Study Tour

Reimagining European Security

The war in Ukraine has caused European and German leaders to rethink their military posture and approach towards Russia. Hard security is back on the agenda. While transatlantic unity appears to be holding for the moment, the coming years will test that consensus and bring new societal, economic and energy pressures on European societies. If current trends persist, European leaders may find it hard to resist calls to reduce their geopolitical dependence on the United States. However, the Republican majority in Congress and upcoming US election campaigns for 2024 raise questions about the long-term trajectory of the transatlantic relationship.

Conventional war is not the only security challenge facing Europe at this pivotal moment. Indeed, it is important not to lose sight of the manifold threats to our democratic order that come from unconventional directions. For Europe to put its security posture on a sustainable footing, we have to talk about the climate crisis, human rights, economic resilience, pandemic preparedness, and asymmetrical threats from cyber-attacks to disinformation.

With an eye on Germany’s “Zeitenwende” and the possibility of the United States pulling back its political and military support for Europe after the elections of 2024, the moment is ripe for a new generation of Europeans to put forward new ideas about Europe’s future. We have invited nine transatlanticists – some of them members of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung's Forum Neue Sicherheitspolitik – to Washington, DC, to reimagine European security in an era of multiple disruptive threats.