Two calendar years into the war in Ukraine, much has changed in Europe’s security landscape. A new conflict in the Middle East, heightened tensions with Russia and uncertainty over the largest ally’s commitment to NATO due to the presidential elections in November. To discuss the difficult decisions that lie ahead for Europe, FLAD will hold on March 14 another edition of Democracy: The Way Ahead, dedicated to the future of European security, with the participation of Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, senior advisor at Bertelsmann Stiftung, and Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS).

The last decade has been conducive to profound changes in the security and defense landscape in Europe. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 raised questions about the United States’ commitment to NATO – which resurfaced with his re-candidacy in 2024 – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and all the events it triggered – from new accessions to threats of nuclear attacks – and the growth of tensions in the Pacific, with China more aggressive and North Korea producing new threats.

The next few years will certainly be one of geopolitical competition, and the path Europe must take is far from clear. An army of its own? Independence from the Atlantic alliance? And what is the position on China? To discuss these issues, FLAD invited two European security experts to another edition of the Democracy: The Way Ahead conference cycle.

Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook is a senior advisor at the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Berlin and a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute. She began her career as a producer at CNN, was co-founder of the Future of Diplomacy project at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, of which she was executive director, as well as the Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship project, also at Harvard. She was director and CEO of the German Council on Foreign Relations.

Bruno Tertrais is deputy director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), one of the most prominent French think-tanks dedicated to international security issues, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Institut Montaigne, having worked at the French Ministry of Defense (between 1993 and 2001), at the RAND Corporation (1995-1996). He was also director of the civil affairs committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is the author of the books Pax atomica?: Théorie, pratique et limites de la dissuasion, La Guerre des Mondes: Le retour de la géopolitique et le choc des empires and Le Choc démographique.

Democracy: The Way Ahead is an initiative of FLAD that aims to promote a space for reflection and debate on the current problems facing the Euro-Atlantic community, and, using international experts, seek solutions for the coming decades.

As part of this cycle, FLAD received John Ikenberry, Professor at Princeton University, and Constanze Stelzenmüller, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, journalists Peter Baker (New York Times) and Susan Glasser (New Yorker), and international relations experts Robert Kaplan, Walter Russell Mead and Kori Schake.

The session The Future of European Security will take place on March 14 at 6:30 p.m., in the FLAD auditorium, in Lisbon, and will be moderated by Julia De Clerck-Sachsse, visiting senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Admission is free. To attend, please send an email to