178th Bergedorf Round Table

Nora Müller, Peter Frey, Woflgang Schmidt, Jana Puglierin, Alisa Vogt (fLTR) Photo: David Ausserhofer

The End to Illusions:
“Zeitenwende” and the Future of Germany’s International Role

Berlin, 25-26 March 2022


Putin’s war against Ukraine constitutes not only a turning-point in European history, but also a cathartic moment for Germany as an international actor. Acknowledging that “if the world changes, our policy must change, too”, long-held foreign and security policy principles were revisited or even reversed in a matter of days. In a seismic U-turn on decades of German foreign policy, Berlin drew its own consequences and decided to not only halt Nord Stream 2, but also to initiate nothing less than a paradigm shift when it declared to provide weapons to Ukraine, create a one-time 100 billion euro fund for the German military and meet NATO’s two-percent goal. As an additional consequence of the current crisis, unprecedented measures to reduce Germany’s dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal are also underway. While the “Zeitenwende” undoubtedly marks a watershed moment for Berlin, the debate about its implementation, its domestic repercussions, and its implications for Germany’s future relations with autocratic systems, first and foremost China, has only just started.

The 178th Bergedorf Round Table sought to explore trajectories and trends that will define the future of Germany’s foreign and security policy in a changed international order.

A distinguished group of 25 high-ranking politicians, government officials, and representatives of think tanks, academia and media from Germany, other EU and non-EU states discussed these questions during the 178th Bergedorf Round Table on 25 and 26 March 2022 in Berlin.

  • Nora Müller, Peter Frey, Woflgang Schmidt, Jana Puglierin, Alisa Vogt (fLTR)
    Nora Müller, Peter Frey, Woflgang Schmidt, Jana Puglierin, Alisa Vogt (fLTR) Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Wolfgang Schmidt
    Wolfgang Schmidt Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Norbert Röttgen, Aydan Özoğuz
    Norbert Röttgen, Aydan Özoğuz Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook
    Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Historische Kassenhalle, Humboldt Carré
    Historische Kassenhalle, Humboldt Carré Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Franziska Brantner
    Franziska Brantner Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Joschka Fischer, Bettina Cadenbach
    Joschka Fischer, Bettina Cadenbach Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Alexander Stubb, Joschka Fischer
    Alexander Stubb, Joschka Fischer Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Franziska Brantner, Wolfgang Schmidt
    Franziska Brantner, Wolfgang Schmidt Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Eric Gujer, Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Arancha González Laya
    Eric Gujer, Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Arancha González Laya Photo: David Ausserhofer
  • Alan Mendoza, Nora Müller, Franziska Brantner, Jana Puglierin
    Alan Mendoza, Nora Müller, Franziska Brantner, Jana Puglierin Photo: David Ausserhofer

List of Participants