On Thursday, the 2nd of June, GMF Berlin hosted a Transatlantic Conversation on Germany’s role in a new security environment between Christoph Heusgen, Foreign Policy Advisor to the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Director-General of the Federal Chancellery, and Karen Donfried, President of GMF. The event was held at the Haus der Commerzbank, where Daniela Schwarzer, Director of GMF’s Berlin Office, welcomed guests from politics, academia, the private sector and the media.
Heusgen and Donfried discussed a number of domestic and foreign policy issues currently shaping Germany’s security environment, including Brexit, strategic relations with Turkey, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. A particular theme was the interaction between German foreign policy and action through multilateral organizations, in particular the EU and NATO. With the NATO summit in Warsaw swiftly approaching and Angela Merkel having met Jens Stoltenberg this week, a key question was how NATO can and should address the highly different challenges it faces in the East and South. Prompted by a question from the audience, the refugee crisis was also discussed, and the myriad ways Germany seeks to address it at home, in Europe, and the Middle East. After several questions from the audience also on German-Chinese relations and the EU investigation into rule of law in Poland, the event was closed by Sudha David-Wilp, deputy director of GMF’s Berlin Office, inviting guests to the subsequent reception.