Welcome to Rendez-Vous

a series of six encounters in six locations around Brussels

  • 20 Jul. 2011 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 27 Nov. 2013 09:02

In each 45 minute programme, you can view NATO’s Jamie Shea in lively and frank discussion with Josef Janning, the Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels.

In turn, asking and answering the tough questions, Jamie and Josef tackle head on issues which are central to NATO's future – from Afghanistan and Libya to proliferation, cyber attacks, Russia and the future of the transatlantic relationship. Their dialogues are free-flowing and unscripted and they do not shy away from the difficult and sensitive problems that today's Atlantic Alliance has to grapple with as it endeavours to put into practice the key decisions and principles of its new Strategic Concept.

Rendez-Vous is designed as an educational series and for an audience of university and high school students who are following NATO and contemporary European security issues. It should also be of interest to the general viewer who wants a succinct introduction to the issues on NATO's agenda at the present time – and in a form that reflects the current debates in the strategic community as well as around the NATO Council table.

The six Rendez-Vous encounters are as follows:

  1. Afghanistan: the intervention to end all interventions? - 3 August 2011
  2. Partners: for now or forever? - 10 August 2011
  3. Hacktivists or jihadists: the shape of threats to come? - 17 August 2011
  4. Gas tubes or missile tubes: new challenges or old? - 24 August 2011
  5. Russia: on the inside or the outside? - 31 August 2011
  6. Europe and America: a widening Atlantic? - 7 September 2011

Individual programmes


1. Afghanistan: the intervention to end all interventions?

Can NATO still succeed in Afghanistan before the ISAF mission is set to withdraw in 2014. If so, what will it take? NATO has undertaken a large number of interventions beyond its borders since the Berlin Wall came down; but is it likely to do the same in the future, and what are the lessons learned from Afghanistan that could make these interventions more successful and productive?

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2. Partners: for now or for ever?

Partners are now an indispensable part of much of what NATO does, but why is this so? What does NATO do for its Partners and what do they do for the Alliance? Are Partnerships a sign that NATO is turning into a global organisation and where are NATO’s Partnerships likely to take the organisation in the next decade?

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3. Hacktivists or jihadists: the shape of threats to come?

Will wars in cyberspace become more frequent than real wars in the 21st century and could they be as devastating? Is NATO prepared to respond effectively to the growing number and sophistication of cyber attacks and what is its role and added value in international efforts to counter the misuse of cyber space? Will terrorists make increasing use of the cyber weapon and is this a concern for the Alliance as well? Ten years on from 9/11, where are we in the struggle against Al Qaeda and international terrorism?

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4. Gas tubes or missile tubes: new challenges or old?

Barack Obama has outlined a vision of a world without nuclear weapons but is this a goal that the NATO Alliance should endorse as well? Is it compatible with NATO remaining a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist? How will the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction affect NATO’s security in the 21st century and how can the objective of a nuclear free world be turned into a practical policy tool to counter this worrisome trend? Is energy security an issue for the Alliance where it has a contribution to make?


5. Russia: on the inside or the outside?

Why is NATO’s relationship with Russia still a challenging and often difficult one more than twenty years since the end of the Cold War? Who has made the most mistakes along the way: NATO or Russia? Is the vision of a NATO-Russia strategic partnership and of a Russia integrated into the Euro-Atlantic security system wishful thinking or an achievable goal? What would it take to bring this about: a bold “game changer” or a slow but steady evolution of Russia itself?


6. Europe and America: a widening Atlantic?

The transatlantic relationship has been the bedrock of NATO for over 60 years, but is it now changing? Is the US going off in new directions which will make it look more to Asia and less to Europe? Have differing US and European military contributions to operations such as Afghanistan and Libya undermined US confidence in NATO? Is US criticism of European defence efforts unfair or can and should Europe do more to improve its military forces notwithstanding the current financial crisis? Will the transatlantic relationship in NATO be substantially different in the future form what it has been in the past?