5. NATO-EU Round Table, March 2017

The 5th EU-NATO Round Table took place in Tallinn and Saka, Estonia, from 30 March to 1 April 2017. Organised by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association (EATA), this event brought together a total of some 60 young experts and political students from various EU and NATO member states, as well as countries of the Eastern Partnership and Russia.

The NATO Round Table format serves as an annual discussion platform, focussing particularly on young people, to consider the key issues of European and international security and foreign politics, and to formulate critical solutions for better cooperation among nations. The first part included a specialist conference with representatives from politics, academia and civil society, with a discussion of current matters of security policy. The conference was opened in the building of the Estonian parliament, by the head of FES Baltic, Dr Tobias Mörschel and European Parliament Representative for Estonia and the country’s former long-time Foreign Minister Urmas Paet. The subsequent panel discussions covered the following topics: ‘Basics of NATO-EU Cooperation’, ‘Military cooperation between NATO and the EU’ and ‘Countering hybrid threats together’. Among others, the discussions included commander Kurt Engelen, colonel Riho Rõngelep, Estonian military representative in NATO, Beata Biały, chief expert of the NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence, Kristi Raik, Senior Research fellow at the Finish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), Sven Sakkov, head of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and Dr Uwe Optenhögel, head of the FES European office in Brussels.

During the second part of the event, the students joined a simulation game, in which they played the roles of political decision-makers and heads of governments, developing their own political solutions for stabilising and securing various global crisis regions within fictional future scenarios, and creating approaches for future cooperation between the EU and NATO.

The 6th NATO-EU Round Table will take place at Tallinn University, from 4 to 6 April 2018.

A detailed summary of the discussions can be found at the EATA website.

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