Why did you chose this particular internship?
The transatlantic community is in disarray. Europe, facing one crisis after another, struggles to keep the cohesion necessary to prevent the common project from failing. Populism, as a symptom of structural shortcomings, arises almost everywhere in the transatlantic community and several newly elected leaders question the historical alliance that emerged after the Second World War. Working for the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative allows me to tap into the conversations that define the success of the European Union. As a European, I get unique insight in US community’s perspective, advancing my understanding of both common positions and differences. Furthermore, I have the opportunity to engage with key actors in the transatlantic realm, forging valuable connections that will allow me to combine my interest in national security with my passion for a strong and stable European continent.
How does your internship contribute to the mission of national security?
The Marshall Plan helped transform Europe and the transatlantic community into the prosperous and open region that we see today. It is the epitome of a multilateralism that advances the security interests of all the countries involved. It is in this spirit that the Future Europe Initiative attempts to guarantee the next 70 years of peace and prosperity. I draft speeches for the executive board of the Atlantic Council, provide extensive background memos on issues that are directly linked to European security, and support crucial conferences like the Global Forum. The latter, bringing together several Central and Eastern European presidents and ministers, took place in Warsaw while President Trump visited Poland to express his personal support for NATO’s article five. Without a stable Europe as reliable partner within the transatlantic alliance, several national security objectives of the United States would face steady erosion.
What was the biggest lesson you took away from this experience?
I realized how small and well-connected Washington’s transatlantic community is. Further, I am gaining a practical understanding of what it looks like when a think tank contributes to specific policy objectives. Providing the platform and opportunity for key actors to convene and debate crucial issues directly translates into high-level exchange and decision making. After all, it is comforting to see how dedicated the transatlantic community on this side of the Atlantic is to the future of Europe.