Atlantic Treaty Association’s new project “ATA TALKS- NATO 2030” “NATO 2030 – Reflections and Lessons from NATO’s past-visions for NATO’s Future”

“NATO 2030 – Reflections and Lessons from NATO’s past-visions for NATO’s Future” – online conference with key expert speakers: former NATO Secretaries-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as a part of the series of webinars “ATA TALKS” was held on 29 April 2021, organized by the Atlantic Treaty Association. The conference was chaired by Amb. Baiba Braže, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy and hosted by ATA Secretary General Monika Begovic Ph.D., with closing remarks made by ATA President Jim Townsend. The event is part of the project supported and sponsored by NATO PDD.

Topics that were discussed were focused on NATO’s 72nd anniversary, NATO Summit, visions for NATO future and the Initiative NATO 2030. Distinguished former NATO Secretaries-General reflected on how NATO responds to challenges with lessons learned and reflection to the future, by highlighting the importance of the Alliance that comes from shared values and historic achievements, essential for Allies to defend their future together. It was an opportunity for all participants of this live event to reflect, to discuss and to tackle current challenges that present global security challenges.

The overarching goal of the project was to increase NATO visibility and to raise awareness on the new wider tasks, as outlined by the NATO. The project has proved that NATO is an active and leading contributor to peace and security on the international stage. As Amb. Baiba Braže said, NATO guarantee peace and security in our countries. In the same line, Mr. Rasmussen said that the Article 5 is the most important about the security of the members. Also, NATO, promotes democratic values and is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. So, it is important for the future to make this strong alliance even stronger. NATO’s 72nd anniversary must seal that NATO continues to adapt to keep the world safe and that it is ready today to meet tomorrow’s challenges, having learned from the past. In the future, it is more than important all the Allies to stay united, working together to ensure peace. What is positive for the future is NATO’s Open-Door Policy, which gives an opportunity for NATO to establish and acquire new allies. According to Amb. Baiba Braže, Balkans is a priority division, western Balkans are important and that is why we have new allies from these area like North Macedonia.

Participants, with their questions, showed their special interest in how NATO 2030 Initiative will contribute to strengthening NATO global role in military and political aspect. Special accent was on youth, on younger generations and their understanding of Alliance’s mission. In this context Amb. Baiba Braže, mentioned that young people know less about NATO, also knowledge is less compatible with other age groups, so young people are a priority. In the same line of thought, Mr. Rasmussen pointed out: what ATA should do is to strengthen their efforts into educating young generation about security and defense and why NATO still exists.

Mr. Rasmussen said that NATO needs to devote more resources to public diplomacy, as communication is the only way to tackle misinformation. Mr. Hoop Scheffer pointed out the importance of the transatlantic bond, that is again becoming stronger, thus becomes a guarantor of peace and stability for NATO member countries. It was concluded that the EU must be a strategic force capable of projecting its strength in line with NATO’s strategic strength and leaving beyond its own slogans for its strategic autonomy. Concluding, Amb. Baiba Braže, said that ATA is an organization, a collection, of people passionate about what NATO is, pointing out that ATA is reborn.

Atlantic Treaty Association, in its additional role as a think tank that gathers experts in the field of international security, will continues in its efforts in observing developments in security area and will continue with activities in promoting transatlantic values and importance of NATO. ATA, in order to further strengthening transatlantic bond, plans to organize and prepare more similar integrated projects in the future on current issues. As Mr. Jim Townsend, ATA President said, ATA looks forward to webinars within ‘ATA TALKS’ in the future. The video of the whole conference can be found here.