Drafting the National Security Strategy: Conclusion of the citizens’ forum in Erfurt with Foreign Minister Baerbock

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the closing discussion of the citizens’ forum in Erfurt

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the closing discussion of the citizens’ forum in Erfurt, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.de

26.09.2022 - Article

Dialogue events were held in numerous locations in Germany in June and July and a scenario simulation took place in Berlin in August. After five months, the dialogue process on the National Security Strategy is drawing to a close in Erfurt with a discussion together with Foreign Minister Baerbock.

Documenting the results of the citizens’ forum

Twenty members of the public from across Germany will hold discussions with Foreign Minister Baerbock in Erfurt today (26 September) about the results of the dialogue process on the future National Security Strategy. Thuringia is currently holding the presidency of the Bundesrat, which is why the closing meeting is taking place in the Land capital.

The dialogue process on the National Security Strategy is being concluded in ErfurtFFO
The dialogue process on the National Security Strategy is being concluded in ErfurtFFO© FFO

Foreign Minister Baerbock is looking for feedback regarding how the ideas, content and perceptions developed by members of the public in recent months will now be incorporated into the drafting of the National Security Strategy in concrete terms. She will discuss this with the group in a fishbowl format. Everyone will have their say, and participants will engage in debates and joint reflection. The participants will draw on the results of the previous dialogue process, in the course of which they had developed concrete objectives for the National Security Strategy. These objectives include the following: how can Germany best ensure its security among its partners in the EU, NATO and the United Nations? How can Germany better prepare itself for crises – whether external threats or natural disasters? How can we protect our critical infrastructure, and how can we make ourselves more resilient to cyber attacks?

An intensive dialogue process in the spring and summer of 2022

Panel discussion in Ravensburg
Panel discussion in Ravensburg© Regionalfernsehen Deutschland GmbH

Germany is creating its first National Security Strategy. Rather than taking shape behind closed doors, the strategy will be the result of a shared and inclusive process involving the public as well as experts. A comprehensive dialogue process was launched to this end. The Federal Foreign Office sought to get into dialogue with the public as part of a broad-based and representative citizens’ forum. From Görlitz to Munich, dialogue events took place at seven locations throughout Germany. At the same time, Foreign Minister Baerbock gathered further impressions on a tour of Germany, holding discussions on various aspects of security for Germany and Europe. Of the total of 350 participants, the Federal Foreign Office invited 50 to attend a method workshop (Open Situation Room) in Berlin in August. At the workshop, together with experts, they elaborated concrete approaches to operationalising the goals previously developed in the dialogues. Twenty of the participants are now taking part in the closing discussion in Erfurt today.

National Security Strategy to be drafted by the beginning of 2023

The Federal Foreign Office is currently working on the first draft of the National Security Strategy. The many valuable thoughts and ideas that members of the public have contributed are playing an important role in this process. The Federal Government aims to present a security strategy that takes into account the expectations expressed in the dialogue process and provides answers to questions that citizens have concerning our national security. The Federal Government will take a close look at each and every proposal. This process is due to be completed by the beginning of 2023.


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