LLM Public Lecture: Will Trump destroy NATO?

24-10-2018 van 18:00 tot 19:00
Auditorium D, Campus Aula (Universiteitstraat 4, 9000 Gent)
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Svitlana Berezhna
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President Trump apparently does not have a great love for NATO, as demonstrated by his interventions at NATO's July 2018 summit. Is NATO in danger because of his presidential policy line?

'Will Trump destroy NATO?'

In July 2018 a rather spectacular NATO summit took place in Brussels. The meeting itself proved unusually rich in decisions regarding several of NATO’s activities (Deterrence & Defense, Southern Strategy, Cooperation with the EU, Open Door etc…).

Yet the only element that was emphasized by the media was the crisis among Allies about Burden Sharing sparked by President Trump’s rather unconventional intervention in the discussions. There were press speculations that NATO was facing a major challenge of internal cohesion. A couple of days later President Trump met his Russian counterpart, President Putin, in Helsinki for the first summit between the two leaders. Results of this top level contact proved rather controversial in Washington DC where many policy makers from both the Republicans and the Democrats believed that the statements of the US President were absolutely inappropriate. Since then we have received more examples of Mr. Trump’s views of the world diplomatic stage as well as evidences of his total disbelief in multilateralism.

The whole transatlantic link is furthermore shaken by his rather violent considerations towards the EU and the issue of trade balance with the US. Everything seems to be mixed in his mind between trade, energy supply and security/defense.

Is NATO in danger because of this presidential policy line? Will the US and Europe split on collective defense? What should be NATO’s next initiatives during the coming months that will lead us towards the 70th anniversary of what still is the most efficient defense alliance worldwide? These are the very questions which will be addressed by Ambassador Francois de Kerchove, Permanent Representative of Belgium to NATO, in his guest lecture.

François de Kerchove d'ExaerdeAmbassador François de Kerchove d'Exaerde

Ambassador François de Kerchove d'Exaerde the Permanent Representative of Belgium to NATO, with a Master’s degree in Political Sciences and International Relations (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and a Master of Science degree in Economics (London School of Economics & Political Science).

He started his diplomatic career in 1989 and held consecutive posts in Kuwait City, Tokyo (Head of Commercial section at the Belgian Embassy), Osaka (Consul General) and Berlin (Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Belgium). In Belgium, he was responsible for the Afghanistan and Pakistan dossiers, before becoming Director of the Royal Institute for International Relations (the Egmont Institute today). He then became Deputy Director for Security Policy at the MFA of Belgium, after which he took over the management of the department. He has afterwards served as Belgian Ambassador in the European Union’s Political and Security Committee (PSC). From December 2011 until October 2014 Mr. de Kerchove worked as the Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs.