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In­ter­view with To­bi­as Bun­de about the NA­TO Emer­ging Lea­ders Working Group 2014 and the pro­ject 'Fu­ture NA­TO' 


To­bi­as Bun­de

Ber­lin, Ger­ma­ny
NA­TO Emer­ging Lea­ders Working Group 2014


1) What is your aca­de­mic and pro­fes­sio­nal back­ground and how does it re­la­te to being a mem­ber of YA­TA Ger­ma­ny?


I ha­ve stu­di­ed In­ter­na­tio­nal Re­la­ti­ons and fo­cus on trans­at­lan­tic se­cu­ri­ty po­li­cy both aca­de­mi­cal­ly and pro­fes­sio­nal­ly. First, I work on my PhD dis­ser­ta­ti­on on iden­ti­ty con­flicts and co­ope­ra­ti­on wi­t­hin NA­TO, ba­sed at the Ber­lin Gra­dua­te School for Trans­na­tio­nal Stu­dies. Se­cond, sin­ce 2009, I ha­ve be­en a po­li­cy ad­vi­sor to Am­bas­sa­dor Wolf­gang Ischin­ger, the Chair­man of the Mu­nich Se­cu­ri­ty Con­fe­rence, and thus re­gu­lar­ly deal with is­su­es that al­so oc­cu­py YA­TA Ger­ma­ny.


2) You are one of 15 Mem­bers of the NA­TO Emer­ging Lea­ders Working Group 2014. Who in­itia­ted the pro­gram and what are its main goals? What are the co­re tasks of the group and how do you im­ple­ment them?


The Working Group is the brain child of NA­TO Se­creta­ry An­ders Fogh Ras­mus­sen and is run by the At­lan­tic Coun­cil in Wa­shing­ton. Our main task was to pre­sent a re­port to the Se­creta­ry Ge­ne­ral, in which we lay out our re­com­men­da­ti­ons on how NA­TO could streng­t­hen the trans­at­lan­tic bond. We first met in Wa­shing­ton in April and then con­ti­nued to work on the re­port on­line be­fo­re pre­sen­ting it in Brus­sels in Ju­ne. Our re­port was sup­po­sed to re­pre­sent the voice of the youn­ger ge­ne­ra­ti­on in or­der to com­ple­te­ment the re­ports writ­ten by a group of Se­ni­or Ex­perts and a com­mis­si­on of the NA­TO Par­lia­men­ta­ry As­sem­bly. But we of cour­se al­so try to in­flu­ence the de­ba­te on NA­TO's fu­ture bey­ond ha­ving writ­ten this re­port.


3) „Fu­ture NA­TO“ has be­co­me one of the key pro­jects of your group. How did it de­ve­lop and what are your aims and tar­gets he­re?


It was im­portant to us to keep the de­ba­te go­ing and to he­ar the opi­ni­ons of others. That's why we or­ga­ni­ze a num­ber of Twit­ter de­ba­tes in the run-up to the Wa­les Sum­mit, which we use to dis­cuss spe­ci­fic is­su­es dea­ling with the fu­ture of NA­TO. So far, the­se de­ba­tes ha­ve be­en very well re­cei­ved, and we ho­pe that they en­cou­ra­ge at least so­me peop­le to en­ga­ge with the­se to­pics mo­re in­ten­si­ve­ly.


4) Af­ter the sum­mit in Sep­tem­ber, al­so the work of your group is ex­pec­ted to co­me to an end. How could, in your opi­ni­on, young voices be­co­me a con­stant part of de­ba­tes wi­t­hin NA­TO and why do you think would that be im­portant?


I think we - as a youn­ger ge­ne­ra­ti­on - could be a bit mo­re as­ser­ti­ve and ha­ve to ac­tive­ly re­claim our place in the de­ba­te. It does not help any­bo­dy if one on­ly thinks of grey hair and grey suits when so­meo­ne speaks of Trans­at­lan­ti­cists. Vic­to­ria Nu­land said in Wa­shing­ton in No­vem­ber: I'm af­raid that on­ly old farts li­ke us still un­der­stand what NA­TO is for." Well, she is not that old, but she's right he­re. And I al­so be­lie­ve that NA­TO is re­a­dy to lis­ten mo­re ca­re­ful­ly to what the next ge­ne­ra­ti­on ca­res about.

More information

Tobias Bunde (Profile) 

2014 NATO Emerging Leaders Working Group
(Members / Report)

Projekt "Future NATO" (Facebook / Twitter)