The Future of the European Security Order: Institutions or Spheres of Interests?

Seminar Moderated By
Ms. Anna Wieslander
Director for Northern Europe
Atlantic Council

The Swedish Defense Commission, in collaboration with the Atlantic Council and the Delegation of the Swedish Parliament to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, are pleased to invite you to a seminar on the future of the European security order.

1:15 p.m.
Welcome Remarks

H.E. Björn von Sydow
Swedish Defense Commission

1:20 p.m.
Panel I: What Order? Perspectives on the Transformation of the European Security Architecture

Dr. Daniela Schwarzer
German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

Dr. Thorniké Gordadzé
Senior Adviser for Teaching, Studies and Research
Institute for Higher National Defense Studies

2:30 p.m.

2:40 p.m.
Panel II: Institutions or Spheres of Interest? Consequences for the Future of Europe

Dr. Teija Tiilikainen
Finnish Institute of International Affairs

H.E. Fredrik Löjdquist
Ambassador of Sweden to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

Mr. Fabrice Pothier
Senior Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Atlantic Council 

3:40 p.m.
Concluding remarks

H.E. Karin Enström
Vice Chairman
Delegation of the Swedish Parliament to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Recently, the institutional framework that constitutes the European security architecture has come under pressure. The Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014 represented the greatest challenge to that order since the end of the Cold War. There is reason to believe that Russia seeks a security system that allows the country to maintain specific spheres of interest along its borders. That would imply a shift away from key elements of the present order, such as the indivisibility of security and the right of all states to territorial integrity and to make their own security policy choices, in accordance with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) principles and commitments. Spheres of interest imply a balance of power system resembling the 19th Century Vienna Congress Treaty, or the result of the Yalta Conference at the end of World War II.
Further complexity is provided by the forces of fragmentation within the European Union (EU), illustrated by Brexit and the rise of EU-sceptic populist and nationalist movements, which the EU attempts to counter by deepening its defense and security cooperation.  As the United Kingdom (UK) prepares to leave the EU, it puts more attention on the United States and NATO. NATO has been challenged by the new American administration, led by President Trump, who takes on a more transactional and less value-driven foreign policy posture, with possible implications for the Euro-Atlantic area.

The developments in the coming years will determine the future shape of the European security order. What will be the ability of the present institutions to address and deal with challenges? Which kind of transformation is necessary? Is there a need for a new European Security Conference? What can be expected from major European states such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany? How should smaller countries ensure sovereignty and freedom of action? Is there a real possibility that Europe will end up with a “Yalta II” solution for its security?

This event is open to press and on the record.

On twitter? Join the conversation using #StrongerWithAllies or by following @ACFutureEurope.