New Dynamics in the Middle East

The 12th German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum took place on 23 – 25 March 2017. Since 2006, the Brussels Forum is an annual high-level conference of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders and is viewed as the most important event on international relations in town. Over the last years, the conversations touched upon important topics as security and defense, foreign affairs or geopolitical challenges, and offered a platform for policy leaders to discuss the most pressing policy challenges on the transatlantic agenda.

The 2017 Brussels Forum received more than 450 participants arriving from the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The ELNET dinner roundtable touched on the ‘New Dynamics in the Middle East’ hosted 25 guests ranging from EU officials, Belgian government officials, think tankers, journalists and the Young Transatlantic Network.

Ines von Behr, Executive Director of ELNET EU & NATO welcomed all guests and gave an introduction to the topic and ELNET’s work in town. Afterwards, Gideon Saar, ELNET’s invited speaker and former Minister of Interior (Likud), presented his thoughts on the power plays of the MENA region and specifically focused on the role and the challenges for Israel in this environment. The other speakers included Sylke Tempel, Editor-in Chief at Internationale Politik, as well as Derek Chollet, Executive Vice President of the German Marshall. From 2012-15, Chollet was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, where he managed U.S. defense policy towards Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. In that role, he was a senior advisor to two Secretaries of Defense, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel.

Marc Otte, Executive Director of the Egmont Institute and former Special Representative of the EU to the Middle East Peace Process was responsible of the moderation.