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Events 2021

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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