The transatlantic security relationship in the wake of the London NATO meeting, Brexit and the Middle East crisis

Past event

Peace, Security & Defence
NATO leaders


This dinner debate is by invitation only.

The transatlantic security relationship is facing an unprecedented level of stress. The NATO meeting in London already highlighted the strained relationship with French President Macron calling the alliance “brain dead” and US President Trump defending his decision to remove troops from the Turkish-Syrian border.

The current Iran crisis indicates further divisions between the Trump administration, the EU and the three European powers France, Germany and the United Kingdom. These divides over Iran also show the difficulties for the UK to shift away from its European partners and be closer to the US. The UK’s strategic orientation will impact and shape the future transatlantic security relations for the years to come.

The dinner debate is by invitation only and will offer an opportunity to meet some of the speakers of the policy insight ‘Transatlantic defence cooperation in the Trump era’ and Paul Taylor, the author of the report as well as to discuss the impact on EU-US security relationship following the NATO latest summit outcomes, incoming Brexit and the US-Iran crisis.

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Welcome cocktail and registration of participants
Dinner debate
End of dinner debate


Camille Grand
Camille Grand

Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

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As an Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment, Camille Grand leads and oversees NATO’s defence spending and investment strategies. He was previously Director and CEO of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), France’s leading think tank on defence and security. His research and publications focused on defence policy, NATO, nuclear policy and missile defence. In addition to these responsibilities, he has been a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and has represented the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in international negotiations on nuclear and chemical arms control.

Ian Lesser
Ian Lesser

Vice-President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF)

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Following a distinguished career as a scholar and policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the RAND Corporation, Ian Lesser is the GMF’s Vice-President and the Executive Director of the Transatlantic Center, leading work on the Mediterranean, Turkey and the wider Atlantic. From 1994-1995, Lesser was a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff at the US Department of State, responsible for Turkey, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Photo of Jamie Shea
Jamie Shea

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

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Retiring from NATO in September 2018 after 38 years at the organisation, Jamie Shea has occupied a number of senior positions at NATO across a wide range of areas, including external relations, press and media, and policy planning. As NATO’s spokesperson, he was the face of the alliance during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. He later worked as the director of policy planning in the private office of former secretary general Rasmussen during the preparation of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept. Shea is also a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs.

Photo of Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

Senior Fellow for Peace, Security and Defence at Friends of Europe

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Paul Taylor is a Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe and the author of the think tank’s European Defence Cooperation report series. He previously spent four decades working for Reuters as a foreign correspondent in Paris, Tehran, Bonn and Brussels, as bureau chief in Israel/Palestine, Berlin and Brussels, as chief correspondent in France, as diplomatic editor in London, and finally as European affairs editor. Taylor’s assignments have included covering the Iranian revolution, the Cold War Euromissile crisis, the 1991 Gulf War, German reunification, the Maastricht summit, France in the 1990s, EU enlargement, the Eurozone crisis and the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.

Geoffrey Van Orden
Geoffrey Van Orden

Member of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence

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Geoffrey van Orden’s involvement in European politics follows a three-decade career in the British Army. He served in Northern Ireland during the early 1970s and later in Germany, ending his military service as the head of secretariat of the NATO International Military Staff in Brussels. Van Orden has been a Conservative MEP since 1999 and the Conservative Defence and Security Spokesman for two decades. As a member of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence he has been a leading Eurosceptic voice opposing EU defence integration. Since the 2019 European elections, van Orden has also served as Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament.


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