Security and Defence

20th anniversary of the 2004 NATO enlargement
09 Apr 2024 14:45 - 18:00
Bron: Then-Secretary- General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer presents the seven new NATO members to the press in 2004 ©Reuters

On March 29, 2004, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia formally acceded to NATO in what was the biggest enlargement round in the history of the Alliance. Since then, the seven countries, which represent much of NATO‘s eastern flank, have contributed extensively to the implementation of NATO‘s core tasks and policy priorities, and to this day remain among the most active and supportive members of the Alliance.

Since Lithuania hosted the NATO Summit in 2023 and the Netherlands are poised to host one in 2025, this event will provide a unique opportunity to combine an anniversary celebration and a focused discussion on the past, present and future of the North Atlantic Alliance. This event, therefore, will focus both on highlighting the impact of the 2004 enlargement, as well as the challenges NATO faces on its eastern flank and how the Alliance can face those.

The programme of this anniversary events will consist of two panels, one focusing primarily on the achievements of NATO related to the 2004 enlargement round, and a second one focusing on the current and future challenges that the Alliance faces, specifically on its eastern flank.

14:15-14:45   Walk-in and registration 
14:45-15:00   Word of welcome (Bob Deen)
15:00-16:00   First panel discussion: achievements

  • Baiba Braže, Ambassador-at-Large of Latvia and former NATO Assistant Secretary General
  • Andrej Benedejčič, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to NATO
  • Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Former Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Clingendael Institute
  • Dan Neculăescu, Permanent Representative of Romania to NATO
  • Moderator: Bob Deen, Head of the Security Unit at the Clingendael Institute 

16:00-17:00   Second panel discussion: challenges

  • Peter Bátor, Permanent Representative of Slovakia to NATO
  • Nikolay Milkov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to NATO 
  • Žilvinas Tomkus, Deputy Minister of Defense of Lithuania
  • Anna Van Zoest, Director of the Netherlands Atlantic Association
  • Moderator: Dick Zandee, Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute 

17:00-18:00   Reception

All available seats have been taken, you can no longer register.