Conference Panels

PANEL A: Economic Dimension

Under the leadership of the Trump administration, the United States of America has sought to create “fairer” trade deals with other countries. To create these “better” deals, the US has been enacting tariffs and causing trade wars to push for these deals. Tensions between the USA and the European Union have risen because of this. Especially regarding agricultural, automotive, and aerospace tariffs. This has created more barriers for trade between the countries and have been a main point of contention between allies. In its rhetoric, the US is often emphasizing its deficit with particular countries like Germany and not a balance with an entity like the EU. On the other hand, any measures could be taken only against the EU.

How will these deals affect different sectors of the economy and trade between the USA and Europe?  How will these disputes affect trade deficits and surpluses? How will they affect the overall level of trust within the economy?

PANEL B: Political Dimension

The resurgence of nationalism has created a political situation that has international cooperation and integration attempts under attack. The “America First” movement of President Trump is one such example. This has led to countries forgoing the previous international order in favor of putting their own interests first. They are often very aggressive in their efforts, such America’s trade wars. Brexit is another example of nations rejecting international structures. This has created issues in sustaining cooperation across the Atlantic.

Is the political system created after the Second World War over? How can politicians foster international cooperation? Is the postwar approach of higher integration over, or just transforming?

PANEL C: Security Dimension

After the Second World War a system of Transatlantic security was established. During the Cold War period the main interest of the USA was to counter communist regimes and the Soviet Union and their allies. While today, there focus is now towards Asia, especially China. This has made transatlantic cooperation less of a priority. There has been increased calls for a more involved role of the “European army” and “strategic autonomy” which would decrease security dependence from the US. There is also a growing pacifism and anti militarism in Germany. Not only do Eastern European states (the Baltic states, Poland) but also countries like the Netherlands and Denmark still see the US as a main guarantor of peace in Europe and only real partner in defense.

The United States along with North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries have disputes over a variety of issues. This includes justified criticism by the US that other nations are not meeting their required defense spending. Military equipment has also been an area of contention. With the US wanting to sell theirs, while Europe wants to have a larger role in developing military equipment and to be more competitive. NATO is also having issues on becoming more unified in their responses and for changing strategies to face new threats. This has created tensions among longtime allies and threatens the current order of the transatlantic partnership.

What tools does Europe have to prevent these threats? Should there be a common European security policy and what should it look like? What is the security strategy of the countries along the eastern border of the EU and can serve as an inspiration for Europe?