Berlin Conference Focuses on ‘Reset, Rebalance, Renewal’ for Transatlantic Relations
By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
BERLIN, Germany (Jan. 25, 2019) The George C. Marshall European Center and the Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik (German Federal Academy for Security Policy) hosted the second annual conference on transatlantic relations with a theme of “Reset, Rebalance and Renewal” Jan. 24 and 25 here.
An Important Year
“This conference was focused on the state of the transatlantic relations in 2019,” said Dr. Matt Rhodes, Marshall Center’s professor of National Security Studies. “I believe that 2019 will be an important year for the transatlantic relationship.”
He cites several important events that will take place this year such as elections for the European Parliament, the 70th Anniversary of NATO, BREXIT, and a special meeting of foreign ministers in Washington D.C. in the spring.
“The elections for the European Parliament are expected to be unusually significant for the future direction of the European Union,” Rhodes said. “I think it’s important to take this opportunity at the outset of the year to check what are the challenges and perhaps, where the opportunities are for strengthening the German-American relationship.”
More than 60 officials and experts from 20 countries from all over Europe and North America attended the conference.
Featured speakers were from the German Federal Chancellery, German Ministry of Defense, U.S. European Command, NATO Defense College, Atlantic Treaty Association, Carnegie Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Ministry of Defense of Georgia, German Marshall Fund, Center for Strategic and International Studies, NATO Defense Policy and Capabilities Directorate, and Women in International Security Poland.
Rhodes said this conference provided a setting that encouraged forward-thinking discussions on security and defense in Europe, prospects for a European Army and the need for a strong Europe and NATO alliance, and the role that central and eastern Europe play in the broader transatlantic relationship.
Specifically, topics were: Perspectives on Renewal for Transatlantic Relations; What is Next for the NATO Alliance; Washington after the Midterms; A European Army: Security and Defense with the EU; and, New Europe: The Role of the Eastern Flank.
“What I think is really unique about this event is our partnership with the German Federal Academy for Security Policy,” Rhodes said. “They are the leading institution for professional security education in Germany, and I think they make a very complimentary, natural partner for the Marshall Center. “The issue of transatlantic relations, including the German-American partnership, are central to the Marshall Centers’ mission and to our stakeholder guidance,” Rhodes said.