The Future of NATO - Reinforcing the Alliance or heading towards a separate European Defence?


In 2019, Emmanuel Macron warned Europe that NATO is "brain dead." The French president pointed out that America is turning its back on the European project and that European countries can no longer rely on America to defend NATO allies. Thinking back to the AUKUS crisis and the uncoordinated withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, one could easily conclude that NATO has rusted and lost some of its added value.



But since Feb. 24th, 2022, perceptions of NATO and the whole idea of defense more broadly have suddenly changed. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has clearly shown that NATO is still needed, wanted, and operational. Solidarity with Ukraine in terms of military aid and sanctions against Russia, as well as NATO's role in defending its Eastern European flanks, are proof enough. Moreover, the accession of Finland and Sweden demonstrates the value and the will of allies to continue - and in the coming years even more - to support NATO.


At the Madrid Summit, NATO unveiled its long-awaited Strategic Concept for 2030. The concept focuses primarily on new threats and new areas of NATO's work. Unlike in past decades, NATO has announced it will invest more in private research and science to drive innovation in the military. As a result, by 2030 NATO will inevitably be investing not insignificant amounts in areas that were not previously part of its mission: for example, it will be the first military alliance to actively combat climate change. In total, these investments could amount to an additional 20 billion euros. This would allow the Alliance to move into areas that are completely new and unexplored for it. Areas where the Alliance has no experience and where the EU is probably the more experienced partner.


Given these conditions, the question is: What challenges might NATO face by 2030? Do we need to strengthen NATO? Do European countries need their own European defense? Is the goal of common European defense structures even realistic, considering that the EU would have to spend 6% of the gross domestic product of its member states on military expenditures? Or will the EU strengthen its pillar within NATO and thus forgo building its own independent structures altogether? If so, how will NATO and the EU effectively coexist in the years ahead? Will there be joint councils and working-level meetings? What format will such cooperation take?


We will explore these and other questions in our event "The Future of NATO - Strengthening the Alliance or Towards an Independent European Defense?". Together with Ambassador Rüdiger König (Permanent Delegation of Germany to NATO) and Roderich Kiesewetter (Member of the German Parliament), we will focus on the future of NATO and European defense until 2030, discuss the future of the continent's security and also look at the next steps that need to be taken to achieve the goals associated with NATO’s plans. In this spirit, we cordially invite you to our event on September 22, 2022, at 15h.


For registration, please use this LINK.


We look forward to your participation!


Hier finden Sie das Programm zum Download: Program 22-07-14 - Whats new NATO.pdf


Zum Kalender hinzufügen


Online via Zoom


  • Hardy Ostry
    • Head of the European Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
  • Rüdiger König
    • Ambassador of the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO
  • Roderich Kiesewetter
    • Member of the German Parliament
  • Thomas Gutschker
    • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Dr. Hardy Ostry


Leiter des Auslandsbüros Washington, D.C.



Bereitgestellt von

Europabüro Brüssel