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Events 2021

April 8, 2021 | Rise Above? Debating Political and Organizational Fragmentations in European Space Policies (Lecture Series "Franco-German Strategic Dialogue")

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April 8, 2021, 9 - 11 a.m





The current scientific and economic objectives of ESA’s and EU’s space missions and infrastructures are set in a highly political landscape of European industry and internal political dynamics, and Europe’s strategic alignment against great powers such as China, America and Russia. Despite the increasing political and economic importance of space research and exploration, legal competencies and policy activities of the EU and ESA still stand apart. This fragmentation in space policy, which is additionally flanked by national space strategies of the EU member countries, activities of the intergovernmental organization EUMETSAT and several intergovernmental bodies for satellite communications, bears important consequences and challenges for the near future of a coherent and competitive EU space policy. This Webinar seeks to identify the challenges ahead and discusses potential pathways of the future European space policy.



Matthias Wachter is Head of Department for International Cooperation, Security Policy, Raw Materials and Space at the Federation of German Industries (BDI). He is a member of the Space Program Commission at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Dr. Nina Klimburg-Witjes is a post-doc researcher in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna. Her work focuses on the politics of innovation, securitization processes and imaginations of social order vis-à-vis space technology and politics. She was a visiting fellow at the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI), is a member of the German Expert Network on Security & Technology in Outer Space and a founding member of the international Social Studies of Outer Space Network.

Dr. Jean-Christophe Mauduit is a lecturer in science diplomacy at University College London Department of Science, Technology, Engineering in Public Policy. He holds a PhD in astronomy and an MA in international relations. He worked as a researcher on ESA and NASA satellite missions and as a Project Officer for the International Astronomical Union.

Dr. Andrew Williams is External Relations Officer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and is responsible for strategic government relations. Prior to ESO he worked for over a decade as senior policy advisor for NATO and as a physicist for the government of the United Kingdom. He holds a degree in physics and a doctorate in public policy.


Dr. Katharina C. Cramer
is a research fellow at CASSIS working on international relations and the global politics of technology. Her research interests include various aspects of the history and politics of research infrastructures in the 20th and 21st centuries and the role of knowledge, innovation and technology in global contexts. She is author of A Political History of Big Science: The Other Europe (Palgrave) and co-editor of Big Science and Research Infrastructures in Europe (Edward Elgar).

In cooperation with "Institut français Bonn" and the "Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit".

February 25, 2021 | Europa und die geopolitische Dynamik in der Arktis. Was will, was kann, was soll die EU im Hohen Norden tun?

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February 25, 2021, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m

Online via Zoom



In the media and the public the arctic is an almost omnipresent topic by now. While the focus is mostly set on climate change and the macro-regional geographic, biotic and sometimes also the socio-economic dynamics of global warming, different change processes in the High North are taking place more silently. Not only Russia has remilitarized its arctic regions, Washington and partly Peking are seeming to be getting more ambitious in this region, as well. How is the European Union standing by these geopolitical changes right in front of its doorstep? Should and would the European Union become an arctic power? What is the European political approach regarding the High North and which issues would, should or could the European Union even influence?






Dr. Christoph Humrich is assistant professor at the Department of International Relations of the University of Groningen/NL. He investigates governance issues in the arctic, is the author of various publications regarding this topic, including co-editor of the “Logbuch Arktis. Der Raum, die Interessen und das Recht”, as well as co-founder and speaker of the DVPW group regarding polar and maritime politics.

Dr. Michael Paul is longtime employee and senior fellow of the foundation “Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)” in Berlin and amongst other things functioned as an expert for maritime security, as a project manager for the dialogue of armed forces and from 1995 – 2007 as the head of the research secretariat of the SWP. He published various research papers, magazine articles and monographs, including “Kriegsgefahr im Pazifik?” (Nomos 2017). Most recently he published a number of studies focusing on the current arctic politics.

