Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Club of Three/LSE Ideas Webinar
Europe and the Indo-Pacific in the Biden Presidency - What security and defence implications for us Europeans? – 28 January 2021

This online event, held in partnership with LSE Ideas, was the first in a series of webinars on the issue of security in the Indo-Pacific region. It involved some 60 senior figures from business, the policy field and academia in France, Germany and the UK.

The NATO 2030 Reflection Group report, published in December 2020, recommended that “NATO must devote much more time, political resources and action to the security challenges posed by China.” The new Biden Administration was likely to continue the increasing focus on the Indo-Pacific in the United States’ security and defence strategy.

The discussion explored what France, Germany and the UK, as well as other European countries, could do in this region of the world to meet the growing challenge from China – and how they should best work together and with the United States.

The three main speakers were:

*Sir John Sawers, Chief of Secret Intelligence Service MI6 (2009-2014); UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN (2007-09)

*May-Britt Stumbaum, Director of the NFG Research Group “Asian Perceptions of the EU”, Freie Universität Berlin; Formerly Executive Director of the China and Global Security Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

*François Heisbourg, Senior Adviser for Europe, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS); Special Adviser, Foundation pour la Recherche Stratégique

The discussion was chaired by Peter Watkins, Associate Fellow at Chatham House, Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS and Director General Strategy and International at the UK Ministry of Defence (2014-18).

Participants included: Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom (Chairman of the Advisory Board, Thales (UK); Peter Ruddock (CEO, Lockheed Martin UK); Alexander Evans (Adviser, No.10’s Policy Unit); François Godement (Senior Adviser for China, Institut Montaigne); Heinz Schulte (Editor, Griephan Defence and Security Publications); Victoire de Margerie (Executive Chairman, Rondol; Board Director, Arkema, Babcock International and Eurazeo); Céline Pajon (Head of Japan Research, French Institute of International Relations); Margarita Mathiopoulos (Visiting Professor, China Foreign Affairs University; Prof. emerit. US-Foreign Policy, University of Potsdam); David Hogan-Hern (Director of Euro-Atlantic Security, UK Ministry of Defence); and Julia Longbottom (British Ambassador-designate to Japan)