The European Institute’s Roundtable on Defense and Security addresses substantive ways to maximize defense, security and political cooperation between Europe and the United States, within the context of the institutional evolution of NATO and European defense policies. Central to this ongoing initiative are the relationships between NATO, the European Union, and national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. The Roundtable specifically explores the roles of foreign and security policy institutions, as well as the impact of geopolitical developments on the management of security issuesand transatlantic defense industries. Developed in cooperation with NATO, member states and the European Commission, the Roundtable serves as an important forum for transatlantic dialogue on such key issues as the evolution of NATO’s new strategic concept, defense industry consolidation, interoperability, defense procurement policies, and the growing role of soft power in U.S. and European defense policies.


Recent Meetings:

On September 27, 2011, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and NATO Deputy Secretary General Designate discussed the  continuing  evolution of U.S. defense policy, lessons learned from the Alliance's intervention in Libya, and the need to strengthen the European-American partnership on multiple fronts in order to meet common security challenges.

On September 19, 2011, Claude-France Arnould, the European Defense Agency’s new Chief Executive, addressed the multiple challenges in bolstering the European Union’s defense capabilities and furthering EU-US defense cooperation at a time of severe budgetary restriction.  She focused particularly on the European Union’s Pooling and Sharing Initiative and the need for increased transatlantic cooperation in order to effectively meet common security challenges and improve defense capabilities.

On September 14, 2011, Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy shared her insights into NATO’s current agenda and priorities leading up to the NATO Summit to be held in Chicago in the spring of 2012.

The European Institute hosted a meeting on June 2, 2011 with The Honorable Eric Hirschhorn, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security. In the ten months since Mr. Hirschhorn last spoke at The European Institute, notable progress has been made in the evolution of the Obama Administration’s Export Control initiative. Given the importance of this initiative for the economic and trade relationship that underpins European-American relations, Under Secretary Hirschhorn offered an update on the continuing evolution of export control reforms, and the prospects and challenges that lie ahead.

General Stéphane Abrial, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, discussed key elements of the Alliance’s New Strategic Concept, with particular emphasis on the need for improved cooperation between the EU and NATO. He singled out recent successes in Haiti, Georgia, and Kosovo as examples of effective collaboration and emphasized that no single institution can function effectively on the global stage alone. General Abrial remained optimistic that despite budgetary restraints, the EU and NATO could work more efficiently and effectively to meet common objectives. He highlighted the need for greater and more consistent outreach to the alliance’s stakeholders, and the importance of growing public understanding and support of NATO and its multiple missions. He concluded that if the EU and NATO were to work on a global scale with a unified effort, they would be more capable of achieving success in future endeavors.  The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Robert Hunter, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and a Senior Advisor at RAND Corporation.

Click here to read the full text of General Abrial's remarks.