Dear ambassadors, generals, distinguished guests!

On behalf of the New Horizons Community, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to New Horizons Summit 2019, Future of the Transatlantic Defence Cooperation organized by Beyond the Horizon ISSG, one of the major think tanks in Brussels. I am inspired to see such a diverse group of leaders from international organizations, governments, defence industry, and academia. Additionally, I am truly happy to see a large representation of women speakers today.

Before we begin, please let me to extend my sincere thanks to Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, and our distinguished moderators and speakers, representatives from prominent institutions and defence industry across the Atlantic.

For our annual landmark events, each year we try to pick a hot topic that is important for the international security. For this year, we think that, rule based international order is challenged by malign state and non-state actors in many aspects in line with the return of great power conflict and emerging technologies. In this regard, with a special focus on mega trends, evolving challenges and opportunities, as well as disruptive technologies; the theme of this year’s summit reflects growing recognition of the power and importance of a robust Transatlantic cooperation which is also vital for preserving the rule-based international order.

On this background, we believe in the importance of a functioning two-way road that would be beneficial for both sides of the Atlantic. I mean, while recognising the need to sustain Transatlantic ties, maintaining the European strategic autonomy and European Defence Identity should not be ignored. Having said that, I think I wouldn’t be alone in saying that the Transatlantic bond is going through some of the most challenging times in its history which makes this gathering all the more relevant with its unique composition and an important opportunity for discussing future of the Transatlantic cooperation.

To this end, I am sure that this summit will definitely serve as a perfect platform to share ideas and best practices to enhance Transatlantic ties and also develop further cooperation among all participants.

Lastly, I would like to highlight that thanks to our ever-growing network in many different circles, next year we intent to organize New Horizons Summit focusing on the rise of AI and its future implications under the lens of Industry 4.0 and Globalization 4.0. We would be happy to welcome you again at this stunning event.

Once again, I am honoured that we were able to bring such a distinguished group together. Thank you for coming and adding value to this year’s summit.

Now I would like to give the floor to Mr. Sassel from Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the opening remarks.



*This proceedings is transcribed from the author’s speech at New Horizons Summit-2019



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