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Helping Germany Develop Both Its Willingness and Capacity to Act Effectively


Germany’s readiness to adapt to a new and more hostile world – expressed in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s speech announcing the so-called Zeitenwende on February 27, 2022 – opened a window of opportunity for the kind of holistic and lasting transformation that will benefit both the country and its partners. The speech also marked a frank recognition that Germany’s lack of political will has been an obstacle to reform for decades and, too often, an excuse for inaction.

This ambitious project brings together leading figures and rising stars of German and international politics and policy to support a generational and perspectival shift in thinking and action. It provides this group of change-makers with a network and access to the analytical and practical tools necessary to better imagine, articulate, and implement the transformation that Germany so urgently needs.

While defense has been the aspect of the Zeitenwende with the highest profile, the need for reform is far greater. It extends across the spectrum of Germany’s economy, trade, technology, energy, climate, society, and foreign policy. DGAP will provide the premier German forum for integrated policy thinking to drive effective action on capacities, institutions, partnerships, attitudes, and posture.

The Zeitenwende also needs to be internationalized if it is to be successful. Although Germany cannot act effectively on its own, it can no longer submerge its interests in European or international institutions or hide behind its partners. Therefore, this project takes full account of Germany’s international alliances and partnerships, drawing in perspectives from across Europe and around the world.

The Action Group Zeitenwende – as the earlier project “Ideenwerkstatt Deutsche Außenpolitik” – cultivates the comprehensive yet coherent approach that Germany needs to better define, express, and pursue its own interests as well as the goals and values it shares with its partners. It helps build a Germany that is ready, willing, and able to act.

The project "Action Group Zeitenwende" is funded by Stiftung Mercator. 

Berlinside Out

In our new podcast BerlinsideOut, Ben Tallis and Aaron Gush Burnett explore how the German "Zeitenwende" is developing and is perceived at home and abroad. Subscribe now here

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