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Call for Application: NATO’s Future Seminar 2021 in Berlin

YATA Germany will host a seminar from November 19–21, 2021, focusing on key issues of transatlantic security.

NATO’s Future Seminar 2021 – Call for applications

  • Are you from NATO or PfP member country and interested in the future of the alliance?
  • Are you a student/academic/professional and believe that transatlantic security policy is not a matter reserved only for politicians or diplomats?
  • And would you also like to partake in a conference on vital questions of NATO policy to exchange with like-minded peers and NATO-experts?


Then the organizing team of the NATO’s Future Seminar 2021 would be delighted to receive your application! Around 30 participants will be selected and be provided with accommodation and travel reimbursements.

The full program will take place between 19.11 – 21.11.2021 in Berlin. On the 19th of November, the participants will partake in the NATO Talk Conference with a keynote speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, an international conference co-hosted by the German Atlantic Association and the Federal Academy for Security Policy. The NATO’s Future Seminar will then take place from the 20th to the 21st of November 2021.

Every year, YATA Germany organizes the NATO’s Future Seminar to assemble young people from across all NATO member states (and Partnership for Peace Programme member states) to discuss and formulate policy-recommendations for NATO policy. The aim of the seminar is to encourage dialogue and connections between NATO-experts and emerging leaders from the younger generation. Beforehand, participants will select among the three topics of NATO policy and write a short essay on their topic.

This year’s topics are:

1.The Ability to Innovate: How the Alliance Integrates Operational Readiness, Innovation and Modernity

To maintain their strategic edge in an increasingly contested world, the United States, Europe and NATO must understand how to leverage emerging and disruptive technologies (EDT) to enhance shared security and better prepare for future crises. A critical factor in their success will be NATO’s ability to communicate and operate across militaries, domains, and a wide range of EDT-enabled capabilities. This requires enhancing standardisation and interoperability across the Alliance’s concepts, doctrine, capability targets, and technical requirements related to EDT. The purpose of the workshop is to understand transatlantic perspectives, discuss the pros and cons of public-private cooperation, and identify ways in which policy could be coordinated on defense technology issues.

2. NATO’s European Pillar: Shape, Size, Function?

Realizing that pre-Trump times in terms of military cooperation are not coming back and the idea of a European army doesn’t appear too realistic in the near future, European politicians repeatedly emphasize the importance of strengthening NATO’s European pillar.
In this workshop, we want to take a closer look at the conceptional idea behind the pillar metaphor, not only to add description to the problem but to make specific recommendations to the alliance as to how the concept could be brought to life: what are the functions a European pillar has to fulfill and what are its geographic limits? What resources are required and who will provide them? And how can European integration be fostered without driving the partners on both sides of the Atlantic further apart?

3. New Era of Transatlantic Cooperation: A Common Position Towards China? 

For decades this has been subject to accusations of exporting values and interfering in internal affairs. Today, China´s foreign policy aims at propagating its ideological ideas with stunning dynamics, self-confidence and huge funds. In contrast, the German/European approach sometimes seems static these days. Of course, as liberal democracies they must act differently. So how can they better advertise democratic societies and defend themselves against attacks on a pluralistic opinion landscape, disinformation and hybrid warfare – without at the same time putting in danger what they are trying to defend? The panel deals with an essential part of future hybrid warfare, which crosses the boundaries of classical cultural policy as well as those of classical security policy. The answers we provide will be essential for shaping foreign policy in the future. At the same time, regional developments in the Asia-Pacific region must not be left out – is there an EU position and a common transatlantic approach?


  • Between 18 and 35 years of age
  • NATO or PfP country citizenship
  • Past experience and/or studies relating to: security or defense policy; international relations; democratic transitions; international law; humanitarian issues; or any other fields of relevance to the transatlantic partnership.
  • Working knowledge of English (previous knowledge of German is not necessary)
  • There is no participation fee for the seminar. YATA Germany will offer travel reimbursement of up to €100/€200 (national/international), provided that participants will choose affordable travel options. We will also provide accommodation in central Berlin from November 18 to 21.

How to apply:

  • Fill out the online form by Friday, October 1st
  • Add a short CV (in English) as well as cover letter indicating the candidates’ motivation of participation and a preference for one of the three working groups (max. 500 words)
  • Formulate an abstract (max. 280 character long [Tweet]) outlining the main arguments of the participant’s essay.
  • Successful applicants for the seminar will be informed by the beginning of October
  • Selected participants are then expected to submit their original essays by the middle of October, reflecting their views on one of the three policy questions outlined above as well as including three to five specific policy recommendations for NATO, member states, and partners in their essay (max. 5,000 characters). The essays will be published in a special booklet for the seminar and conference.
  • Re-applications of NATO ́s Future alumni participants cannot be accepted (however, we are glad to provide a limited number of speakers positions for NATOs Future alumni, please contact us directly)


Important notice to the current situation of restriction due to Corona virus

As the situation can change until November, we would like the applicants to take into mind that the seminar might also take place in digital form only.
The seminar will be held in compliance with the current hygiene and distance regulations of the German Federal Government for the containment of COVID-19. We take the health of all participants very seriously.

For any further questions and information, get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or via

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Berlin!

Veronika Fucela, Kamala Jakubeit, Leo Simon, Pieter Brandt
YATA Germany Executive Board



9. September 2021, 8:00
1. Oktober 2021, 23:59


YATA Germany



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