The View from Paris: Reflections on a Changing Strategic Environment

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M. Philippe Errera, DG for International Relations and Strategy (DGRIS) at the French Ministry of Defence (MOD), will give his thoughts on the French approach to defence and security in the face of ‘Brexit’ and the new US Administration.

The Western world is facing unprecedented changes and challenges. Britain, a major economic and security power in Europe, is leaving the European Union; America’s newly elected President is a thoroughly anti-establishment figure who has questioned the utility of NATO. Alongside this, Europe is facing threats from the turmoil in the South, both in North Africa and the Middle East, and to the East Russia continues to pursue an interventionist, forceful foreign policy.

M. Philippe Errera, DGRIS at the French MOD, former French Permanent Representative to NATO, and former Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will give his thoughts on the fast-changing strategic environment facing France and Europe as whole. The event will be chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.


M. Philippe Errera has been the Director General for International Relations and Strategy at the Ministry of Defence in Paris since 5th January 2015. He was previously the Director for Strategic Affairs at the MOD (2013-2015) and before this the French Permanent Representative to NATO (2011-2013). He also served as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009-2010). Mr Errera is a graduate of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA, National School of Public Administration, 1994-1996).

The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Pentlands in 1974 and represented that constituency until 1997. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Kensington in May 2010 and remained in Parliament until 2015. Sir Malcolm became a member of the Cabinet in 1986 as Secretary of State for Scotland. In 1990 he became Secretary of State for Transport and in 1992 Secretary of State for Defence. From 1995 to 1997 he was Foreign Secretary. He served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Welfare Reform until December 2005 when he chose to return to the backbenches. He served as UK representative on the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group 2010 to 2011 and as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, which provides oversight of the UK’s intelligence agencies (MI6, MI5 and GCHQ) from 2010-15. He is currently a member of the OSCE’s Eminent Persons Group, which reported on relations between Russia and the West. Sir Malcolm is a Senior Associate Fellow of RUSI and Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies, King's College London.

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