500+ participants / 80+ speakers / 20+ panels


The US and Europe: What Transatlantic Alliance the World Needs? 

October 13, 2023 by BSC0


Moderated by Rosa Balfour, the Director of Carnegie Europe, the panel titled “The US and Europe: What Transatlantic Alliance the World Needs?” dealt with the question of the European security architecture, its current state, and the possible scenarios that might play out in the near future. The panelists exchanged analysis about NATO’s influence in the year following the war in Ukraine and how the big powers, such as the US, EU, and China, shape security in the world. 



Answering the question of what has changed throughout the past year about European security, Eric Nelson, Associate Director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, explained that there had been a major shift in the level of NATO’s influence in the field and that NATO was more relevant than ever. He mentioned Finland and Sweden leaving their neutral stance. He pointed out that NATO was a complimentary actor to the security of the EU, as they have an obligation to protect Europe’s foundation of prosperity.  



Thomas Countryman, the Board Chairman of the Arms Control Association, mentioned three key points in demonstrating the importance of NATO’s essential presence. First, he pointed out that Russia’s invitation to Ukraine unified and expanded NATO, to defend European democracies. Second, the war has put more focus on establishing adequate defense spending mechanisms, and third, Russia is systematically breaking international humanitarian law by intentionally and massively attacking civilians. 



Rachel Rizzo, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center, gave an insight into what the aims of the Biden administration were before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Four main goals characterized the administration: to reassure anxious allies, to turn attention to the Indo-Pacific region, to “park Russia” – meaning to disregard it as a policy priority and to create a foreign policy that will adhere to the middle class. With regard to 2024 and future elections, she expressed fear that Biden might be the last transatlantic president. 



Milan Nič, Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Order and Governance in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, German Council on Foreign Relations, analysed the current Balkan situation, stating that the seeds of the conflict in Banjska, had been planted way before the current escalation. He noted that one of the consequences of the ongoing war in Ukraine was that it diverted the attention of NATO from other conflicts. He mentioned the examples of Nagorno Karabakh and Northern Kosovo, stating that even Kosovo Serbs are currently relying on NATO.  



In conclusion, the discussion on the transatlantic alliance between the US and Europe highlighted the increasing importance of NATO in the evolving European security landscape, with a major shift in its influence following the war in Ukraine. 



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