past event
World Affairs

Socrates Romania Transatlantic Seminar

On June 8-10, 2022, Aspen Institute Romania will organize the third edition of the Transatlantic Socrates Seminar, in partnership with the Aspen Institute Socrates Program, and supported by the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US.

 The Seminar will be organized in Brussels, in cooperation with NATO Policy Planning Unit and the European External Action Service. For the 3 days of the Seminar, we will 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. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact


Societal and Democratic Resilience in the Era of Great Power Competition

We are now at pivotal time for European and transatlantic security. Today, the Euro-Atlantic area is no longer at peace. In fact, we are facing the gravest security crisis since the Second World War. Our strategic environment has changed beyond recognition. The norms and principles designed to uphold stability, predictability and peace in global affairs are actively contested. Putin’s armed aggression against Ukraine is the culmination of broader pattern of destabilizing behavior. 

The scale and complexity of critical economic, environmental, technological, and human flows have increased dramatically. Increased interconnectedness and digitalization can bring prosperity, but they can also generate vulnerabilities, as state and non-state actors seek to manipulate and exploit dependencies. Critical societal functions are increasingly susceptible to disturbances, interruptions, and shutdowns. Climate change and energy transitions pose new security dilemmas and amplify ongoing crises. 

It is time to adopt a more comprehensive and dynamic approach in enhancing national and Euro-Atlantic resilience, mindful of the need to operate in a more unpredictable and unstable strategic and security environment. We need a realistic assessment of how we use national and international toolboxes to address a broader spectrum of resilience challenges and operationalize the mutually reinforcing instruments of democratic, societal and collective resilience. 

This Transatlantic Socrates Seminar will discuss ways to advance the development of a comprehensive and dynamic yet operational approach to resilience. It will also seek to incentivize discussions on optimal ways of pursuing an enhanced Euro-Atlantic resilience agenda, including exploring necessary synergies between relevant institutions and societal stakeholders. 

It will also explore opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies, debating how the transatlantic community can improve its resilience and mobilize key resources in order to be competitive in this era of great security and technological challenges. 

Furthermore, as part of the wider technology and democracy debate, the Seminar will address online disinformation and fake news and the pressure these tactics place on institutions and on individuals. Undertaken sometimes as part of fully-fledged influence campaigns, these tools aim at eroding trust in institutions such as NATO, the EU, and the governments of their member states and partner countries. This triggers a relevant ethical and societal debate with regard to the real impact of tech on our democracies – does it hurt more that it helps? 

Taking place in Brussels, a city serving as a focal point of both NATO and the EU, the seminar will provide a channel for informal and informed dialogue with key stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic, in a multi-national environment. Around 30 participants – influential leaders of the Brussels’ international and diplomatic community, alongside members of the relevant Aspen Institute programs will participate in a moderated high-level conversation, benefitting from high-level guest speakers from NATO and EU. In addition, the Seminar will provide participants the opportunity to become part of the unparalleled network of international Aspen Institutes, in Europe, US and around the world, and join the ever-growing network of fellows and alumni of the world-renowned Leadership programs of our network. 

Moderated by Jodi Vittori, Professor of Practice and co-chair of the Global Politics and Security program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a non-resident fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Radu Puchiu, Co-Founder and CEO, H.appy Cities.

Event information
Wed Jun 8, 2022 - Fri Jun 10, 2022
Brussels, Belgium