On July 10th and 11th, the German Marshall fund of the United States (GMF), in partnership with Airbus Group and in association with the Canadian government, organized the second working session of the Transatlantic Security Task Force 2014 program. The events entitled “Potential Disruptors of Transatlantic Security: Turning Threats into Opportunities for Security Cooperation” took place at at the George Marshall Center and brought together more than 40 European and American scholars and experts, representatives of governments and international institutions, and of the defense industry. The discussions were held under the Chatham House rule.
The workingsession was organized around a keynote dinner with Jacques Audibert, Senior diplomatic advisor and Sherpa G7/G8 of the President of the French Republic and moderated by Dr. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, Director of the Paris Office of the GMF, and three sessions featuring each a panel of three speakers structured as follows:
Session I – Is the Energy Gap the Ultimate Stress Test for Transatlantic Security Cooperation?
Session II – The Use of New Technology in Security and Defense: The Need for Renewed Transatlantic Trust
Session III – Periphery as the New King: How Should Transatlantic Partners Engage with Mid-Powers?
The first session focused on the way the Ukrainian crisis can provide a new opportunity to develop common energy strategies at the transatlantic level despite the perception gap between the United States and European powers. The participants also highlighted the need for new legislations, especially in the U.S., to enable enhanced transatlantic energy cooperation. The second session addressed the new strategic vulnerabilities stemming from the growing influence of new technologies on transatlantic security, which requires a better division of labor between the United States and its European allies. Finally, the third panel focused on defining the transatlantic engagement towards revisionist powers. The participants insisted on the need for a more assertive foreign policy to respond to zero-sum game strategies.
The speakers’ presentations were followed by an open discussion with the other participants. A concluding session, providing concrete recommendations, was moderated by Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, director of the Paris Office of the GMF.