Europe

Do We Need Data Donations?

In the age of Big Data, do we need new "data ethics" in healthcare? What could be the cornerstones of such ethics? The medical ethicists and chairwoman of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), Professor Christiane Woopen, Executive Director of the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health (CERES), shares her position. (Foto: Reiner Zensen) View
 

eHealth - Tele-Monitoring and Tele-Medicine - Digital Innovation in the Life Science Sector in Germany

Dr. Wolfgang Rehmann discusses a wide range of legal topics associated with the tele-medical services offered, ranging from regulatory analysis of the devices used in tele-medicine and questions with respect to data protection and professional law for physicians to liability legislation. View
 

Digitalisation - Top Priority for the Health Care Industry

Dr. Kai Bindseil from Berlin Partner GmbH provides an overview of developments within the digital healthcare sector in the German capital region Berlin-Brandenburg - one of Europe’s most attractive life science and healthcare locations. While today’s focus is a regional one, it has global implications. View
 

The American Healthcare Landscape

Over the last seven years, Americans have debated about whether to keep or repeal the Affordable Care Act, but what are the ins and outs of it? I look to delve into the basis of the US healthcare system, how it compares to Germany’s, and where the controversy lies within Obamacare. View
 

Russia, Germany, and the European Order

For a large part of their history, the destiny of the peoples living in Europe has been shaped by the interests of the great powers. This is still a reality of international politics. Yet, a reliable and sustainable order in Europe can only be achieved if states, both large and small, are prepared to establish a fair balance of interests and influence. View
 

Happy birthday, EU NATO Declaration! All the best for your future

Saturday, July 8th, 2017 marked the first anniversary of the Joint Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary General of NATO. The signing of this joint declaration between the EU and the Atlantic Alliance called for a new era of their relationship. But is the Joint Declaration really such a milestone that everybody in Brussels talks about? Or, is it just another act of nothing? View
 

Nationalism may bring Turkey back to its course

Nationalism, once again, will play the most crucial role in Turkish politics regarding the forthcoming presidential elections. While Erdogan and Russia seem to be investing in it, NATO's stance is on the contrary, which may result in losing Turkey forever. View
 

NATO Members Owe Money. To Themselves, Not the U.S.

Since the decision was made in 2006 to require NATO members to spend 2% of their GDP on defense, only five countries have lived up to that promise. President Trump is correct in drawing attention to NATO members’ chronically underfunded militaries. He is absolutely incorrect, however, in stating that NATO members owe any amount to the US for services rendered. View
 

Montenegro is in NATO. What's next for the western Balkans?

On June 5th, Montenegro has become the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This is the only success story coming from the Western Balkans in a long time. As such, it gains a particular importance beyond the reach of the small country of 620,000 inhabitants in the Southern part of Europe and has multiple implications. View
 

The White Stream Pipeline Project: Transcaspian Energy for the European Union

White Stream is a proposed pipeline network designed to transfer natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe through Georgia and Ukraine. Eastern members of the European Union should consider pursuing the full development of the White Stream pipeline network as an alternative to Russian natural gas imports. View
 

How Germany and the United States Can Strengthen Cooperation

“Federal governments should no longer be viewed as the sole source for action and solutions both because of the current administration in the US and a continued power shift towards NGOs and local actors. Engagement at the subnational level is ever more critical.” This is one of the key conclusions from the first “Atlantic Expedition”. View
 

EU's Litmus Test in the Western Balkans

Moscow's meddling in the western Balkans has increased, while the West's attention has focused on Russian activities in Ukraine and in the Baltic region. With the exception of Serbia, all the other countries in the western Balkans have indicated their desire to be part of the NATO alliance (Albania and Croatia are NATO members). Each of them have EU integration as their main foreign policy goal. In an attempt to weaken the region's ties to the West, Russia´s main objective is the creating of a "non- alignment zone". View
 

It's the State of our Democracy, Stupid! Why Transatlantic Relations are in Trouble

The transatlantic relationship is in trouble mainly because both the US and Germany struggle with domestic political problems. This is evident particularly in light of the current populism – more and more people do not feel represented any longer by political elites. In order to revitalize transatlantic relations, domestic homework needs to be done first. This is a summarized and updated version of a Key Note at the Harvard Council Forum, Soho-Haus Berlin, October 22, 2016. View
 

The Reverse Trump Effect: EU Populist Movements After Trump Took Office

Germany's state elections in Saarland and the Dutch general elections show that the fear of right-wing populism was, if not unfounded, certainly slightly unreasonable. Even more so, polls suggest that after gaining momentum through the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, Europe's right-wing populist movements have actually lost their attraction after he took office. View
 

Smaller and Larger Nations: Concert of Big Powers or Fair Balance of Interests?

