Event highlight

European security and defence cooperation: What’s next?

© MSC / Kuhlmann

Report presentation and discussion

In recent years, Europe has been increasingly challenged by a number of emerging threats, such as political instability in the Middle East and Africa, cyber threats, tensions with Russia over Ukraine, Brexit and US President Donald Trump’s initial lack of commitment to NATO. It is becoming increasingly clear that Europe’s armed forces are ill-prepared to meet these challenges. After two decades of budget cuts as well as increasing demands on the forces, European capabilities today are in many ways stretched, outdated and suffer from an availability crisis. Yet simply spending more cannot be the answer. How Europe spends its defence budget is vitally important.

On 30 November, the joint report of the Munich Security Conference and McKinsey & Co., supported by the Centre for International Security Policy at the Hertie School, was presented to about 300 guests at Auditorium Friedrichstraße. The report explores opportunities for reinvigorating European defence. More information can be found in our press release.

Download the full report here.

© MSC / Kuhlmann
© MSC / Kuhlmann
© MSC / Kuhlmann


Wolfgang Ischinger is Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School and Director of the school’s Centre for International Security Policy (CISP). He has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference since 2008. After more than three decades as a German diplomat, Wolfgang Ischinger previously served, among other positions, as State Secretary (Deputy Foreign Minister) of the Federal Foreign Office and as German Ambassador to the United States and to the United Kingdom. In 2014, he was appointed Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in the Ukraine crisis.

Frank Mattern is a German business economist, Managing Director at Frank Mattern Advisory and Investments, and Director Emeritus at McKinsey and Company. Previously he was Senior Partner, Global Head of Recruiting of McKinsey & Company, Inc. and Chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute, the firm's economic think tank. From 2014 to 2015 he was responsible for Functional Practices at McKinsey and from 2007 until 2013, he was Managing Partner. Mattern joined McKinsey & Company in 1990, initially focusing on the financial sector and was in charge of the global Business Technology Office from 2002 to 2007.

Study presentation

David Bachmann is an Associate Partner at McKinsey’s Berlin office and a core member of the public sector and defense leadership team. In this position, he co-leads the knowledge partnership between McKinsey and the Munich Security Conference. Before re-joining the Berlin office, he spent 2.5 years in Tanzania and Ethiopia, helping to build McKinsey’s newly opened East Africa Office. David Bachmann holds a Bachelor and a Master degree in Law and Economics from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) as well as a PhD in Law. During his doctoral studies he was a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School.

Panel discussion

Horst-Heinrich Brauss currently serves as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning. Before his appointment to this position in 2013, he was NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning since 2007. In these positions, Heinrich Brauss has led the defence-related aspects of NATO’s fundamental security tasks at the political and military level. Holding the rank of Lieutenant General in the German Armed Forces, he previously served in the EU’s Military Staff as the first director of the EU Operations Centre and in various roles at the German Ministry of Defence.

Sir Christopher Harper was Director General of the NATO International Military Staff from 2013 to 2016. In this role, he oversaw the development and delivery of all military assessments and evaluations that inform the decision-making by the Alliance's highest military and political authorities. At NATO he previously served as the UK Military Representative from 2011 to 2013 and as the Deputy Commander of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command at Brunssum in the Netherlands from 2009 to 2011. An officer in the British Royal Air Force for more than three decades, his appointments included the Ministry of Defence’s Central Staff, where he worked on the Eurofighter-Typhoon project.

Norbert Röttgen is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag and Senior Fellow at the Hertie School. In his role at the Bundestag he oversees the government’s foreign policy, above all in the run up to important decisions about foreign and security affairs and has become one of the most distinguished foreign policy experts of Germany’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU). Previously, he served as the German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from 2009 until 2012. A member of the German Bundestag since 1994, Norbert Röttgen fulfilled various key functions within the CDU and the German government.

Tomasz Szatkowski is Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland. In this position, he recently led the Strategic Defence Review of the Polish Armed Forces. Having previously held various positions within the defence industry, public media, the Chancellery of the Polish Prime Minister and the European Parliament, he has wide-ranging expertise on defence policy and strategic management. In various publications, Tomasz Szatkowski has written on classical military strategy, the relations between technology and strategy, intelligence strategies, and defence economics.

Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome and Special Adviser to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In this position, she conceived the European Union Global Strategy in 2016 and is currently working on its implementation, notably in the field of security and defence. Prior to this, she held research positions at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels, the Transatlantic Academy, Washington, and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Florence. Nathalie Tocci’s research interests include European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

The event was jointly hosted by the Munich Security Conference, McKinsey & Co. and the Centre for International Security Policy at the Hertie School.