Towards a National Security Strategy: Citizens’ forums meet the Open Situation Room

Citizens’ forum on the National Security Strategy – Open Situation Room

Citizens’ forum on the National Security Strategy – Open Situation Room, © IFOK GmbH

10.08.2022 - Article

The citizens’ forums resulted in the formulation of concrete goals for Germany’s National Security Strategy. In the Open Situation Room, the participants work together with experts to play out the resulting conflicting goals in high-pressure scenarios to determine their feasibility

Broad range of opinions from the citizens’ forums

The seven citizens’ forums which took place throughout Germany until the end of July were an important stage on the road to formulating Germany’s first Security Strategy. The participants were asked to state their personal perceptions of the threats facing themselves and Germany. From their responses they developed concrete political goals for the National Security Strategy. Furthermore, they discussed conflicting goals and political considerations which had to be taken into account when implementing the various objectives.

The Open Situation Room brings together the results produced by the forums

On 11 August, 50 members of the public from the 350 participants in the seven citizens’ forums (7-8 from each city) are coming to Berlin. Here they will meet academics and experts from foundations as well as diplomats and politicians in the Weltsaal at the Federal Foreign Office to discuss their results in greater depth.

In the Open Situation Room method, concrete scenarios concerning a theoretical attack against an EU/NATO partner or destabilisation in a developing country triggered by climate change are used to generate considerable pressure to make decisions in the individual working groups. With the aid of these scenarios, the participants discuss conceivable prevention strategies. In doing so, their task is to weigh up their political priorities, find creative solutions and make often difficult decisions in establishing a consensus within the group. The interaction among the participants with their different experiences, knowledge and views produces concrete proposals and courses of action which offer the German Government valuable orientation in the further work on the new Security Strategy.


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