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Europe Colloquy: „A Changing World: Challenges of German and European Security and Defence Policy“

Europe Colloquy: „A Changing World: Challenges of German and European Security and Defence Policy“

Participants of the Europakolloquiums discuss the current and future challenges for Europe as an international actor

The 14th “Europakolloquium” in Münstertal from 21 to 22 October 2011, focused on the changes taking place in the context of globalization and the political and security related challenges that this process brings along for Germany and Europe. The “Europakolloquium” was again supported by the Hanns Martin Schleyer-Stiftung.

In this framework, four presentations were given on different aspects of the international system and on Europe´s or Germany´s behavior:

ZEI Junior Fellow, Matthias Vogl, spoke of about the aspirations and realities of the EU engagement in Africa as a part of the struggle for a common European foreign and security policy.

Dr. Jan-Philipp Weisswange dedicated its presentation to a critical analysis of the transformation process of the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) in its function as the principal German instrument in security policy. The transformation from his point of view has led to a lack of security-political orientation in Germany persisting almost since the end of the Cold War.

Prof. Dr. Silke Kettig dealt with the issue of protection of minorities and introduced the work of organizations like the EU or the OSCE in this sector as an important step to prevent conflicts in general through the protection of minorities.

The three main presentations finally merged into the short lecture given by Prof. Dr. Xuewu Gu about the causes, nature and consequences of the international power shift. In this context, the discussion particularly focused on the trilateral relationship between Europe, the USA and China that can be symbolized as a scramble for the control of and influence on the worldwide political developments in the future. 

In general, the debate was dominated by the view that the United States of America still probably have the best conditions to maintain their current status as the world power also in the future. With regard to the importance of Germany and Europe in this context, it was criticized that Europe, in spite of the intensity of the international challenges, often acts only little powerful and coherent, which can, according to the diagnosis, be explained with the degree of the integration that does not match up with these challenges. Against this background, the participants came to the conclusion that the EU must learn from the experiences of its crises and continue the integration process faster and more profoundly in order to not miss the train and be able to keep up with the other competitors for power and influence.

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