The destiny of the people living in Europe has been shaped for many years by the interests of the great powers. For centuries, the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg empires, as well as France and Britain, have dominated the European continent. From the nineteenth century until the end of World War II, first Prussia and then Germany—directly and indirectly—joined this competition for influence. Indeed, during the Yalta Conference, the great powers of the time shaped the European political landscape for decades to come. View
 

The Trump-Merkel Summit: After the Storm, a Vital Trans-Atlantic Agenda

Dr. Ariel Cohen, Atlantic Council US, consider the massive snowstorm that postponed Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House as symbolic of the chill in the US-German relations: President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Frau Merkel’s open borders policy, which has brought over 1,250,000 refugees to Germany since 2015. Merkel has responded with a strong defense of freedom of movement, refugee rights, and freedom of the press. View
 

Alternative Pipeline Facts

According to the Commission the EU remains well on track to reach its 2020 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewables. It is, however, high time the European Commission lives up to its responsibility as guardian of the Treaties and provides for an encompassing assessment of the implications of Nord Stream 2 in legal, environmental and economic terms. Nord Stream 2 is 100% controlled by Gazprom View
 

The Lesson From Lithuania

Balance of power is a fairly straightforward dynamic within the Russia-NATO relationship but "balance of passion" seems to be an overlooked, but very crucial ingredient within long term confrontations. Lithuania is demonstrating to its NATO allies how to be more cohesive and unified than Russia both in message and purpose. Its citizens are preparing to confront invaders armed only with small arms, knowledge of their surroundings and a huge dose of patriotism. View
 

NATO Should be Worried About the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has long been at the forefront of the NATO alliance as one of the strongest military powers with a highly capable military, second only to that of the United States. This will slowly come to an end over the next decade with the erosion in the military capability of UK armed forces, the lack of a grand strategy emanating from London and the diminishing importance in the special relationship between London and Washington. NATO should be prepared for a less capable full spectrum UK military. View
 

Germany Needs to Address Fake News and Digital Illiteracy

If hacking, espionage, cyber-attack and identity theft are to be considered existential threats in the cyber world, then ‘fake news or digital lying' can be considered emerging threats. As the Bundestag approaches the 2017 election, protection from fake news and increasing digital literacy are the needs of the hour, especially as first generation internet users have rebooted to ‘App-generation internet user'. Public-private partnerships are key for balancing security, privacy and free enterprise. View
 

Remedies Against Populism

Democracy is not “the rule of the people” and not even “the rule of majority”. It is a compromise between four principles: the will of the people, the wisdom of the elected, respect for rules and social commitment. The second principle is under attack by populists and needs protection as democracy should be strictly representative. How can we gain a balance between the necessary distrust and the equally necessary confidence towards politicians? View
 

Sharing, Gigs, On-Demand: Opportunities and Risks of the New Digital Economy

The old classifications of employed or self-employed seem not to fit in the new growing digital economy. If we do not address the role of the employers, the status of the workforce and the status of wage-dependent work in general, inequality in Europe and the US could become more pronounced. Digital labor might become a strain on the welfare system as well, when young digital workers do not contribute to the social security and health care systems. View
 

The UK Cannot Afford Capability and Contribution Gaps to NATO Post-Brexit

Post-Brexit and at a time of precarious power dynamics the UK cannot afford to have significant capability gaps which would harm the credibility and image of the UK as a significant global contender. The UK government has an obligation to fulfill its part towards collective security and defence for the NATO alliance. What you do wrong is far more often remembered than what you do right. Britain must remain vigilant. View
 

Trump and NATO: Opportunities and Dangers

The Atlantic world is not coming to an end. Not yet, at least. It is facing turbulence, which means serious risks. Change always brings both opportunity and risk. The best way to head off risk is, in most cases, to find and focus on opportunities. On the evidence thus far, the risks from Trump are less, not greater, than they have been from Obama and Bush II. The latter two were very different, but both were bad for the Atlantic Alliance. View
 

Defense of the West: NATO, the European Union and the Transatlantic Bargain

NATO now faces what could be the most profound threat in its history – a threat with roots inside the alliance and linked to challenges from outside. I hope that President Trump will reaffirm the values of "democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law" articulated in the North Atlantic Treaty and will disavow previous statements that the US commitment to collective defense is contingent on specific defense efforts by individual allies. View
 

Jeremy Corbyn: An Underrated Threat to NATO

The United Kingdom’s two main political parties, the ruling Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party, have been seized by isolationist doctrine in the past year. The UK’s decision to leave the EU and its dangerous consequences have been extensively documented. Underrated, however, is the threat posed by Jeremy Corbyn, the far-left leader of the Labour Party, to the UK’s status within the transatlantic community – namely NATO. View
 

Enhanced EU Defense Cooperation: Good News for NATO?

