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Netherlands Atlantic Association: Debate on American Foreign Policy

February 18th 2021 - 20:54

On Thursday February 18, the Netherlands Atlantic Association organized a debate on American Foreign Policy: “Biden’s new transatlantic agenda and Europe’s soul searching process.

With the new engagement from the White House towards Europe, hopes run high that transatlantic relations under President Biden will quickly return to a state of pre-Trump ‘normalcy’. But how realistic is this assumption? The Biden administration will be forced to focus on its own domestic agenda (‘healing the nation’). Besides, Europe has developed a different political mindset in response to four years of uncertainty created by Donald Trump (and Brexit). Meanwhile, the Atlantic alliance is still the cornerstone of European security, but its importance is no longer self-evident. ‘Strategic autonomy’ is the talk of the town in many European capitals. Europe must ‘take its destiny into its own hands’, according to Angela Merkel’s famous words.  How and when, remain yet to be seen.

In this context, what realistic agenda should be developed? Should Washington and Brussels focus on pressing geopolitical issues (China, Russia, Iran) or should attention first go out to multilateral issues such as climate change and international trade?

Three experts, Han ten Broeke (HCSS), Stan Sloan (Non-resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council) and Roberta Haar (professor of Foreign Policy Analysis & Transatlantic Relations, Maastricht University) discussed the above mentioned issues, moderated by Paul Brill, journalist and foreign policy expert.

Rewatch the debate here:

Han ten Broeke is Director of Political Affairs for HCSS. A staunch advocate of public ideals, he served four terms as a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the leading conservative liberal VVD political party. He held post as the senior member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and acted as Chair of the Armed Services Committee. Furthermore, he led the Dutch delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Prior to which, he was the VVD’s ranking member on Defence and EU affairs. Han ten Broeke believes in the power of ever-present potential as an indispensible instrument towards a better, more sustainable future. Clear, unambiguous use of language in both his native Dutch and fluent English has furnished him with persuasive, emotive deliveries before both the media and audiences of varying cultures, and from all walks of life. Ten Broeke holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is also Chairman of the Board of BOVAG.