On June 8-10, 2022, Aspen Institute Romania organized in Brussels the TRANSATLANTIC SOCRATES SEMINAR on Societal and Democratic Resilience in the Era of Great Power Competition, developed in partnership with the Aspen Institute Socrates Program and supported by the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US, in cooperation with NATO Policy Planning Unit and the European External Action Service.

Moderated by Jodi Vittori and Radu Puchiu, the Seminar challenged around 25 participants to explore, in a transatlantic context, how the current strategic competition and the broadening definition of security are impacting the existing approaches in operationalizing societal and democratic resilience.

During the opening dinner on the first day of the Seminar, we were honoured to welcome MIRCEA GEOANĂ, NATO Deputy Secretary General and STEFANO SANNINO, Secretary-General European External Action Service, who engaged in a moderated conversation on some very pressing topics of today’s world and the key factors going forward to maintaining societal and democratic resilience. Moderated by ELLIOT GERSON, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute US, the conversation stirred enthusiastic questions from the participants.

We are also grateful to RUBEN-ERIK DIAZ-PLAJA, Senior Policy Adviser, NATO Policy Planning Unit and DIMITRI LORENZANI, Member of Cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Foresight, European Commission for their contributions as guest speakers during the seminar sessions.

The Seminar included a visit to the NATO Headquarters, where we were welcomed by MIRCEA GEOANĂ and had a briefing and discussion on Key NATO Issues, by Piers Cazalet, Deputy Spokesperson and Head of the Press and Media Section, NATO Public Diplomacy Division. Afterwards, the participants enjoyed a guided tour of NATO HQ, by Nicholas Nguyen, Head of Public Disclosure Unit, NATO Archives and Mihaela Roșu, Engagements Section Public Diplomacy Division (PDD).

The participants to the seminar included key stakeholders of the Brussels’ international and diplomatic community, members of the Aspen Institute Romania programs, representatives of the private sector and of the non-profit sector, with various backgrounds such as technology, communication, defense policy, foreign affairs, diplomacy, political affairs, international relations, finance etc. and belonging to 12 different nationalities. We thank Aspen Institute CE, Aspen Institute Italia, Aspen Institute España and Aspen Institute Germany for nominating participants to the seminar.