In June, the Club of Three convened a group of senior figures from France, Germany, and the UK at the residence of the British Ambassador in Paris to discuss the future of European defence and security. The meeting was held on the eve of the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.
Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine has created a new geopolitical reality putting defence and security at the top of the European policy agenda. For the first time in decades, Europe is rearming seriously. Germany in particular has made a significant defence policy shift with a huge increase in military spending and promised a revamp of its armed forces. And two previously neutral nations, Finland and Sweden, were in the process of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The discussion explored how effectively France, Germany, the UK, other European nations and NATO allies can collaborate in the field of security and defence in order to meet the challenge posed by Russia on the European continent. It was chaired by British Ambassador to France Dame Menna Rawlings and involved some twenty European figures from business, politics, diplomacy, and think tanks.
The three main speakers were:
Lieutenant General Benoit Durieux, Director, Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale (IHEDN); Chief of the French Prime Minister’s military cabinet (2017-21); Former Director, Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires and Lecturer, Sciences Po
Dr. Claudia Major, Senior Associate and Research Director, International Security, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP); Member of the Advisory Board, Civilian Crisis Prevention, German Federal Foreign Office
Peter Watkins, Associate Fellow, Chatham House; Visiting Senior Fellow, LSE IDEAS; Director General Strategy and International, UK Ministry of Defence (2014-18)
Participants included: Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam (French Senator and Member of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence); Philippe Coq (Director of Public Affairs France, Airbus); Sarah Raine (Consulting Senior Fellow for Geopolitics and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies); James Fauset (Head of OTC FX & Rates & Political strategy, COEX Partners); August Hanning (State Secretary, German Ministry of the Interior, 2005-09); Sylvie Bermann (French Ambassador to China, 2011-14, the UK, 2014-17, and Russia, 2017-19); Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer (Director of the Paris office, German Marshall Fund of the United States); Katrin aus dem Siepen (Director of the Political Department, German Embassy Paris); François Heisbourg (Senior Adviser for Europe, International Institute for Strategic Studies); Benjamin Saoul (Minister-Counsellor, British Embassy Paris)