The Delegation of the European Union to the United States, in partnership with the Atlantic Council, is hosting the EU-US Defense & Future Forum on November 14-15, 2023 in person at the Atlantic Council.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the European Union, its Member States, and the United States have put the strength of the transatlantic relationship on full display. But the work is not complete. The need to bolster transatlantic cooperation in tackling a multitude of global challenges and making the most of the opportunities available is ever present and pressing.
Against this backdrop, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Atlantic Council will host the flagship EU-US Defense & Future Forum to advance a forward-looking agenda for EU-US relations. In addition to discussing the defense, security, and global dimensions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Forum will convene a series of high-level dialogues on the economy; global infrastructure and investment for sustainable growth; the intersection between trade, security, democracy and technology; the green and digital transitions; countering foreign interference and disinformation; and how to best cooperate with global partners on all these fronts.
Join policymakers and experts from both sides of the Atlantic for discussions on how the EU-US relationship can further strengthen our collective prosperity and security.
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Recap the event
1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Welcome remarks
Frederick Kempe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Council
H.E. Stavros Lambrinidis, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States
1:15 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Spotlight conversation on geopolitical challenges and transatlantic opportunities
H.E. Stefano Sannino, Secretary-General, European External Action Service (Virtual)
MODERATED BY: Vivian Salama, National Security Reporter, Wall Street Journal
How have geopolitical challenges and crises changed Europe’s role in, and approach to, security and defense cooperation? What have been the key building blocks of developing the European Union as a geopolitical actor, and what are the next steps? How has the transatlantic and EU-US relationship adapted to these crises, and how can the EU-US relationship be leveraged further to deliver on foreign policy objectives for Washington and Brussels? Secretary-General of the European External Action Service Stefano Sannino provides a deep dive into the European Union’s priorities for the most pressing geopolitical challenges and how the EU-US relationship can jointly tackle global challenges.
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Keynote conversation with the Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas
H.E. Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia
MODERATED BY: Vivian Salama, National Security Reporter, Wall Street Journal
What is the view from Tallinn, Estonia on the geopolitical challenges threatening the transatlantic partnership? As the United States, the European Union, and the transatlantic partners face a long-term task of supporting Ukraine, Estonia and the Baltic states as NATO allies and EU member states are on the frontlines of confronting Russia’s revanchism and thought leaders in reimagining Europe’s security and geopolitical role. This keynote conversation with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas will explore the importance of ending Russia’s cycle of aggressions for the future of European and wider global security. It will consider the actions necessary to bolster European defense readiness and assess why partnership is essential in standing up for shared values including democracy and rule of law and ensuring Europe is free, prosperous and secure with Ukraine firmly anchored in the Euro-Atlantic community.
2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. A conversation on Justice and Home Affairs
Monique Pariat, Director-General, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
MODERATED BY: Jenna Ben-Yehuda, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council
Following the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial in Washington taking place November 13-14, what is the role of the EU-US relationship in cooperation on shared challenges to our citizens and societies? How can the European Union and the United States better cooperate to keep citizens safe? This panel will explore cooperation in EU and US approaches to today’s most pressing challenges to the rule of law, including in information sharing, cross-border cooperation on counterterrorism and more.
3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Big bets and long odds: A look ahead at the EU-US relationship in the new geopolitical moment
Liana Fix, Fellow for Europe, Council on Foreign Relations
Amb. Daniel Fried, Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council; Former US Ambassador to the Republic of Poland
Peter Rough, Senior Fellow and Director, Center on Europe and Eurasia, Hudson Institute
Tara Varma, Visiting Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, Brookings Institution
MODERATED BY: Damir Marusic, Assignment Editor, Post Opinions, The Washington Post
In the face of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the European Union and the United States have stepped up their cooperation to unprecedented levels and have maintained unity over many doubts of the strength of the relationship. At the same time, the geopolitical context for this cornerstone of international partnerships continues to change significantly. China’s coercion and assertiveness, the conflict in the Middle East, global economic transformations, and shifting relations with countries in the Global South all test the capacities of and expose challenges in the transatlantic partnership. As the EU and United States continue to cope with these geopolitical changes and enter a year of elections and transitions, what is the outlook for the EU-US partnership? Will current trends of transatlantic cooperation continue? What are some big bets for EU and US leaders to make to take transatlantic cooperation to the next level? What are blind spots they need to consider?
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Forum reception: A tribute to Veterans
The Hon. Don Bacon, US Representative, Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District
The Hon. Chrissy Houlahan, US Representative, Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District
The Hon. Nathaniel Moran, US Representative, Texas’s 1st Congressional District
Join the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Atlantic Council to honor the service and sacrifice of Veterans. Members of Congress will address the importance Veterans have played and continue to play in supporting and securing the EU-US relationship.
