500+ participants / 80+ speakers / 20+ panels


Day 3

11:45 – 12:45

Zeitenwende: A U-turn Nobody Predicted

In his Zeitenwende speech, delivered a few days after the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz announced a “180-degree course correction” to Germany’s traditionally cautious foreign and defence policy, including, among other things, a revolutionary measure in the form of a €100 billion fund to significantly increase military spending.  The speech was well received by most German and international politicians. Some of them hoped that Germany would become “not just an economic, but also a geopolitical powerhouse” overnight. However, more than a year and a half after the beginning of the war and the Zeitenwende speech, many are starting to doubt that the shift will be as revolutionary as it was originally hoped to be. The fear of escalating the war by providing heavy weaponry to Ukraine or the economic and social blowback of the Russian sanctions is starting to gain ground in Germany. The aim of this panel is to delve into the internal political situation in Germany and its policies towards the war in Ukraine and foreign and defence policies elsewhere in the world, and to draw a conclusion about the longevity of the change of Germany’s foreign and defence policy.

Rachel Tausendfreund
Florian Bieber
Christoph Matschie
Anna Kuchenbecker




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