Political Luncheon with Theo Sommer

Berlin, May 25, 2012

Theo Sommer, Editor-at-Large “Die ZEIT”, met in Berlin with Members of the German Bundestag, representatives from government agencies and selected think tanks to present and discuss his latest book “Diese NATO hat ausgedient – Das Bündnis muss europäischer werden” which was published in the series “Standpunkte” by the Körber Foundation on May 16, 2012.

The discussion focused on past NATO missions, and above all on the current state of the alliance and the challenges with which it is confronted. The ideas contained in the essay led to a heated debate. Thus Sommer’s proposals for the Europeanization of the alliance were deemed to be unrealistic on account of the disunity among the European states. The participants believed that this state of affairs would probably continue to exist for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, some of them made critical remarks about the Europeans’ inability or unwillingness to invest in their own security and defence. And in general terms they recognized that there was a need to cooperate more closely within the alliance when it comes to the use of resources and military capabilities (i.e. pooling and sharing). However, there was no consensus on whether or not this would necessitate a revision of the German Parliamentary Participation Act. It also proved impossible to reach agreement with regard to NATO’s attempt to conclude new partnerships on a global level, i.e. with the rising great powers in Asia.

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.

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