The world is changing at astonishing speed. Since the end of the Cold War, globalisation and the rise of new powers have led to a “new obscurity” in international politics.
What does this mean for German and European foreign policy? That is the question that Review 2014 – A Fresh Look at German Foreign Policy aims to explore in a broad public debate.
Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier commented as follows:
We all feel the radical changes the world is undergoing. All too often, though, we have not been finding the right way to deal with them. All too often, we stick to our habitual, familiar procedures, in international politics the same as anywhere else. That should change. It is for that reason that I launched Review 2014 – A Fresh Look at German Foreign Policy today.
Foreign policy, as the Federal President admonished in his Munich speech, should be a matter for reflection in the heart of society. Review 2014 – A Fresh Look at Foreign Policy is a project intended to spark public debate about the conditions and prospects of Germany’s international relations and, in that context, to review the work of the Federal Foreign Office. The project is deliberately set up in such a way as to allow a broad dialogue with the public and civil society, in order to gain ideas and insights from outwith the usual interministerial discussion. If we are to be able to take effective action on the world stage, we need to have an understanding here in Germany of the value and the tools of diplomacy. The focus is on the point, the objective and the instruments of foreign policy today.
The project will start with recognised experts from Germany and elsewhere critically examining Germany’s foreign policy. In summer and autumn, events in various German cities will see representatives of civil society debate contested international issues.
The experts’ texts and the events will be published and managed via a specially created website. The internal discussion at the Federal Foreign Office will follow on from there. The projects outcomes will be published in early 2015.
Responsibility for the project Review 2014 – A Fresh Look at German Foreign Policy lies with the Policy Planning Staff of the Federal Foreign Office. Christoph Bertram, former director of SWP – German Institute for International and Security Affairs, is advising them.