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2nd Dec 2021

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German foreign policy in an era of transformation

  • Participants will discuss the most important foreign policy challenges for the new German government - and Europe (Photo: Körber-Stiftung)
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Held only months after the election, the Berlin Forum on 23 November will offer exclusive insights into Germany's foreign policy agenda in the post-Merkel era.

Under the heading of Chances in Change: German Foreign Policy in an Era of Transformation, participants will discuss the most important foreign policy challenges for a new German government and Europe.

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  • Every year, the Berlin Forum reaches a broad European and international audience (Photo: Körber-Stiftung)

What should Europe expect from German foreign policy under a new government – continuity or change? How should Europe position itself in the intensifying tech competition between the US and China? Can combatting climate change introduce a new era of multilateral cooperation? To what extent can the EU still contribute to stability and prosperity in its eastern and south-eastern neighbourhood?

German foreign minister Heiko Maas traditionally opens the Berlin Forum. The panel following his opening speech corresponds to the theme of new beginnings and will delve into how the formation of a new German government coincides with countless foreign policy challenges. Nathalie Loiseau, Franziska Brantner, Timothy Garton Ash and Bernadett Szél will jointly explore the question of whether Germany and Europe are ready to move from crises to actions.

One of the biggest foreign policy challenges of the last year was the rapid overthrow of the Afghan government by the Taliban. What went wrong and who bears responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe? We are looking forward to discussing these questions with Hamid Karzai during our Conflict Zone interview, in cooperation with Deutsche Welle.

The afternoon programme will begin with a panel discussion that focuses on the geopolitics of the digital transformation. How prepared is Europe for this new digital age? Nadia Calviño, Eva-Maria Liimets, Yan Xuetong and Nadia Schadlow will discuss how new technologies are influencing economic and security relations on a global scale.

The focus will then turn to the EU's neighbourhood policy and debate the extent to which Europe can still bring stability and transformation to the region. Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Fiona Hill, and Stefano Sannino will discuss the EU's influence in the region.

In view of the recent climate summit COP26, Patricia Espinosa will review the outcome of the climate summit together with Parag Khanna and touch upon the impact of the climate crisis on migration flows.

Finally, the Berlin Forum takes a look at German politics: is there still a role for the traditional people's parties in Germany and Europe? Jens Spahn will be our guest at the Spotlight Interview in cooperation with Der Spiegel and discuss how the current crisis of the people's parties affects German foreign policy.

As in previous years, Körber-Stiftung will present its foreign policy publication The Berlin Pulse at the Berlin Forum. The fifth edition of The Berlin Pulse focuses on the results of the 2021 survey in an effort to determine German society's attitude towards foreign policy.

Together with Pew Research Center, this edition juxtaposes international expectations of Germany in the post-Merkel era and German public opinion on foreign policy.

This year, we are pleased to present authors such as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Heather A. Conley, Patricia Espinosa, Kevin Rudd and Sheikh Hasina. All results and contributions can be found here.

Since its founding in 2011, the Berlin Forum has become the most important international annual conference on German and European foreign policy in Berlin. Every year, the Berlin Forum reaches a broad European and international audience, with more than 70,000 live views in 2020.

Follow the livestream here on 23 November from 9:00 CET.

Author bio

Liana Fix is programme director at the Körber Foundation’s international affairs department. She heads the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum and is an expert on Eastern Europe.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

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