4th Annual Helsinki Summer Session Reimagining Transatlantic Relations in the Trump Era

By invitation only
Teija Tiilikainen / Photo: Matias Salo Teija Tiilikainen / Photo: Matias Salo
Mika Aaltola / Photo: Matias Salo Mika Aaltola / Photo: Matias Salo
Steven Shepro / Photo: Matias Salo Steven Shepro / Photo: Matias Salo
Robert Bell / Photo: Matias Salo Robert Bell / Photo: Matias Salo
Anna Wieslander / Photo: Matias Salo Anna Wieslander / Photo: Matias Salo
Stephen Flanagan / Photo: Matias Salo Stephen Flanagan / Photo: Matias Salo
Keith Eikenes / Photo: Matias Salo Keith Eikenes / Photo: Matias Salo
Charly Salonius-Pasternak / Photo: Matias Salo Charly Salonius-Pasternak / Photo: Matias Salo
Leo Michel / Photo: Matias Salo Leo Michel / Photo: Matias Salo
Mikko Hyppönen / Photo: Matias Salo Mikko Hyppönen / Photo: Matias Salo
Nicolas Tenzer / Photo: Matias Salo Nicolas Tenzer / Photo: Matias Salo
Mika Aaltola / Photo: Matias Salo Mika Aaltola / Photo: Matias Salo

Tue 29.8.2017 at 8:45-16:00
Kämp hotel
Kluuvikatu 2, Helsinki

The 4th Annual Helsinki Summer Session is an interdisciplinary event organised by the Center for US Politics and Power (CUSPP) at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. This year’s event brings together researchers and experts from Europe and the United States to discuss the future of the transatlantic relationship.The opening day will consist of panel sessions on three crucial topics.

The first panel will focus on the future of collective defence and the NATO alliance, which has remained a key pillar of the post-Cold War European security order despite questions regarding its ability to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. The panelists will address the future prospects of collective defence in the Trump era, and the military and political measures the alliance is taking to meet the challenges of the coming decade, along with the role that NATO’s Enhanced Opportunities Partners can play in the future.

The second panel will examine the Baltic Sea Region and the High North Maritime Environment. The strategic importance of these areas has been magnified in recent years. Issues such as energy security, environmental risks, deterrence, and economic interests animate the calculations of the US, Europe and Russia. Against this background, the panelists will discuss the present and foreseeable security challenges in the Baltic and the High North, and also consider potential pathways for striking the balance between securing vital interests of the transatlantic partners and avoiding further escalation of tensions with Russia.

The third panel assesses external attempts to influence democratic elections. The Russian operation targeted at the US presidential elections has cast a shadow on Donald Trump’s presidency, and others - France, for example - experienced similar attempts to interfere with its elections. This is indicative of the potential of such actions to delegitimize the core processes and institutions of Western democracies, and raises concerns regarding the ability of democratic states to respond to such hybrid threats in the future. The panel will explore how election-influencing operations are conducted, what lessons can be drawn from the 2016 US presidential election and 2017 French elections, and which measures are available for Western states to increase the resilience of their democracy.

08:45-09:00 Opening remarks by Teija Tiilikainen, Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

and Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

09:00-10:30 Panel I: NATO and the Future of Collective Defence

Keynote: Steven M. Shepro, Lt Gen, Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee

Panelists: Robert Bell, Former US Secretary of Defence’s Representative to Europe

Anna Wieslander, Director, Atlantic Council, Sweden

Chair: Kari Huhta, Journalist, Helsingin Sanomat


10:45-12:15 Panel II: Baltic Sea Region and High North Maritime Security Environments

Speakers: Stephen Flanagan, Senior Political Scientist, RAND

Andrew Michta, Dean of the College of International Security Studies, Marshall Center

Keith Eikenes, Director, Ministry of Defence, Norway

Chair: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Senior Research Fellow, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Open Plenary Session at the FIIA (Kruunuvuorenkatu 4)

14:00-16:00 Panel III: Assessing External Influence on Western Elections

Speakers: Leo Michel, Visiting Senior Fellow, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer, F-Secure

Nicolas Tenzer, Chairman, Centre d’étude et de réflexion pour l’action politique (CERAP)

Chair: Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs



For further information, please contact: Marie-Louise Hindsberg, Tel. +358 9 432 7712, marie-louise.hindsbergfiia.fi