Who we are

Formed in 2002 under the patronage of Javier Solana, Chris Patten and George Robertson, the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) was launched as a neutral meeting point for defence and security specialists from NATO and the EU. The SDA has since developed into an important forum for the discussion of defence and security policies. With the rapidly evolving nature of our security environment, the SDA champions dynamic new ways of consulting global opinion on security issues, including the world’s first mass-participation online security policy event, the Security Jam, involving 4,000 participants from 126 countries.

The running of our events, formulation of discussion papers and publication of reports is run by our professional and international team.


Security and defence issues – and the solutions for them - are increasingly linked to a wide range of factors including development as well as socio-economic, environmental, energy, civil, legal and cultural policies. That’s why we’re excited to announce the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) is officially joining forces with its sister think tank Friends of Europe as a means of expanding our depth and reach. The SDA will now become the sixth pillar in the organisational structure of Friends of Europe.

As a leading Brussels-based think tank on key global and European political challenges, Friends of Europe includes extensive list of Trustees including top current and former European leaders from different political colours and walks of life. It is chaired by Etienne Davignon, Belgian Minister of State and former Vice-President of the European Commission. And it is part of Europe’s World Group, a new umbrella entity which includes the influential journal Europe’s World and the online citizens’ platform Debating Europe.

By merging Friends of Europe with the Security & Defence Agenda, and our broad expertise in those fields, we will leverage our forces to drive debate and offer solutions for the multi-faceted challenges facing Europe and the rest of the world, strengthening and raising our common profile at a global level.

“I look forward to SDA playing an ever more important role in a holistic debate of geopolitical issues, joining up the dots between the various policy areas,” said Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, former NATO Secretary General and Co-President of SDA and now a Trustee of Friends of Europe.

“Having represented both Europe’s diplomatic and defence efforts, I see this merger extending the influence and reach of both SDA and Friends of Europe in debating the challenges facing Europe today,” said SDA Co-Chair Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Common Security and Foreign Policy and former NATO Secretary General, and also a Trustee of Friends of Europe.

“Having SDA on board will allow Friends of Europe to expand its programme of activities and publications which are highly important in these uncertain geopolitical times, building significantly on our role as an influential global think tank for Europe and beyond,” said Mr. Davignon.

And stay tuned for a new website soon and an exciting programme of activities!

SDA team

Pauline Massart, Deputy Director 


Pauline serves as the main contact for SDA members and participants, manages all aspects of SDA operations, including the organisation and production of SDA international conferences, roundtables, dinner debates and publications, as well as dealing with SDA members and its Advisory Board. Before joining the SDA, Massart worked for Thales in Italy, and before that for a conference organiser in Germany. She studied at King's College London, the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, and at Leiden University. She speaks English, French, German and Italian.

Contact: pauline.massart(at)securitydefenceagenda.org
Tel: +32 2 300 29 91
Simon Molitor, Project Assistant

Simon recently graduated in Security Studies from Université Libre de Bruxelles. During his time studying, he had the opportunity to spend some times at University of Bradford Department of Peace Studies as an Erasmus Student. After a first experience in humanitarian project development, he decided to come back to his favorite field: international security. He speaks French and English.

Contact: simon.molitor(at)securitydefenceagenda.org
Tel: +32 2 300 29 94

Sébastien Watteyne, Communications Assistant

Sébastien studied Social Communications in Brussels at IHECS (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Communication Sociale). He has a bachelor degree in Social Communications and a master degree in Commercial Communications & Advertising. He made a trainee in Montreal in 2013 and finished his studies with honor. He also made two theses: one about an advertising campaign for a Belgian company (Sphair) and one about the Brand Management International. He loves to make some graphic, photo, video and sound projects for himself or for his company. He speaks fluent French and English and also have skills in German and Dutch.

Contact: sebastien.watteyne(at)securitydefenceagenda.org
Tel: +32 2 300 29 95


Maria Cristina Mattei, Project Assistant

Cristina studied Political Science in Italy  at the University of  Viterbo. She then  took her master’s degree in European Studies at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome and she is currently finishing her studies taking her second master in International Relations at the School of International Studies of Trento. She worked at the Boeing International Company in Brussels  for a brief period in the field of EU/NATO Relations and Communications. Her fields of interest mostly relate to International Security and Defence. She speaks English, Italian and basic French.
Contact: maria_cristina.mattei(at)securitydefenceagenda.org
Tel: +32 2 300 29 96

Beatriçe Hasani, Project Manager

Beatriçe has an extensive background in local government in Sweden where she has worked with project and change management as well as Lean Production Systems. Prior to that, Beatriçe worked at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs with issues concerning piracy and UNSCR 1325. She studied at Leiden University and London Metropolitian and is fluent in Albanian, Swedish and English.

Contact: beatrice.hasani(at)securitydefenceagenda.org
Tel: +32 2 300 29 93