The ministerial session with representatives from Germany, Montenegro, Turkey and the United States aimed to discuss the future of NATO, 70 years after its creation. The panel took place on October 2, 2019.

The participating panelists were: Mr. Predrag Bošković – Minister of Defence of Montenegro; Mr. Volkan Bozkir – Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Minister of European Union Affairs of Turkey (2015 – 2016); Ms. Vicky Hartzler – Member of the US House of Representatives and Ranking Member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Forces Committee (USA); Mr. Thomas Silberhorn – Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Defence of Germany. The panel was moderated by Mr. Ali Aslan, International Journalist and Presenter.

After briefly outlining NATO’s impact over the past 70 years, the panelists discussed the Alliance’s future in the changing security environment. They began by identifying the main security threats to NATO members today. Vicky Hartzler denounced Russia and its aggressiveness. For Minister Silberhorn, democracy and individual liberties are being challenged. Minister Bozkir disagreed with Hartzler’s point of view, taking as an example the events in Raqqa, and argued that it is better to negotiate with Russia than to push it into a corner. For Minister Boskovic, however, Russia remains a danger to democracy, particularly in its use of media to propagate disinformation.

The Ministers exchanged views on various topics, such as the commitment of Alliance member countries to the 2% GDP rule. Turkey’s ambivalent relationship with Russia was also discussed, as well as the enlargement of NATO. The discussion concluded with a consensus on the continued relevance of NATO, particularly in countering new methods of disinformation and cyber-warfare.

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