The Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance, better known as the Harmel report, has played a pivotal role in the relations of NATO and Russia/Soviet Union, ever since it was adopted in 1967. It builds on the principle of a credible military deterrence coupled with political détente and political dialogue. The principles behind the report remain important, but is the historic two-pronged approach to Russia still up to date? How can we make it future proof and what role should EU play in the cooperation with NATO? Should the EU also take up a deterrence strategy of its own or should it focus on the dialogue? It was a grey and drizzly Munich welcoming us, when ELF organised a Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable on Dialogue And Deterrence: Europe, Russia And The Future Of The Harmel Doctrine as an official side-event to the Munich Security Conference. The weather, somewhat telling of recent developments in the field of international security and cooperation, did however not disturb inside the Bayerischer Hof, where the level of the speakers and participants guaranteed a colourful and thought-provoking discussion.
The event was kicked off by ELF President of the Board of Directors, Dr. Jürgen Martens MP, welcoming everyone. This was followed by an introduction to the topic by the moderator Prof. Dr. Alexander Lambsdorff, who is Director of European affairs at the Egmont Institute in Brussels. The high-level panel of speakers included Dr. Stefanie Babst (Head of the Strategic Analysis Capability for the Secretary General and the Chairman of the Military Committee at NATO), Claus Hjort Frederiksen (Minister of Defence of Denmark), Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MP (Deputy Leader of the liberal group (FDP) in the German Bundestag), and Marietje Schaake MEP (Member of the European Parliament for ALDE/D66).