Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Fireside Chat and Dinner on Defence and Security
06 July 2023, London

In July, the Club of Three held a fireside chat on European defence and security with James Heappey, British Minister for the Armed Forces, in partnership with the Hertie Stiftung.

Some 30 senior French, German and British figures from the defence field gathered at the Oxford and Cambridge Club in London to discuss the implications of Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the war started by Russia in 2022, what consequences this would have both militarily and politically in Europe in the coming months, and how Europe was reshaping its defence sector in order to face the threats of the future.

This event took place ahead of the 2023 NATO summit in Vilnius.

The fireside chat was followed by a discussion over dinner led by Dr. Claudia Major of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Germany, Robert Courts MP, Member of the Defence Committee in the House of Commons, and Professor François Heisbourg, Senior Adviser for Europe at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

This discussion was chaired by Peter Watkins, Associate Fellow at Chatham House and Director General Strategy and International, UK Ministry of Defence (2014-18).

Participants included: General (Ret.) Stéphane Abrial (Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation, NATO, 2009-12); General (Ret.) Sir Richard Barrons (Commander, UK Joint Forces Command, 2013-16); Hans-Christoph Atzpodien (Managing Director, German Security and Defence Industry Association BDSV); Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer (Senior Vice President, Geostrategy, German Marshall Fund of the U.S); Marc Cathelineau (Senior Adviser, Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales); Admiral Hervé Hamelin (Defence Attaché, French embassy London); Bernd Knobloch (Deputy CEO, Hertie Stiftung); Colonel (Ret.) Ralph D. Thiele (Chairman, Politisch-Militärische Gesellschaft); and Julian Moore (Director, Government Affairs and Strategy, Boeing UK/Ireland/Nordics)