The New NATO Strategic Concept: how could the Alliance be better prepared for future challenges?

The online event organized by LSE IDEAS, New Strategy Center Romania, Elcano Royal Institute, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) on 6 December will address the implications of a new Strategic Concept of NATO, against a challenging backdrop.

The format envisaged by the organizers puts a special emphasis on the importance of all NATO flanks, starting from the Arctic, to the unity of the Eastern Flank from the Baltics to the Black Sea, as well as to the Southern Flank, which is expected to be further strengthened by the new Strategic Concept.

As the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said in October this year, 'The Madrid Strategic Concept will reflect the new security environment, recommit to our values, and reaffirm our unity. Ensuring that our Alliance is fit for the future.'

Building upon the 2020 recommendations of the special Reflection Group appointed by the Secretary General, the new NATO Strategic Concept is expected to be adopted during the Madrid Summit next year, in a context in which NATO needs to adapt its core tasks to the realities of the 21st century. While boosting the Alliance’s resilience and cyber defences, sharpening its technological edge, and addressing the security impact of climate change, a widening of priorities aims to include the societal resilience of the Alliance and its partners in the new Strategic Concept.

The AUKUS deal puts pressure on the already heated transatlantic relationship under the debate about European strategic autonomy. Following recent events in Afghanistan and the negative developments in the Western Balkans and the crisis on the Poland-Belarus border, the debate will also tackle how the new Strategic Concept will approach Russian aggression. Furthermore, the discussion will cover what place resilience has in the core tasks of the Alliance, how the European strategic autonomy efforts can be harmonized with NATO burden sharing and how the increasing Allied political dimension will be implemented.


The New NATO Strategic Concept


The New NATO Strategic Concept

This webinar was held on Monday 6 December 2021.

Meet the speakers

Cristian Diaconescu is professor in International Law, ambassador and member of United Nations Group of Eminent Persons for Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Armaments. He served as Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2009 and in 2012. Diaconescu sat in the Romanian Senate between 2004 to 2012 and held the position of Vice President of the Senate between 2011 to 2012. In 2004, he served as Minister of Justice. Currently Cristian Diaconescu is President of the Center of Foreign Affaires - educational and academic organisation - and associate professor in International Relations at the Romanian Defence University. In 2016, Cristian Diaconescu was awarded as “Doctor Honoris Causa” of the “Andrei Saguna” University in Constanta.

Tom McKane is a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS and Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI. He is also a member of the European Leadership Network. From 2008-14 Tom was successively director general for strategy and director general for security policy in the UK Ministry of Defence.

Karsten Friis is Head of the Research Group on Security and Defence at The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. He is a Senior Research Fellow and head of NUPI’s Research Group on Security and Defence. He holds a PhD from the University of Groningen, a Cand. Polit from University of Oslo and a MSc from London School of Economics. Friis’ main area of expertise is security and defence policies, international military operations, civilian-military relations, Nordic security, cyber security, as well as the Western Balkans.

Charles Powell is Director of the Elcano Royal Institute. He is also a Professor of Contemporary History at CEU San Pablo University. 

Peter Watkins is a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He is a Visiting Professor, King's College London; an Associate Fellow, Chatham House; and a Non-Resident Fellow with the Atlantic Council. He was formerly the Director General Strategy & International (2017-18) and Director General Security Policy (2014-17) in the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Meet the chair

Antonia Colibășanu is a Senior Associate Expert at the New Strategy Center Romania and Senior Geopolitical Analyst at Geopolitical Futures. Antonia Colibășanu is also a lecturer on geopolitics and economic diplomacy with the International Relations Department at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest. Her analysis and her writings focus on geopolitics and competitive intelligence. In her latest book, Contemporary Geopolitics and Geoeconomics 2.0, she discusses the framework for understanding geopolitics and how economic factors intersect politics and social stability.


Event hashtag: #LSENATO

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.

New Strategy Center Romania (NSC) is a Romanian think tank specialising in foreign, defence and security policy, a non-partisan, non-governmental organisation.

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) is a leading centre for research on international issues in areas of particular relevance to Norwegian foreign policy. NUPI has three main pillars of research and expertise: war and peace, economy and development, and diplomacy and global governance.

The Elcano Royal Institute is a think tank specialised in international and strategic studies conducted from a Spanish, European and global perspective.