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Building transatlantic economic security
The Hon. Don Graves, US Deputy Secretary of Commerce
Denis Redonnet, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission (Virtual)
MODERATED BY: Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Resident Senior Fellow, Economic Statecraft Initiative, GeoEconomics Center, Atlantic Council
How can the European Union and the United States reinforce their trade and investment relationship in a rapidly changing global economy? As in the lines between geopolitics, economics, technology, and the green transition continue to blur, how can the transatlantic partners better coordinate initiatives towards resilient and sustainable supply chains, ensure de-risking, and deploy economic statecraft tools to optimize their own economic security? This discussion will delve into the state of transatlantic trade and its geopolitical and geoeconomic implications.
9:50 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. Sustaining transatlantic support for Ukraine’s security
The Hon. Brendan Boyle, US Representative, Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District; Chairman, NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Political Committee
Douglas Jones, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State
Guillaume Ollagnier, Director of Strategic Affairs, Security and Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France
Benedikta von Seherr-Thoss, Managing Director for Peace, Security and Defence, European External Action Service (Virtual)
MODERATED BY: Rachel Rizzo, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Europe Center, Atlantic Council
How can the transatlantic partnership advance Ukraine’s security aspirations today and in the long run? The 2022 invasion of Ukraine has spurred unprecedented support from and cooperation between the United States and the European Union. As Vladimir Putin continues to wage war against the Ukrainian people, this conversation will discuss how EU-US support for Ukraine could be a catalyst for change in European security efforts in a changing geopolitical environment and how the EU, its member states, and the United States can continue their support for Ukraine.
10:50 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Transatlantic security and the risks of the future
Trent Maul, Associate Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Mission Integration, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Ilkka Salmi, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Council of the European Union
MODERATED BY: Jennifer Counter, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Forward Defense, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
How have recent geopolitical tensions and challenges in Europe and the Middle East impacted security and counter-terrorism efforts in Europe and the United States? This panel unpacks the importance of transatlantic collaboration to protect against current and future threats to our shared values and societies.
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EU-US climate diplomacy in action
Anthony Agotha, EU Climate Envoy, European External Action Service
Sue Biniaz, US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, US Department of State
MODERATED BY: Landon Derentz, Senior Director, Richard L. Morningstar Chair for Global Energy Security, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council
How are the European Union and the United States preparing for the next COP28 gathering in Dubai? Both EU and US policymakers have set ambitious climate goals on reaching net-zero emissions and protecting nature, and fighting climate change is central to foreign policy priorities in both Washington and Brussels. Much work remains, particularly to engage with third countries and the international community. Senior EU and US climate negotiators convene to discuss transatlantic coordination and the intersection of climate issues and diplomacy in the immediate lead-up to COP28.
12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
Join us for lunch in between discussions.
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Digital innovation and the defense of democracy
Elizabeth Kelly, Special Assistant to the President, National Economic Council, The White House
Roberto Viola, Director-General, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission (Virtual)
MODERATED BY: Frances Burwell, Distinguished Fellow, Europe Center, Atlantic Council; Senior Director, McLarty Associates
What is the future for transatlantic cooperation on critical and emerging technologies in the age of innovation and systemic rivalry with China? What is at stake for democracy? Europe is pushing ahead with its digital policies, including the Digital Services Act, Digital Markets Act, and likely soon the AI Act. As the United States rolls out its own initiatives on semiconductors, quantum and AI, this panel will unpack the conditions for transatlantic coordination on digital and tech policy and examine the implications for our democratic systems.
2:15 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Building global partnerships for sustainable development, values, and peace
Nisha Biswal, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, US International Development Finance Corporation
Koen Doens, Director-General, Directorate-General for International Partnerships, European Commission (Virtual)
Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, Deputy Secretary General, European Investment Bank
MODERATED BY: Charles Lichfield, Deputy Director and C. Boyden Gray Senior Fellow, GeoEconomics Center, Atlantic Council
How can the EU and the United States best work with external partners to facilitate sustainable development and address the challenges of the green transition to a stable climate and a less polluted, more biodiverse planet? Both the EU and the US are working to expand more inclusive and greener economic partnerships with countries from Africa to Latin America and Asia through initiatives like the Global Gateway and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. This panel unpacks role of transatlantic coordination in development and its role in US and EU foreign policies.
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Closing keynote discussion on the defense of democracy
H.E. Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography
MODERATED BY: Jörn Fleck, Senior Director, Europe Center, Atlantic Council
The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.
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