NATO - EU: Reinvigorating Cooperation or Muddling Through
The first panel of the conference, "NATO - EU: Reinvigorating Cooperation or Muddling Through," was moderated by CEPA Senior Vice President Edward Lucas
. Panelists considered how new multilateral and bilateral ties such as the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the EII—the French-inspired nine-member European Intervention Initiative, and partnerships with non-NATO states could address the security challenges facing the Alliance. Jacek Czaputowicz
, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, opened the panel by stressing the need for collaboration rather than competition between these often parallel groups. Closing the gaps, he argued, will be time consuming but could prove to be one of the most fruitful security endeavors of the 21st century. Ana Birchall
, Vice Prime Minister for Romania's Strategic Partnerships' Implementation, added that the only option is to strengthen NATO-EU partnership, a top priority for the Romanian government.
Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia, argued that while he is proud of the progress so far, more can and should be done to bolster security through cohesion. Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, concluded that NATO cannot and should not be replaced, warning that bilateral security agreements could weaken collective security.