The European Institute’s Roundtable on Defense and Security addresses substantive ways to maximize defense, security and political cooperation between Europe and the United States, within the context of the institutional evolution of NATO and European defense policies. Central to this ongoing initiative are the relationships between NATO, the European Union, and national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. The Roundtable specifically explores the roles of foreign and security policy institutions, as well as the impact of geopolitical developments on the management of security issuesand transatlantic defense industries. Developed in cooperation with NATO, member states and the European Commission, the Roundtable serves as an important forum for transatlantic dialogue on such key issues as the evolution of NATO’s new strategic concept, defense industry consolidation, interoperability, defense procurement policies, and the growing role of soft power in U.S. and European defense policies.


Recent Meetings:

Applications for small unmanned vehicle systems are multiplying and their contribution to earth surveillance and the treatment of emergency situations is increasing in parallel to their commercial, homeland security and military applications. This conference addressed the growing need for ensuring the security of their traffic and making sure that this development is environmentally safe. Speakers included Peter van Blyenburgh, President of UVS International; Gerald F. “Fred” Pease, Jr., Executive Director for the Department of Defense Policy Board on Federal Aviation; Holger Mattiesen, Senior Specialist in Air Traffic Management Procedures and the Focal Point for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at EUROCONTROL; Robert “Rori” Marston, Director of Policy and Strategic Development for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s UAS Program; and Dana Schulze, Chief of the Aviation Engineering Division at the National Transportation Safety Board. Participants agreed that there needs to be an increase in transatlantic coordination regarding UAVs to ensure safety and regulation.

H.E. Pierre Vimont, newly appointed Ambassador of France to the United States, discussed President Nicolas Sarkozy’s goals for the EU, as France assumes the presidency of the European Council in the latter part of 2008. The European Union should focus on four points: economic growth; internal security and the growing concerns about immigration; environmental protection and climate change; external relations and the EU’s role in the international community. Ambassador Vimont stressed that the EU needs to “put its house in order” and decide on the new constitution, a common defense policy, and enlargement. France has proposed the creation of a committee of “wisemen” to address these difficult issues.

As nation-states (in particular North Korea and Iran) have continued to work on the proliferation of missiles over the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in interest on missile defense by the rest of the world. Lt. Gen. Henry A. “Trey” Obering III, Director of the Missile Defense Agency with the U.S. Department of Defense, discussed the status of the U.S. plan for missile defense in view of the increased threats to national security. He addressed the U.S. proposal to place new missile interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic, which is the subject of great debate and has critical strategic implications for both Europe and the United States. Gen. Obering acknowledged European and Russian concerns and stressed transparency and collaboration among the U.S., E.U., NATO, and Russia.

Moderated by Mark Esper, Executive Vice President, Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the first session of the seminar explored the impact of export controls on defense procurement. William Lowell, Consultant and former Director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls detailed efforts to promote industrial cooperation. Hendrik Petersson, Vice President Export Compliance, Saab AB, highlighted the impact of ITAR regulations on the European defense industry and the future of an intra-community transfer regime. Peter Lichtenbaum, Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and International Policy, BAE Systems, addressed the challenges caused by export controls and their effects on international trade policy. François Gayet, Secretary General, AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD), served as the moderator for the second session at which Bernard Rétat, Chairman of the Defense Commission, ASD outlined European initiatives to streamline defense procurement and create a more competitive environment. The Hon. Robert Bell, Chairman of the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) Study Group on Trans-Atlantic Defense Industrial Cooperation and Senior Vice President for European Business Development, SAIC examined the growing importance of interoperability and NATO procurement. Gary Powell, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy outlined specific Defense Department goals for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (AT&L Goals). In his keynote remarks, The Hon. Marshall Billingslea, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy, and until recently Assistant Secretary General of NATO for Defense Investment, reviewed new trends in defense technology and procurement and their impact on the transatlantic alliance.

The European Institute convened the third in the continuing series of discussions about the transatlantic search for common standards in new technologies, internet governance and cyber security. Jacques Bus, Head of Unit ICT for Trust and Security of the European Commission stressed the importance of bringing researchers together from both sides of the Atlantic to improve cooperation. Offering a U.S. perspective, John Kropf, Director of International Privacy Programs, Privacy Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggested strategic development on the international level and filling in the gaps between the E.U. and U.S. The meeting was chaired by Donald Abelson of Sudbury International, LLC.