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2. July 2024

Anniversary of the National Security Strategy: Foreign Minister invites to discussion event

To mark the first anniversary of the German federal government's National Security Strategy, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hosted a discussion at the Federal Academy for Security Policy. High-ranking guests discussed the role of the security strategy as the strategic framework for Germany's integrated security policy and the status of its implementation one year after its publication. The Advisory Board was also represented at guest, organizational and moderation level by its co-chair LKD a.D. Dipl. Krim. Lars Wagner and Dr. Jana Puglierin.

Under the title “National Security Strategy – Integrated Action for Our Security”, panel discussions on various focus topics with civilian and military experts, representatives of the federal states and ministries as well as from the private sector provided space for discussion and a wide range of perspectives on the strategy. For its strategic implications permeate not only politics and the state, but also society and the economy as well as the multilateral level.

Responding to the many threats in each of these domains in an integrated manner constitutes the quintessence of the security strategy, explained Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in her opening speech, describing the strategy as a cross-departmental “work mandate” that helps to align Germany’s policy with reality in the long term. She also emphasized that security requires more than the military and that integrated efforts and sustainable investments from a wide range of stakeholders are necessary. She also referred to the honoring of military and civilian peacekeepers on “Peacekeeping Day” end of June. Baerbock welcomed among others Latvian Foreign Minister Baiba Braže, Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag Dr. Johann Wadephul, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence Siemtje Möller, Head of the State Chancellery of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Patrick Dahlemann, Chairman of the Defence Committee in the Bundestag Dr. Marcus Faber, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology Dr. Franziska Brantner and member of the BDI’s Executive Board Wolfgang Niedermark to the discussion.

During the first panel with the Foreign Minister, Dr. Wadephul emphasized that the creation of the National Security Strategy was the right initiative, but that “the glass is only half full” and that Germany must therefore “step on the gas [and] be the driving force behind the EU and NATO”. In this context, Dr. Ulrike Franke, Senior Fellow of the European Council on Foreign Relations, pointed out that additional adequate funding is needed and that the security strategy incorrectly assumes that this can be provided from existing resources. Lars Wagner, Co-Chair of the Advisory Board, commented: “I can only agree with the above statements. The Advisory Board has repeatedly emphasized in various statements that the National Security Strategy requires a clear allocation of the necessary funding and personnel resources for its actual implementation. The definition of planning objectives – agreed in the coalition agreements but not yet implemented – provides the decisive basis for this.”

Advisory Board member Dr. Jana Puglierin continued: “Security is an issue for society as a whole and a core aspect of the security strategy is achieving this exact change in awareness, i.e. thinking about all the connections between economic, security and peace issues. Geopolitics and geoeconomics now need to be understood as something that can no longer be dealt with separately. Only by focusing on commonalities and by shared priorities can geostrategic decisions and financial and economic resilience be achieved in the long term.”

Puglierin, expert on European foreign and security policy, moderated the panel discussion on “Economic resilience and diversification, innovation and sustainability” at the event, which critically examined the nexus between security and the economy and also included the industry perspective. In particular, the topics of the increasing interdependencies of risks and all security measures, including at European level, and economic resilience in relation to ongoing competition and geopolitical developments (in particular the elections in the USA and France) were discussed. The security strategy is accordingly helping to ensure that resilience strategies in the economy are increasingly geared towards the long term and are truly far-sighted instead of purely ad hoc initiatives.

In 2023, the Advisory Board welcomed the development and publication of the strategy and in particular endorsed its threat analysis and the primacy of prevention. However, in its proactive statement on the publication of the NSS, the Council called for more tangible implementation proposals and operationalizations as well as a more in-depth examination of the German government’s integrated peace engagement and the role of civil society as a peacebuilding actor. You can find the statement from 2023 here.