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59th General Assembly

The 59th annual General Assembly of the Atlantic Treaty Association and the 18th General Assembly of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association  were held in Brussels, from December 8th to 11th, 2013. 

The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) hosted an international conference on “NATO Post 2014” at the World Customs Organization.

The Delegates who represented Greece were: Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, Head of Delegation, President of GAAEC and Co-founder of TICLSDr. Aliki Mitsakos, Dean and Co-Founder of TICLS, and Ms. Maria Karaklioumi, Vice-Governor of region of Attica, Alumni of our Programs and a candidate for the post of the Secretary General of Atlantic Treaty Association.

  The Greek Youth representatives were: Mr. Akis Georgiou, Secretary General of YATA Greece and Programs Director of TICLS, Ms. Lelde Mencendorfa, Member and Contact Person of YATA Greece, and Deputy Director of TICLS, Ms. Maria Katsiou, Deputy Secretary General of YATA Greece, Programs Assistant & TIAAS ‘13 Alumni, and Ms. Maria Stamatopoulou member of YATA Greece and TIAAS’13 Alumni.

 During the conference more than 250 ATA experts and delegates from across 36 countries of the Euro Atlantic region participated, along with in Brussels based policy makers, government officials, military officers, diplomatic representatives, journalists and young professionals.

 The “NATO Post 2014” conference was successfully implemented in Brussels and it was an enriching and exclusive opportunity for both practitioners and government representatives across the Atlantic to define the future of NATO after 2014.

 The Greek candidate for the post of the Secretary General of ATA, Ms. Maria Karaklioumi, Vice-Governor of region of Attika, succeeded during the first round of the elections to gain the support of the majority of the ATA members. Besides Ms. Karaklioumi, for the same post were running representatives from Belgium and Poland.  Although, for various procedural reasons, the second round of the elections will be held in 6 months.

 The election procedure for the ATA and the youths (YATA) was held on Monday, December 9th.






The “NATO Post 2014” conference in details.

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013:

Opening Ceremony < p> Welcome Address by:

Hon. Dr. Karl A. LAMERS - President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and Amb. Douglas E. LUTE - United States Ambassador to NATO

Panel 1:
< p> NATO and EU Cooperation

Chaired by Mr. Giles MERRITT - Director of Security and Defence Agenda who made a small introduction on the following discussion by saying that:

The financial strain on European countries has resulted in major cutbacks mostly in the defense sector, limiting NATO’s resources and putting a strain on national defense expenditures. With limited financial resources alongside a rapidly changing threat environment, nations have been cooperating on Smart Defense strategies. The EU has made an attempt to join forces in the European Defense Agency with the ambition of being pragmatic, cost efficient and results-oriented. After 15 years of mission fatigue, the challenge for NATO - EU cooperation in Smart Defense is to balance mutual responsibility in a cost-effective partnership.

The speakers were:

Mr. Graham MUIR - Head of Policy and Planning Unit, European Defence Agency (EDA), who said that working critically with NATO is very important to success and also he pointed out that NATO has many plans and projects for the future but what they really need is action.  

Dr. Julian LINDLEY-FRENCH - Member of the U.S. Atlantic Council’s Strategic Advisers Group who also mentioned that the cooperation between NATO and EU is very important but action is the key.

Mr. Frederic VAN KERREBROECK - Policy Adviser to the Belgian Minister of Defense who mentioned that NATO should be focused in strategic economy and he highlighted the: European Strategy of 2003. 

Key Note Remarks from a Special Panel for the Future of NATO

Started by Mr. Giuseppe BELARDETTI - Secretary General of The Atlantic Treaty Association who said a few words about this subject:

The international challenges and threats we face today call for an increase in NATO's ability to preemptively address emerging threats to NATO Allies and Partners. By recognizing threats ranging from terrorism and nuclear proliferation to piracy, cyber-attacks and the disruption of energy supplies, the next Secretary General will have to further develop NATO's response capabilities, engage new partners and strengthen new alliances in order to guarantee international security in the rapidly changing environment of the 21st century. This panel will feature the views and strategies of one of the two front running candidates for the post of Secretary General of NATO for 2014.

Then he presented H. E. Mr. Pieter DE CREM, Minister of Defense of Belgium who pointed out that NATO keeps each promise to the Member-States for Peace Stability and Security.

“NATO must be ready to intervene like they did in Libya” he said. Furthermore, Asia Pacific Region is another issue that we should pay attention.

At the end of his speech he highlighted that: “We all have the same goal for stable and safe democratic context” and he spoke about three important issues: Smart Defense, Cyber Defense and NATO partnerships which will be increasingly important in the future.

