Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs met in Berlin with representatives from various federal ministries, government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss the challenges and perspectives of the transatlantic relations.
Given the common values and interests that Europe and the US shared, the discussion noted that close transatlantic cooperation remained an indispensable starting point for both sides to meet global security challenges. This was despite the recent change in the US strategic direction to put greater focus on Asia Pacific, and in reference to US President Obama’s comments that US role in Europe ‘must evolve.’
In outlining the transatlantic relations, the discussion recognised that regular and close coordination between Europe and the US had produced positive results in various security spheres which included stabilising the Caucasus region, and integrating countries of the Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions. In addition, the timely coordination between Europe and the US has enabled NATO to deal effectively with the Gaddafi regime. Nonetheless, it remained clear that there were considerable challenges ahead for transatlantic partnership in view of the developments in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, the Iranian nuclear threat, as well as the issue of stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.