IEP-UCP Estoril Political Forum: NATO at 60
The 2009 theme of the IEP-UCP Estoril Political Forum was on NATO at 60 and included speakers such as João Carlos Espada (Director, IEP-UCP and Editor, Nova Cidadania, Lisbon), Anthony O’Hear (Director, Royal Institute Of Philosophy and Editor, Philosophy, London), Raymond Plant (King’s College, House of Lords, London), Marc F. Plattner (Editor, Journal of Democracy, Director,IFDS, Washington, D.C.), and Susan Shell (Boston College, Boston), among many others. Click here to download the final Programme
The conference included a special debate on Do we need a global alliance of democracies? with students from the Europaeum, IEP-UCP, Nowy Sacz, Brown University, Georgetown University, and the LSE. The debate was chaired by Dr Paul Flather (Secretary General, Europaeum), with expert moderators Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky (Member of the Board, IFES, Oxford) and Professor Eusebio Mujal-Leon (Georgetown University, Washington DC).
Summary of Conference Presentations:
João Carlos Espada, Director of the Institute of Political Studies, Lisbon
Opening Address, 25th June 2009
In his opening address, João Carlos Espada emphasises the importance of the community of the Western Civilization and of the open societies of the free world. He points out that the conference focuses on the future of the NATO facing the challenges of the new century.
William Hasselberger, Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies In Culture, University of Virginia
Economy, Energy and Security
William Hasselberger promotes in his speech a vision related to a thesis put forward by Professor Benjamin Friedman: Economics is the most important tool and goal simultaneously which might have an impact on morality: Economic wealth causes a feeling of safety which causes better behaviour, vice versa. Economic growth might have similar impacts on nations and in foreign policies: worldwide economic growth causes better behaviour in foreign policies, which leads to a peaceful and safe world.
Stefanie Babst, Acting Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at the NATO
NATO at 60
After a short history of the NATO, Stefanie Babst focuses on the change of parameters for preventing our freedom and values. She strongly suggests that the economic crisis has a deep impact on existing conflicts – which are driven by a competition for goods, resources, market access, etc. Therefore, NATO today has to deal with increasing range of demands which requires a revised strategic concept for the upcoming issues. This new ‘concept’ would be invented in the coming months.
Roel von Meijenfeldt, Executive Director of NIMD, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy.
The Future of Democracy
Here Roel von Meijenfeldt advocates support for all emerging democracies, as ‘democracy is the best guarantor of security and prosperity’. He points out that while economic and democratic development takes place simultaneously, we should not ignoring the challenges of media, new technologies and information transfer, as creating paradox of both globalization and localization. He concludes with three recommendations: a European consensus on democracy support; a special focus on support for ‘young’ democracies; and finally a global social contract to govern democratically our common goods and interests.
Marc Plattner, Vice-president for research and studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USA
New Challenges to the Free World
In the beginning, Marc Plattner defines Free World and links it to the issues of the members of the NATO: not all of them are democracies, not all countries of the free world are members of the NATO. As the centre of political action concerning economically powerful non-democratic states (China, Iran, Russia) as well as the majority of world population in the 21st century will be Asia, Plattner advises the NATO to revise and expand its field of operation and to admit liberal democracies outside the west.