Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association: NATO-EU Roundtable 2023

The NATO-EU Roundtable brought together more than 100 participants of all ages. With 22 countries represented, it provided the perfect environment to broaden young people’s knowledge of foreign and security policy and to connect them with experienced diplomats in attendance.

This year’s panel discussions focused on NATO 2030, the EU Strategic Compass, the war between Russia and Ukraine, tensions between NATO and China, and the transatlantic relationship.

In his opening remarks, President Alar Karis, President of the Republic of Estonia, reiterated that small states like Estonia face enormous challenges in defence cooperation due to the nature of the state. However, he went on to say that “it is far worse to fight alone than to fight with allies”. He also underlined Estonia’s commitment to controlled military accumulation.

John Barter, Senior Vice President of GLOBSEC, stressed the importance of NATO-EU cooperation during the panel:: “The Russia-Ukraine war. Long Lasting War with Devastating Consequences. How is the EU and NATO Protecting the Peace in Europe.” and encouraged speakers and audience alike to continue to support Ukraine by any means necessary.

The event continued with a simulation of the North Atlantic Council, in which all member states agreed that Ukraine should be invited to join NATO as soon as it was deemed ready and stable enough. The North Atlantic Council went to great lengths to say in the communiqué that Russia should have no role in deciding whether Ukraine is ready to join NATO and that the decision should be Ukraine’s alone.

NATO-EU Roundtable was supported by Friedrich Ebert Foundation, NATO Headquarters, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and National Foundation of Civil Society.