkans, as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1990's. Since 2000 he worked as an advisor for the EU and the World Bank, while at the same time writing for regional and international media and analytical organizations, such as the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Balkan Investigative and Reporting Network (BIRN), Oxford Analytica, Janes Defence, and Economist Intelligence Unit. In 2008 he joined the International Crisis Group, ICG, as its Balkan analyst until ICG closed its presence in the region in 2013. He is currently working as a regional editor for BIRN, and remains involved in different media and analytical projects across Southeastern Europe. Srecko Latal also holds Executive Master in EU studies from the Centre International de Formation Européenne, CIFE.

EU Interlocutors

Ms Raquel de Vicente
ms de vincenteRaquel de Vicente is the Director responsible for European Parliament committees for external relations (Committees on Foreign Affairs, on International Trade, on Development and Subcommittees on Human Rights, and Security and Defence, the Special committee on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the EU, including disinformation), as well as for the Policy Department for external policies.
From May 2018 to July 2019, Raquel de Vicente was the acting Director responsible for the Directorate for Legislative and Committee Coordination in the European Parliament’s Directorate General for Internal Policies. Before that, since 2010, Raquel de Vicente was Director for Resources in the European Parliament’s Directorate General for Internal Policies (responsible for 19 Parliamentary Committees Secretariats and 5 research units), dealing with Human Resources, IT and Finance matters for around 600 staff. 
Prior to this appointment, Raquel de Vicente worked in the Directorate General for Internal policies, as Adviser to the Director General and Member of its Legislative Coordination unit, assisting the Director General in coordinating the political activities of Parliamentary committees. 
From 2003 to 2004, Raquel de Vicente worked in the private office of the Prime Minister of Spain, José María Aznar, assisting him in EU related matters. 
Previously, from 1999 to 2003, she was a member of the private office of the European Parliament’s Presidents Nicole Fontaine and Pat Cox. 

Raquel de Vicente, a Spanish lawyer by profession was awarded her Master’s degree in European and International law from Louvain-la-Neuve University and since 1996 she has been a European Union Civil Servant, starting her career in the European Commission. 
She is fluent in Spanish, English and French with good speaking and reading abilities in Italian.

Lieutenant Colonel Peadar Ó Catháin 

mr o cathainLieutenant Colonel Peadar Ó Catháin was commissioned into the Artillery Corps of the Óglaigh na hÉireann (The Defence Forces of Ireland) in 1997.
Throughout his career, he served in Command and Staff appointment at the Tactical, Operations and Strategic levels of the Defence Forces, predominately in communications roles such a regional Press Officer and Stakeholder Communications Manager for the Implementation of the Defence Forces’ White Paper on Defence 2015. 
His undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics and Economics) but Lieutenant Colonel Ó Catháin also holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies from Maynooth University and a Masters in Economic Science Degree in Economic Policy Analysis from University College Dublin, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Communications and Public Relations. 
During his career, Lieutenant Colonel Ó Catháin served Overseas on five occasions, 
•    Three tours of duty in South Lebanon in 2000, 2013 and 2019 as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. 
•    Two tours of duty in Kosovo in 2004 and 2010 with Kosovo Force.
•    One tour to Liberia with the United Nations Mission in Liberia in 2006. 
He is currently working as the Public Relation and Press Information Officer with the European Union Military Staff, where he works closely with the Commission Spokesperson Service and EEAS STRATCOM on military CDSP STRATCOM matters.