Steady as She Goes: NATO in the Run-Up to the Vilnius Summit


21 June 2023




Embassy of Lithuania, Rue Belliard 41, 1000 Brussels

Type of Event

Expert Seminar

On invitation only


The Embassy of Lithuania, Clingendael Institute and Egmont

In the midst of the turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO has been an anchor of stability for its members. As the Alliance has reinforced its forward presence on the eastern borders, strengthening conventional deterrence, both NATO and EU members can confidently transfer arms and equipment to Ukraine. NATO’s nuclear umbrella has allowed the Allies to respond with equal confidence to Russian nuclear threats, and to manage the risk of escalation of the war. As a direct consequence of Russian aggression, Finland and Sweden will join NATO. The Alliance is both enlarging and consolidating.

The ultimate ramifications of the war are far from clear, however, and NATO must prepare for potential future challenges as well. Strategic thinking can never pause. In the run-up to NATO’s Vilnius Summit on 11-12 July 2023, this expert seminar will discuss two major issues on the agenda. Panel 1 will address the Russo-Ukrainian war: Whatever outcomes the war produces, what must the Allies and their partners undertake in any case? Panel 2 will assess the New Force Model announced at last year’s Summit in Madrid: What is the strategic rationale, and what are the implications for European armed forces and relations with the EU?

Participation by invitation only – The Chatham House Rule applies



13.30-14.00   Registration and Coffee

14.00-14.30 Welcome & Introduction

Prof. Dr Sven Biscop, Egmont & Ghent University

Ambassador Rita Kazragiene, Embassy of Lithuania

14.30-16.00 Panel 1: Russia’s War Against Ukraine: What to Prepare for Next?

Chair: Linas Kojala, Director, Eastern Europe Studies Centre, Vilnius

  • Kestutis Budrys, National Security Advisor to the President of Lithuania
  • Bruno Angelet, Security Policy Director, Belgian Foreign Affairs
  • Dr Joris Van Bladel, Senior Associate Fellow, Egmont

16.00-16.30 Coffee

16.30-18.00 Panel 2: NATO’s New Force Model: Implications for Europe

Chair: Prof. Dr Alexander Mattelaer, Egmont & VUB

  • Julien Kita, Head of Section, Defence Capabilities, NATO
  • Major General Davide Re, Deputy Chief of Staff Plans, SHAPE
  • Dick Zandee, Head of the Security Unit, Clingendael Institute


18.00-19.00 Reception


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)