Foreign Policy Blogs

Online Collaborative Think Tank Tackles Transatlantic Issues

The debt crisis in Europe, anemic economic growth in the U.S., an uncertain future for NATO’s mission in Afghanistan with the year 2014 drawing closer, and growing cyber security challenges facing Western governments and multi-national corporations are some of the key challenges that deserve serious debate and attention by the public and policy makers.

Both from geopolitical and economic perspectives, nearly all of the above challenges impact the transatlantic alliance between the U.S. and Europe, an alliance that has endured many challenges for nearly seven decades. So it is perfectly understandable to see efforts aimed at strengthening this alliance and examining in a transparent manner the various challenges it’s facing.

Atlantic-community.org is one such organization. Based in Berlin, Germany and launched in 2007 as a project of Atlantische Initiative e.V., the Atlantic Community is an online foreign policy think tank focused on issues affecting transatlantic relations with “a mission to encourage open and democratic dialogue on the challenges facing Europe and North America.”

With an open platform to public policy discussions site members, who register free on the site, contribute op-ed pieces on a daily basis. The content, according to Atlantic Community’s management, is collected, edited, and put into executive summaries known as “Atlantic Memos,” which are then distributed to over 27 countries in Europe and North America. Every week the site offers weekly “theme topics” that discuss a particular issue during that particular week. This week’s theme is focused on security challenges in the north African region of Sahel under the title “Security in the Sahel: How should the United States and Europe respond to threats to peace and security in the Sahel region of Africa?” This week’s discussions on security challenges in the Sahel region can be found here.

From policy recommendations to critical analyses of issues, contributors offer alternative views that are probably not easily found in mainstream media outlets.  The Atlantic Community has certainly the potential to become an online destination for lively discussions on a whole range of issues affecting transatlantic relations.