2020 Transatlantic Security Jam: securing the Post-COVID Future

Event Reports

Peace, Security & Defence

In May 2020 Friends of Europe hosted one of the six platform debates that made up the Transatlantic Security Jam. This global online consultation extended over two days and brought political leaders and prominent experts together with the interested public for an open debate on the key security challenges of our time. We were proud to have the opportunity to contribute to this event. Our Friends of Europe platform on the theme of Autonomy and Cooperation was designed to inject a perspective from the capital of Europe in Brussels and provide a distinctly European voice in this wider transatlantic exchange.

Over the two days of the discussions, our platform welcomed more than a thousand key policymakers and experts on a broad range of topics that covered security in all its dimensions. We debated the major threats and the military challenges facing NATO and the EU, as well as the economic and social dimensions of security. Moreover, as security is first and foremost about keeping our citizens safe, prosperous and properly informed about the world around them, we examined not just the classical security challenges from geopolitical rivalries but also more hybrid challenges such as cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns. The Jam proved invaluable in this respect, offering a snapshot of how our political leaders and policymakers see the current security agenda, the priorities they are focusing on and the worries that could keep them awake at night.

When the Jam was over we realised that the two intensive days had produced a number of innovative insights and important recommendations. For instance on improving the resilience of the European Union to deal with major crises such as COVID-19.

Or enhancing the EU’s strategic autonomy by extending it into the industrial and technology domains. Or in strengthening the transatlantic security partnership and NATO through greater political consultation in the alliance and more equitable burden-sharing among allies.

As a result, we decided to produce this report, both as a way of recording the many interesting discussions for those who took part as well as a means of presenting the conclusions of our particular Jam platform to a wider audience. We hope that you will find it a useful and relevant read given the urgency of many of the challenges that the EU and the transatlantic security community are facing. We hope even more that at least some of the recommendations will find a favourable echo and, even more importantly, be implemented.

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