The CSIS Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy hosted a major dialogue on the future of transatlantic and intra-European relations in mid-April 2005. The event, held at the Wye Plantation on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was titled “The Future of U.S.-EU-NATO Relations: After the Cold War and Beyond the War in Iraq” and brought together senior representatives from nearly 40 U.S. and European think tanks and governmental institutions.

The “Think Tank Summit” fell at a pivotal time for the transatlantic relationship. Occurring around 100 days into the second term of the Bush administration, and prior to national elections and referendums in many EU and NATO countries, the summit provided an excellent opportunity for a joint assessment of where we stand and for the formulation of an agenda to overcome, resolve, or at lest defuse the tensions that exist within the Atlantic alliance.

The weekend-long meeting included panels focusing on the highest priority issues that the United States and Europe face: economics, including persistent U.S. twin deficits; the Middle East, and especially Iran’s nuclear development; the institutional future of NATO and the EU and projects for NATO and EU relations; the threat of nuclear terrorism; Russia’s evolution; and the so-called U.S.-European values gap.

In order to improve the dialogue and shape the direction of transatlantic relations beyond the event itself, many of the Think Tank Summit participants prepared papers and notes on relevant topics. Additionally, Brzezinksi Chair holder Simon Serfaty wrote a comprehensive paper, entitled The United States, the European Union, and NATO: After the Cold War and Beyond Iraq, which highlights the conclusions and recommendations discussed at the summit. The general thrust of the paper, but not every word, was endorsed by nearly all summit participants, plus a few experts who could not attend the session—43 in all, representing 18 EU and NATO countries. In December 2005, CSIS published Visions of the Atlantic Alliance, a volume of essays contributed by summit participants and edited by Simon Serfaty. The event was made possible by funding from the European Commission and NATO.