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“Europe and the US: The Future of NATO” by Michel Rentenaar
14 January at 20:00 - 22:00
“The first indication that things were not going to plan on the final day of Nato’s summit came from a group of Romanian journalists. They had left the main newsroom to observe a meeting between Donald Trump and the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis. They returned to report that the meeting had been scrapped. Further reports began to spread around the newsroom. An earlier meeting between Trump and the leader of Azerbaijan had also been canceled. So too had one planned with the leader of Ukraine. And Georgia. Something was up. And that something was Trump, who, ever unpredictable, had gone on a diplomatic rampage, throwing long-prepared NATO plans into chaos.”
Thus begins the reporting of the British newspaper The Guardian on Trump’s very first visit as President to a NATO summit. By the end, he had purposefully scoffed most of the alliance’s members, including Germany, apart from the US the most important country in the block, and Montenegro, the latest country to join and whose President was literally shoved aside. It appears cracks have begun to form in the unshakeable bond between the United States and Europe, with NATO being one of the most important fault lines.
However, the question remains: why? Why NATO, why now? Ever since the end of the Cold War, the role and value and NATO have been reevaluated. However, with the ongoing War on Terror, Russia’s new found confidence, and China’s more assertive foreign policy, it seems NATO should have been permanently removed from the ‘obsolete’ category. Obviously, this is not the case. The opposite is actually true: it seems like more than ever, trans-Atlantic relations, thus NATO, have been in question.
On 10 December, Deputy Permanent Representative to NATO Michel Rentenaar will talk to us about these questions and more. Mr. Rentenaar has almost 2 decades of experience with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving in countries from Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt, to Congo, Uzbekistan, and Belgium. He has been stationed at the NATO headquarters for over 2 years now, and will share with us his view on the role of NATO, and current trans-Atlantic relations.
This lecture is free and open to everyone.