The 11th NATO-EU Roundtable is to be held in Tallinn on 20 April at the initiative of the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association.
The NATO-EU Roundtable is an annual international conference that aims to enhance young people’s knowledge of foreign and security policy by discussing NATO’s operating principles and key issues related to the work and cooperation between NATO and the EU.
Conducted in English, this year’s panel discussions will focus on the war between Russia and Ukraine, the tensions between NATO and China, and transatlantic cooperation and common threats and responses.
The conference will be opened by the Estonian president, Alar Karis, and the speakers include the NATO assistant secretary general for public diplomacy, Baiba Braze, the former commander of the Estonian defence forces, MEP Riho Terras, and the US ambassador to Estonia, George P. Kent.
John Barter, the senior vice president of the GLOBSEC think tank and one of the speakers at the event, told BNS the world is “a very frightening place”.
“Article 5 has been the pillar of NATO for over 70 years, but this pillar will fall apart unless we invest in our collective defence. Our armed forces must be made combat-ready to perform a deterrent role on NATO’s eastern flank. It doesn’t just mean spending money but also ensuring operational capability. Only the demonstration of real power deters Russia and protects Europe. Russia is a rogue state, and Ukraine is Europe – we must support Ukraine, Ukraine needs to win, failure is not an option. Our freedom must be defended,” Barter said.
Officials from 22 different countries are expected to attend the event that is organised by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association in cooperation with the NATO public diplomacy division, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the National Foundation of Civil Society, and the Estonian defence and foreign ministries.