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Nuclear deterrence in Europe – a shifting landscape

Radosław Sikorski, Céline Jurgensen and Wolfgang Ischinger discussed alternatives to the US nuclear deterrent.

A costly renewal of NATO’s nuclear sharing infrastructure, together with US President Trump’s criticism of the alliance have cast doubts on the future of US nuclear weapons in Europe. There is widespread public opposition to such weapons in most host states, amid a resurging nuclear disarmament movement. At the same time, tensions with Russia and global instability are on the rise. In this shifting landscape, there is talk of possible alternatives to the US nuclear deterrent. These range from French and British nuclear umbrellas to an EU solution, or even a German bomb. Is Europe in danger of losing its US-sponsored nuclear umbrella and can Europe take care of its own security? Are nuclear weapons necessary and what could a European nuclear option look like? What role does the arms control and nuclear disarmament community play?

On 14 March, a panel with Radosław Sikorski, former Defense and Foreign Minister of Poland and Speaker of the Polish Parliament (TBC) and Céline Jurgensen, Director for Strategy and Policy at the Military Applications Division of the French Atomic Energy Commission, moderated by Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School and Chairman of the MSC, discussed these questions.

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