Afghanistan Post 2014: Lessons Learned and Taking Stock

Chaired by Mrs. Katarina DRLJA - Correspondent Al Jazeera Balkans who started by saying that:

With combat troops scheduled to leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014, what are lessons learned by Allied Forces on interoperability, counterinsurgency and intelligence sharing? After a 12 year period, the Alliance has to take stock of the lessons learned and incorporate them into existing policies, manuals and doctrines for future political and military leaders. Based on current threat assessments, what is the future prospect for joint missions and cooperation amongst Allies and partners?


Mr. Nicholas WILLIAMS - Head of Section of Operations Division at NATO spoke about Afghanistan and answered to the question “Why NATO was involved?” by saying that it sustains a multinational military cooperation.

Then Mr. Rinaldo VERI - President of the Italian Center for Higher Defense Studies and Former Maritime Commander of Operation Unified Protector, he spoke about the crisis in Libya and the successful operation of NATO.

Moreover, he spoke about the OUP and the potential impact on future – maritime operations and mentioned that the mission was to reduce the flow of army related material to Libya.

Dr. Jeffrey A. LARSEN - Director of Research Division, NATO Defense College, referred to NATO – Afghanistan, ISAF and pointed out that these were very important experiences for NATO.

H.E. Mr. Alexander GRUSHKO - Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to NATO, who reflected to the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), which was established in 2002 and they work together as equal partners. “The NRC provides a framework for consultation on current security issues and practical cooperation in a wide range of areas of common interest. Its agenda builds on the basis for bilateral cooperation that was set out in the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which provided the formal basis for relations”. 

H.E. Dr. Tanja MISCEVIC - Chief Negotiator for the accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union, she pointed out how important is the European integration and she referred on the April agreement with Serbia that reinforces the Kosovo authorities’ responsibility to bring forward reforms needed on the path of European integration.

Amb. Veronika WAND-DANIELSSON - Swedish Ambassador to NATO, she also said a few words about Afghanistan and mentioned that there is a huge improvement in Kabul the last few years.

Finally she talked about the relations between NATO and Sweden and pointed out that “ It was during NATO’s Operation Unified Protector in Libya that Sweden reached a new level of partnership, which has no parallels among partner states”.

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Transatlantic Bond: The Relationship Beyond Defense Capabilities

Chaired by Dr. Tomas SEDLACEK (Moderator) - Member of a Group Narrative of Europe Commissioned By Manuel Barroso, Former Member of National Economic Council starting by saying that:

In 1956, the Report of the Committee of Three on ‘Non Military Cooperation in NATO’ stated that “North Atlantic political and economic cooperation, let alone unity, will not be brought about in a day or by a declaration, but by creating over the years and through a whole series of national acts and policies, the habits and traditions and precedents for such cooperation and unity.” Where does the cooperation stand, how will the transatlantic bond evolve in the future and what are the priorities beyond defense capabilities?

Section I - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Ms. Elena BRYAN, Senior Trade Representative of the US Mission to the EU said that Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is an agreement with good options. “There will be investments of US in the EU which means an enormous economic growth”.

H.E. Amb. Selim YENEL - Turkish Ambassador to the EU, spoke about the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP) and said that it is a very good agreement but we will see in the future how exactly we will be able to participate.

Mr. Lutz GUELLMER, Deputy Head of the Unit for Information, Communication and Civil Society for the Directorate for Trade at the European Commission, spoke about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment and the role of the EU Commission in Trade, and he ended by saying that “The benefits of this agreement will be the economic growth, the low Tariffs in the Transatlantic Trade and also the huge economic opportunities for both sides through this agreement”. 

Section II - Enhancing the Transatlantic Bond

Keynote Address:

Amb. Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC - Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, she clarified that: “NATO is not a political military organization anymore; it’s more of an organization of values that it stands for – it is based on understanding, experience that has grown over the years”.


Prof. Dr. Sven BISCOP - Director Europe in the World, EGMONT Institute, who mentioned that NATO is facing many problems, it can’t solve natures problems or planets problems but it is a Service Provider.

Mr. Jan HAVRANEK - Political Director, Minister of Defense, Czech Republic

Dr. Ian LESSER - Executive Director of the Transatlantic Center and Senior Director of the Foreign and Security Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, asked if there is an actual transatlantic gap?

Finally, he ended by saying that the US has at the same level of importance the Atlantic and the Asia Pacific Region and for that reason there is a balance.

The closing remarks were given by Hon. Mr. Hugh BAYLEY - President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Hon. Dr. Karl A. LAMERS - President of the Atlantic Treaty Association

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