Die Ostsee - Europas Binnensee oder Arena erneuerter Machtkämpfe?

07 November 2023 | 18:15-19:45 | Lecture Hall III, Main Building University of Bonn

As an inland sea, the Baltic has always been a space of trade, communication, but also conflict. Even the medieval Hanseatic League of cities based its wealth and power on maritime trade across the Baltic Sea, but was also prepared to send its own fleets to safeguard this power and its prosperity.

The triad of trade, communication and conflict remained over the centuries. Only for a brief moment after the end of the Cold War did it look as if this could be overcome and the European inland sea Baltic could be the projection surface of a pan-European peace order. This idea, too euphemistic even at that time, has turned out to be a fallacy. Today, the region is not only back in the security arena of its neighbors, it is also the focus of geopolitics in a limited space: the turning point in Scandinavia's security policy with the new NATO members Finland and, soon, Sweden, the fear of the Central and Eastern European states of Russia's revanchist expansionist policy, Europe's susceptibility to hybrid warfare scenarios and, finally, the need for a credible (maritime) deterrent capability. All this is taking place in a region where Germany, with the largest and most capable littoral navy, has a special maritime security role and responsibility.

The lecture is intended to provide insights into this dynamic and complex security policy region on our doorstep.



Johannes Peters, Head of Department Maritime Strategy and Security, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK)

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