Despite recent commitments, it is unlikely that many NATO members will reach the 2% target on defense spending by 2024. While some seek to project their power globally, others are comfortable in their role of regional powers, or suffering from sluggish economies. Thus, the potential of Europe as an agent in international security remains largely untapped. Enhanced defense cooperation at EU-level might encourage better engagement with international security by some EU powers. View
 

Corbyn and Trump: Two Sides of the Same Anti-NATO Coin

Though seemingly worlds apart in their political leanings, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's Labour Party, and Donald Trump, the divisive Republican residential candidate, share common ground in being critical of NATO – though for quite different reasons. Even if neither appears likely to make executive office, the sentiment which they represent and the movements which they have stewarded will continue to thrive while NATO's mainstream politicians fail to make the positive case for the Alliance. View
 

Atlantic Expedition: Modernizing Transatlantic Relations

The Atlantische Initiative is proud to announce the new fellowship and exchange program Atlantic Expedition to empower a young and diverse group of future US and German leaders. Fellows will collaborate to write policy memos to modernize transatlantic relations, and will travel to the US and Germany together. Apply today! View
 

Improving Participation in the NATO Defense Planning Process

Memo 53: The North Atlantic Council needs an advisory voting system and more transparency. Regional interest blocs and enhancing the status of civil-military cooperation would incentivize more active participation in the NATO Defense Planning Process. View
 

The EU Must Become a Crisis Management Leader

The EU's Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) has not risen to recent challenges, in Libya in particular. The EU should institutionalize a more responsive structure that will ensure rapid military response where and when necessary. Such a structure will also be depended upon for securing European borders while concurrently preventing EU member states from responding to crises as a European pillar of NATO. View
 

Enhancing NATO Cohesion: A Framework for 21st Century Solidarity

Memo 52: A diverse set of policies is needed to unify a diverse set of peoples against a diverse set of threats. NATO should reorganize itself, develop a shared clean-energy grid and strengthen links between different national publics. View
 

China vs US or China vs Law: How Europe Can Make the Difference

Terrorism, a belligerent Russia, and the refugee crisis are no excuses for Europe forgetting its international duties, like the preservation of the rules-based world order. The EU must affirm its commitment to international law by supporting the Permanent Court of Arbitration's ruling that China has no claim to expanded control of the South China Sea. The EU and the international community can show that this conflict is not China vs USA, but China vs international law. View
 

Redefining Relationships Inside and Outside the Alliance

Memo 51: In order to learn from past mistakes, NATO should seek to bring Russia into the fold of European security, refrain from humanitarian missions better conducted under UN auspices, sanction non-compliance to the 2% defense spending promise, and strengthen its democratic norms. View
 

Georgia and Russia: Smoldering Conflict at a Geopolitical Intersection

Georgia can be a strategic pillar of stability in an otherwise volatile region and we should consequently place it much higher on our political agenda. Georgians want nothing more than NATO membership and the West cannot deny the evident successes of democratization and economic reform. The internal logic of realist politics however demands other factors also be considered. Georgia joining NATO would further exacerbate the conflict with Russia. View
 

Future-Proofing NATO: A Forthcoming Decade of Change

Memo 50: NATO must adopt hybrid models of national defense, coordinate efforts on economic and electronic warfare, and secure its space-based infrastructure. The Alliance should also establish a partnership with China and strengthen its presence in the Arctic. View
 

NATO Energy Security Strategy Crucial to Checking Russian Aggression

Russian gas supplies are dividing Europe on sanctions. Recognition of the security implications of climate change are becoming widely recognized. NATO can and should play a key role in driving positive on both by building energy security for its members. Including specific, targeted mandates to enable mutual energy security in NATO’s mission moving forward would be to both recognize the key challenges of our time and bolster longstanding alliance precepts. View
 

We're Missing the Point

NATO faces two great threats: the Southern and Eastern flank. But more is at stake. There is also an indirect but unavoidable peril. Without achieving two-front Solidarity—the elites and the people, committed solutions from governments and enthusiastic support from the people for them—the people of NATO will go for populists and radicals. Then our countries will be ruined, our Western community will be destroyed, and people globally will suffer as the liberal order dies. View
 

