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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. 140 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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