MSC to host Roundtable on European Defence in Brussels on July 10
On July 10, around 50 senior decision-makers and experts will meet at the MSC's Roundtable on European Defence in Brussels. As the event takes place on the eve of this year's NATO Summit, the participants will discuss pressing security challenges to the transatlantic alliance – in particular the issue of burden sharing and the future of the NATO-Russia relationship.
On the eve of the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, the MSC's Roundtable on European Defence will gather a selected group of senior decision-makers to discuss the summit's key topics in an off-the-record setting. Participants include several European Ministers of Defence, senior NATO officials, Members of the European Parliament and of the German Bundestag, as well as high-level industry leaders and experts from the think tank community. In line with the key questions on the agenda of this year's NATO Summit, two issues will feature prominently at the MSC’s roundtable: burden sharing and NATO-Russia relations.
The transatlantic alliance has recently become increasingly polarized over disagreements on national contributions to NATO's collective defence. As European member states struggle to boost their defence budgets and rebuild their weakened military capabilities, the MSC’s roundtable will address a number of key questions: How can allies engage in more constructive joint capability building? To what degree can both the EU and NATO benefit from linking up their defense planning more closely, and what are the prospects for such efforts? How can the EU help enhance the readiness and mobility of NATO forces in Europe?
As governments across Europe contemplate significant hikes in their military spending, the MSC aims to inform this important debate – both through events like the Roundtable on European Defence as well as through publications, such as the report, "More European, More Connected, More Capable: Building the European Armed Forces of the Future" published in November 2017. The report details which areas increased defence budgets should be invested into, and how to achieve the highest possible level of security and defence as a result, which parts of the European defence effort should be organized jointly – or even be fully integrated – and which should remain national. The full report can be downloaded here.
Regarding NATO's relationship with Russia, the roundtable participants will discuss a variety of issues ranging from the Baltic Sea to Syria. In particular, they will consider how to strike the right balance between deterrence and dialogue with Russia. How can different approaches to this issue be bridged within NATO? What role can European NATO members play to facilitate arms control talks between Washington and Moscow? Can they reduce the danger of a nuclear arms race in Europe? What are the most important hurdles on the way towards a significantly improved NATO-Russia relationship?
These and other questions will be at the heart of the event. More details and background information will be made available on Twitter (#MSCdefence), Facebook, and on our website.
About the Munich Security Conference
The Munich Security Conference (MSC) is the world's leading platform for debates on international security policy. With over 500 official participants and 300 observers assembled at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, the annual conference provides a unique atmosphere for frank, private and mostly off-the-record exchanges on present and future security challenges and solutions.
European Defence and the MSC
Besides its annual flagship conference in Munich, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) Foundation regularly organizes high-profile events around the world. These events include summits and roundtables dedicated to a particular thematic focus like European Defence, Energy Security, Cyber Security, and Health Security.
The future of European defence has traditionally been one of the major topics of the Munich Security Conference. In 2013, the MSC, together with its knowledge partner McKinsey & Company, launched the European Defence Series. Since then, numerous events have addressed European defence challenges and have contributed to debating the goal of a deeper, much more impactful European cooperation in security and defence.