NATO Unity Dependent Upon Mediterranean Strategy

The long term health of the Alliance is at risk due to Southern members feeling ignored. The current Strategic Concept is six years old and fails to address many of the threats that NATO members currently face. The new Strategic Concept must hold more combined military exercises in the Mediterranean using Eastern European troops, revitalize the Mediterranean Dialogue, and create a Centre of Excellence for Humanitarian Crises in North Africa. View
 

Transatlantic Disunion: How Strained EU-US Relations Can Help NATO Boost European Defense

While discontent over the current state of NATO is growing on both sides of the Atlantic – with the US losing patience with European “free riding”, and Europe weary of US dominance – NATO members strain to demonstrate unity at one summit after another. Instead, NATO should openly address internal fault lines and use them to motivate a stronger role for non-US member states. In particular European NATO member states need to step up to ensure its own defense, and reduce its dependency on the US. View
 

Revamping the NATO Response Force

From Prague to Brussels, Brasov to Wales, NATO has haphazardly stumbled through political obstacles to create and fitfully modify the various layers of the NATO Response Force (NRF). To deal with burgeoning threats and shore up NATO’s ability to uphold its Article 5 obligations, the NATO Defense Planning Process needs to prioritize and expedite restructuring and revamping the NRF to reach its full potential as a nimble, effective response force. View
 

The Importance of a Transnational Cyber-Defense Policy for NATO

Most NATO Allies have been experiencing a gap between the identification of the existence of cyber-threats, and the implementation of cyber-defense policies. What is lacking in today's cyber-security landscape is a clear, transnational policy for all members of the Alliance. Yet, through NDPP, NATO can encourage policy harmonization by setting standard requirements, and encouraging inter-state cooperation with those at the forefront of cyber-security, such as Israel. View
 

No More All You Can Eat Buffet: Coming to Terms with Defense Budget Limitations

In an era of expanded budget limitations and shifting priorities, a new way of doing things is required for the world's military powers. The US must pick and choose and sometimes even cooperate with other nations in the acquisition and production of the massively expensive military equipment required by the world’s police force. It makes sense to do so under the auspices of an already established institutional structure, NATO. View
 

The Atlantic Alliance Must Undergo a Paradigm Shift for Survival

NATO must reinvent its mission in order to thrive in the twenty-first century. The rise of economic malaise threatens the financial goals of the Atlantic Alliance. In turn, a paradigm shift is necessitated to continue the existence of Europe's security apparatus. View
 

NATO is Still on Time, But Time is Running Out

We need strong collaboration among all NATO countries to live in a freer and safer world. But something does not work. NATO member states know that they do not have enough money to cover all defense needs that their nations require, but few of them seek real solutions. They believe that national sovereignty will be lost, but if they do not share capabilities, much more than sovereignty can be lost. View
 

Moving Towards Common Spending, NATO Would Increase Efficiency

In increasing NATO’s total defense expenditures, its members should move towards granting the organization the capability to independently decide its spending. By funding NATO directly and increasing multilateral cooperation in military research and organization, NATO’s capabilities can be strengthened, while its cost efficiency could increase the public’s opinion. View
 

NATO Must Be Re-Structured

NATO still seems to presuppose a rather small and cohesive membership that communicates effectively, is strongly committed to similar democratic values, and is chiefly designed to counter a formidable foe. However, the current reality rather is one of a quite diverse membership. NATO should, either for all NATO members or for some of them, obtain some internal democratic structures. View
 

NATO is Synonymous with the US. Europe Must Be Included

People do not see NATO as just a defense organization: people still feel the tension between the US and Russia. The feeling that US soldiers are tantamount to NATO forces is widespread across Eastern Europe, particularly the Czech Republic. Few there feel that NATO represents their interests. Before a sense of unity and cohesion can be achieved, NATO must change. View
 

NATO's Greatest Mistake was Libya: the Alliance Should Have Nothing to do with R2P

As a collective security organisation for its members NATO overreached its purview and the spirit of its treaty mandate by intervening in Libya. The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle adopted by the UN in 2005 should not partner or utilize with NATO’s operational capability to be able to intervene in states outside of the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO should stay clear of becoming an operational arm for liberal internationalism and re-consider its humanitarian role. View
 

West in the Middle Earth: Between the UN and NATO

Since 1989, the US has become the world’s policeman. This situation has put NATO in several unnecessary international conflicts as it has often taken the UN’s place internationally. Does the West really need NATO? Which can be a possible solution? View