Rebooting the EU-U.S. Defense Relationship

Monday, December 6, 2021 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST // 17:00 - 18:00 CET

The Trump administration helped to kickstart European defense efforts. Now there is an opportunity for the EU and the United States to anchor any progress made in a lasting transatlantic framework that provides strategic direction for a new era of politics. The Biden administration has demonstrated unprecedented willingness to engage with the EU as a defense actor. But between elections in France and Germany and the U.S. midterms, the window for action is small, and lasting tensions over industrial interests risk slowing down progress. What measures can both sides take to put the relationship on a stronger footing? This seminar will present initial findings from three months of field work in the United States and offer policy-relevant recommendations.

Join DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow Sophia Besch as she presents her research on the prospects for future transatlantic defense cooperation.


Sophia Besch is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow from September to December 2021. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Reform’s (CER) Berlin office and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Europe Center. She works on European defense issues, with a focus on EU defense industrial cooperation, German defense policy, the effects of Brexit on defense cooperation, and EU-NATO relations. Ms. Besch holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris and is currently pursuing a PhD at King’s College London.

Ms. Besch’s dissertation is concerned with the EU’s decision to establish the European Defence Fund, a new initiative that uses EU budget money to incentivize defense industrial cooperation. Specifically, her research centers on the internal interplay of actors that led to this instance of European integration in a traditionally intergovernmental policy field.


This event is supported by the DAAD with funds from the Federal Foreign Office.