Ideenwerkstatt Deutsche Außenpolitik

A Process of Reflection on the Capacity to Act in German and European Foreign Policy


The framework conditions for German foreign and European policy are undergoing a fundamental transformation. In addition to the much-discussed changes to the international system and the increasing great power competition between the United States and China, technological developments, new security threats, the consequences of climate change, and socioeconomic upheavals are just some of the developments that will determine the future tasks and international impact of German foreign policy. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic poses numerous political, economic, and societal risks and accelerates many existing trends in the multilateral system, with immediate consequences for Germany and the EU. In light of this turning point, the project “Ideenwerkstatt Deutsche Außenpolitik” aimed to put German foreign policy to the test – through evidence-based analyses and interdisciplinary strategy discussions – and contribute to strengthening Germany’s and the EU’s capacity to act in foreign policy. The project was funded by Stiftung Mercator.

At the heart of this strategic reflection process was the “Ideenwerkstatt”: a body that brings together proven experts from various fields relevant to foreign policy. Until Germany’s parliamentary elections in fall 2021, this panel of experts met at regular intervals to generate strategic recommendations for German foreign policy. The “Ideenwerkstatt” was complemented by a Policy Board, which brought together political decision-makers from across the party spectrum and served as a direct political sounding board for the analyses and strategy recommendations of the “Ideenwerkstatt.”

DGAP’s Research Institute accompanied this process intensively and enriched it with in-depth analyses and policy recommendations. One of its focuses was the five thematic areas of high relevance for the future ability of German and European foreign policy to act: geo-economics, migration, political order in the European neighborhood, security and defense, and technology.

The project "Ideenwerkstatt Deutsche Außenpolitik" was funded by Stiftung Mercator. 

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