In the aftermath of World War II, “the transatlantic alliance has brought security and prosperity to millions,” said Dr. Abi Williams, opening the event on the Future of the Transatlantic Alliance on Tuesday, 11 October. This event, organized by the International Network of the VVD and hosted by The Hague Institute, touched upon the challenges that strain both the United States and Europe from different perspectives.
In the keynote talk of the evening, Dutch Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert offered her insights into the security aspect of the U.S.-EU relationship. She made the case for a stronger Europe that has the military capacity to be a valuable partner to NATO. Emphasizing the importance of “acting in unison,” she argued for an ambitious security agenda, in which the EU and the U.S. take charge. If we don’t act, according to the Minister, we let others determine the course of international events.
VVD party chairman Henry Keizer talked about the uncertainty of the present day, and the need for the EU and NATO to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant and be able to address contemporary global challenges. Mr. Hans van Baalen, MEP, said that the beneficial consequences of the European Union are often being taken for granted. Open borders, for instance, are a development that should not be turned back, yet the global security situation requires that the outer borders be better protected. This is where a good cooperation with NATO is important and strong American leadership in this regard is indispensable.
U.S. election expert Koen Petersen discussed the possible consequences of the American election results in November. A Clinton presidency would most likely mean a continuation of the current transatlantic relationship. A Trump presidency, on the other hand, could lead to disruption and a return to American isolationism.
Listen to the event audio below.