A Fresh Look at German Foreign Policy: The Next Six Decades

Celebration marks the DGAP’s 60th anniversary and the conclusion of the Foreign Ministry’s “Review 2014” project

25/02/2015 | 18:00 - 20:00 | Auswärtiges Amt Berlin | Invitation only

Speech

Category: German Foreign Policy

Last year Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched an extensive review of German foreign policy, inviting scores of political observers and commentators to offer their input. He presented the results at the foreign ministry in an official ceremony to celebrate the DGAP’s 60th anniversary. The occasion could not be more fitting, he said, since the DGAP, too, has worked for 60 years in pursuit of the same ideal: a fresh look at German foreign policy

(c) DGAP / Dirk Enters

“For more than six decades, the DGAP has left its mark on foreign policy by thinking one step ahead,” said the German foreign minister in praise of the German Council on Foreign Relations. In the name of the entire foreign policy community, he congratulated the network on its anniversary and expressed special pleasure at the presence of the Junge DGAP, the DGAP’s network for professionals under age 35. “We need you, and we will continue to need you for the next sixty years!”

Steinmeier went on to present the results of the “Review 2014.” At the heart of this project were two deliberately provocative questions: What is wrong with German foreign policy? And what are the goals and interests of German foreign policy in a continually changing world? The rapid global changes of 2001 – from Ukraine to West Africa – gave momentum to the debate. Those turbulent crises, combined with the intense process of conducting the “Review” project, showed the versatility of the country’s foreign policy tools and helped the foreign ministry improve its foreign policy, Steinmeier said.

The foreign minister announced structural changes in the Federal Foreign Office that would take place in order, among other things, to improve strategic capability – a term of central importance to Steinmeier. Certain divisions will be converted into central positions. The foreign ministry’s divisions for disarmament will be merged and with its division for the United Nations to create a Directorate-general for International Regulatory Issues. A new Directorate-general for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, and Post-Conflict Rehabilitation will also be created.

After his speech, Foreign Minister Steinmeier spoke with Sylke Tempel, editor-in-chief of Internationale Politik, and Christoph Bertram, who led the “Review 2014” Policy Planning Staff.

The full speech is available (in German) here, along with the full document of the report, from the foreign ministry’s website, and a summary of conclusions in English

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