Dr. Andreas Raspotnik is Senior Researcher at the High North Center for Business and Governance of the Nord University, Bodø (Norway), Senior Fellow and Leadership Group Member at The Arctic Institute – Center for Circumpolar Security Studies in Washington, DC and Senior Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) in Oslo. He is the author of various studies and research papers regarding arctic topics and published the monograph “The European Union and the Geopolitics of the Arctic” in 2018.

Dr. Joachim Weber is Senior Visiting Fellow at CASSIS, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel (ISPK) and was longtime employee in various federal ministries and federal authorities. Since several years his research focuses on the arctic and he concentrates on various subject areas regarding maritime security since decades. He is editor of the recent arctic handbook at Springer (“Handbook on Geopolitics and Security in the Arctic”, 2020).

In cooperation with the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel.

February 23, 2021 | Transatlantic Security: A New Hope? (Lecture Series: "Franco-German Strategic Dialogue")

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February 23, 2021, 6:30 p.m.

Online via Zoom


According to EU Commission President Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, Europe now has “a friend in the White House”. While many Europeans will share this sentiment, existing transatlantic security issues remain yet to be solved: on questions of NATO burden sharing (the infamous “2 %”), energy security (Nord Stream II), cyber security (Huawei), and possible troop movements within Europe, US President Joe Biden will without a doubt change the rhetoric, but not necessarily the entire substance of the conversation. In parallel, French advances at European Strategic Autonomy grow stronger beyond its national borders and may offer an alternative to the crumbling post-World War II order.

Against this background, an international round of transatlantic experts will discuss past, current, and future challenges – and opportunities – for transatlantic security.




Hans H. Stein

Director, Representation of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to the European Union, Brussels

LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges
Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies, Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)

Dr. Bruno Tertrais
Deputy Director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris

Sumi Somaskanda

Journalist, Senior News Anchor for DW News (Deutsche Welle)

In cooperation with "AmerikaHaus NRW e.V.", the "Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit" and the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Germany.

January 11, 2021 | The West also lies in the East. What a European initiative in the "Indo-Pacific" could look like (Lecture Series "German-French Strategic Dialogue")

2.pngJanuary 11, 2021, 18:15 CET

Lecture is held in English and French

Keynote (in English):

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer,
Professor at the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS)

Discussion (in French):

Elie Tenenbaum,
Research Fellow at the Security Studies Center, coordinator of the Defense Research Unit (LRD) of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI)

Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt,
Director of the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) & Professor at CASSIS

Moderation: Dr. Claire Demesmay,
German Council on Foreign Relations, Head of the France Program

The notion of the "Indo-Pacific" as a geopolitical construct has taken on great significance in recent years, especially in the context of China's (re)emergence. While numerous countries - first and foremost the U.S. - have now presented their own conceptions for the region, the EU is still struggling with a clear positioning. France has been active there for a long time, and since 2014 it has stepped up its military exercises. This is not just about sovereignty and national interests.

Back in 2016, the Ministry of Defense in Paris developed a policy paper France and Security in the Asia-Pacific, in which France's role as a player in the region ("resident power") is officially underpinned. This was followed three years later by another document entitled France and Security in the Indo-Pacific. Since then, France has referred to itself as an "Indo-Pacific power."

Germany, whose prosperity depends to a large extent on trading with countries in the "Indo-Pacific," has only recently taken an official position on the issue (Guidelines on the Indo-Pacific, September 2020). While still being German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier had already organized a major conference on the region in 2015 (Indian Ocean Conference, June 9, 2015) and used this opportunity to draw attention to its strategic importance.

Now the German government is trying to make the "Indo-Pacific" a "priority of German foreign policy." What this means in concrete terms will be discussed at this event. The exchange will also focus on the French approach and address the opportunities and challenges of a European strategy in the region. In Beijing, "Indo-Pacific" is primarily understood as an US-led containment strategy directed against China. In his keynote speech, Prof. Mayer will discuss this and develop options for action for the EU and its member states.

In cooperation with the Institut français Bonn.

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