Four-year partnership will produce major body of work highlighting the importance of the Black Sea region for transatlantic security

Washington DC – December 1, 2021 – The Atlantic Council today announced a partnership with the Romanian National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) on a major body of work focused on the Black Sea region. This four-year partnership will combine extensive analysis with public and private events, workshops, as well as trips to the region that will familiarize the transatlantic policy community with the complexities of this strategically important area for NATO.

This project, led by the Transatlantic Security Initiative in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, will highlight the importance of the Black Sea region for transatlantic security and provide recommendations for strengthening deterrence and defense, tackling unconventional and hybrid threats, and enhancing security cooperation among countries in the area and across the transatlantic region. Under the leadership of the Chairman of the Scowcroft Center, General (ret.) James L. Jones—a long-time supporter of Romania’s leadership within NATO and its invaluable role within the transatlantic community—the project will bolster the Council’s ongoing work on the essential role of NATO and the United States in Black Sea security.

“Romania has long emphasized the Black Sea’s strategic importance for the transatlantic security architecture and highlighted the risks and challenges in the region, including Russia’s attitude towards NATO and the EU. I believe that, through its expertise, academia has an important role to play in supporting strategies that enhance governance across all levels, and needs to be more involved in the development of public policies that address instability. SNSPA, as a School of Governance, has always assumed this role and will further do so by signing this partnership with the Atlantic Council, thus proving its position as a center of excellence that provides tangible solutions for the Black Sea region that ensure stability, strengthen transatlantic solidarity, and renew our commitment to common interests” stated Remus Pricopie, Rector of SNSPA, present in Washington for the official signing.

I am pleased that SNSPA continues its long-standing relationship with the Atlantic Council, and the Atlantic Council’s Bucharest presence, and I believe that together we will be able to develop solutions that allow the management of security issues on NATO’s and EU’s eastern border and ensure peace, security, stability and prosperity around the Black Sea region.

Remus Pricopie, President, Romanian National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA)

“The Black Sea region is at center stage for strategic competition. Russia’s disruptive and aggressive military activities in the region, not to mention its sustained efforts to weaken democratic norms, all point to the need to strengthen our understanding of the region’s security dynamics,” stated Barry Pavel, Senior Vice President and Director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. “As the best-in-class program on NATO, the Transatlantic Security Initiative is uniquely placed to tackle the first-order questions for the transatlantic community regarding Black Sea security.”

Building on our work related to military posture in North and Eastern Europe, as well as our extensive expertise on the Alliance, this program will explore the strategic options ahead for NATO, how the Alliance and its partners can enhance collective security on NATO’s Southeastern flank, and develop a comprehensive approach to address this complex security environment.

Barry Pavel, Senior Vice President and Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security (SCSS) works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world. The Scowcroft Center honors General Brent Scowcroft’s legacy of service and embodies his ethos of nonpartisan commitment to the cause of security, support for US leadership in cooperation with allies and partners, and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders. 

The Transatlantic Security Initiative (TSI) brings together top policymakers, government and military officials, business leaders, and senior experts from Europe and North America to share insights and develop innovative approaches to the key challenges facing NATO and the transatlantic community. Building on the Scowcroft Center’s mission, TSI focuses on developing strategies for the United States and its NATO allies and partners on both sides of the Atlantic. Through high-profile public convenings, off-the-record strategy sessions, war-gaming, digital engagement, and in-depth research publications, TSI directly informs the transatlantic security debate, galvanizes public support around NATO and key institutions that build peace and collective security, and provides practical, nonpartisan solutions for transatlantic leaders at this critical time in the Alliance’s history. The initiative honors Brent Scowcroft’s legacy by advocating for US leadership and by fostering the next generation of transatlantic leaders—striving to diversify, inform, and expand the network of support for transatlantic cooperation and the NATO Alliance.

The Romanian National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), established in 1991 as a school of governance and political science, is today one of the leading education, scientific research, and professional academic institutions in Romania and across the region. SNSPA represents a pillar of Romania’s democratic institutions and has trained generations of Romanian experts and regional leaders, bolstering Romanian and European integration and governance. SNSPA has been at the forefront of initiatives, research, and projects such as the Bucharest Security Conference or projects to counter hybrid threats and disinformation, with the goal of strengthening Euro-Atlantic relations, promoting democratic values, supporting the efforts of NATO and EU member states to enhance cohesion and resilience, and countering the growing threats to security, stability, and peace.

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The Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes and influences the debate on the greatest security challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance and its key partners.