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Visit of US Journalism Students to Brussels

18 March 2012

In March 2012 the EUISS and the EU Delegation to the United States organised a briefing session for a group of aspiring American journalists in Brussels. The exercise – which also involved leading Brussels-based correspondents – sought to provide an insight into European politics and European Union policy-making. As a follow up to this event and with the backdrop of the NATO Summit, the EUISS, in partnership with the Medill School at the Northwestern University in Chicago, offered a group of selected students to publish their work with the Institute with the aim of increasing the awareness of young journalists to the European presence in international politics. The gathering of NATO allies in Chicago presented a good opportunity for advancing this objective. A small number of selected entries – presenting the views of authors and not those of the EUISS - is featured here on the EUISS website. 

As NATO prepares for a milestone in 2013, Ali Durkin notes that the challenge not only lies in how the alliance will respond to the future security environment but also in finding ways to factor in the outcome of mission in Afghanistan into any discussions about the future of NATO. The article by Blake Williams takes this discussion further by addressing an interesting paradox in the ongoing debates: while the majority of alliance is preoccupied with smart defence and Afghanistan, the primary concern of Baltic states remains Russia and the organisation’s commitment to collective defence. He notes that ‘Russia’s strong lack of interest in legitimate cooperation (…) has left the Baltics weary of the attempts and mostly concerned with NATO’s traditional territorial defence as the alliance enters a new era with new threats’. NATO’s commitment to peace and stability is further scrutinised in the contribution by Gloria Oh. She sees NATO’s role in Syria as a step to renewing the alliance’s commitment to democracy building and peacekeeping but also clearly notes NATO’s limitation and internal political struggles. Finally, Ali Durkin closes this series with a piece on the regional dynamics related to the ongoing turmoil in Syria and the possible invoking of Article V by Turkey. All contributions underline certain missed opportunities which did not necessarily make it to front pages of newspapers but will need to be tackled in the not so distant future.