On 31 March 2020, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appointed a group of experts to support him in his NATO 2030 initiative and provide independent advice on how to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension.
On 25 November 2020, the independent group submitted its report to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, providing 138 recommendations on how to make NATO an even stronger Alliance.
The group's report is one of a number of inputs into the Secretary General's NATO 2030 initiative. The Secretary General consulted with Allied parliamentarians, civil society, the private sector and youth. Based on all of these inputs, the Secretary General put forward his recommendations to NATO Leaders when they met at the 2021 NATO Summit in Brussels and agreed the NATO 2030 agenda.
The independent group consists of five women and five men from 10 NATO countries. Their professional backgrounds include senior roles in the public service, the private sector, academia, think-tanks and prominent political positions.
Dr Thomas de Maizière has served as German Minister of Interior (2009-2011; 2013-2018) and Minister of Defence (2011-2013). He also served as Head of the Federal Chancellery and Minister for Special Affairs from 2005-2009. A member of the Bundestag, he has represented Meissen since 2009.
Dr Wess Mitchell is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Center for European Policy Analysis, Senior Advisor at the US Institute of Peace, and a Non-Resident Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School. From 2017 to 2019, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Dr John Bew is Foreign Policy Special Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Professor in History and Foreign Policy at King’s College London, where he leads the Grand Strategy Programme, which seeks to bring more historical and strategic expertise to statecraft, diplomacy and foreign policy.
Ms Greta Bossenmaier was National Security and Intelligence Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada from 2018-2019. Prior to this, she served as Chief of the Communications Security Establishment, Canada’s signals intelligence agency, which is also responsible for the country’s cyber security.
Dr Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen is Director of the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College and Professor at the Centre for Risk Management and Societal Safety at the University of Stavanger. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Copenhagen Future Studies Institute.
Ms Marta Dassù is the Senior Director of European Affairs at the Aspen Institute. She serves on the Board of Directors at IAI (Istituto Affari Internazionali) and at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the European Policy Centre in Brussels.
Ms Anna Fotyga is a Member of the European Parliament from Poland. She has been Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the Foreign Affairs Committee since 2014. Prior to becoming an MEP, she served in various positions in the Polish national government, including as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Tacan İldem served as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy (2016-2020). Prior to this, he served as Turkey’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE in Vienna (2011-2016), and previously as Director General for International Security Affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr Hubert Védrine has been President of the François Mitterrand Institute and Hubert Védrine Conseil, a consulting firm, since 2003. Prior to this, he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France from 1997-2002 in the government of Lionel Jospin, and was a close advisor to President François Mitterrand.
Ms Herna Verhagen has been CEO of PostNL, a mail, parcel and e-commerce corporation, since 2012. She is also a member of the supervisory boards of Rexel SA and ING Group, and serves on the executive committee and general board of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers.