49security: Input for Germany’s National Security Strategy

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Source: Sid Saxena /​Unsplash

We are experiencing a turning point. And that means: the world ahead is no longer the same as the world before.” This is how German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Germany’s and Europe’s situation on February 27, 2022, a few days after Russia invaded Ukraine. In the midst of this upheaval, the German government began drawing up the first comprehensive national security strategy for the country.

The challenges were and are enormous. War in Europe, emerging great power conflict, technological arms races, societal polarization, and an accelerating climate crisis: these are just some of the problems for which German policymakers will have to find ambitious answers in the coming years. When launching the strategy development process in March 2022, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock defined three pillars on which it was to rest: the inviolability of our lives, the security of our freedom, and the security of the foundations that undergird our livelihoods.

Guided by these principles, the security strategy was developed across different ministries and finally presented by the German government on June 242023.

To accompany the German government’s strategy process, we launched 49security in July 2022, a curated platform on all things German security policy post-Zeitenwende. It bundled the most important topics and debates surrounding the National Security Strategy – and offered space for strong opinions, a diverse set of voices and ideas on how Germany could better position itself in this rapidly changing world. How can Berlin shape a secure future in and outside of Europe? What does it take for Germany to preserve peace and prosperity at home and foster greater strategic engagement abroad? And what is really different about this​“world after”? These were only some of the questions that German and international experts from academia, civil society and politics grappled with on 49security.

The project is now complete, but the articles and interviews remain online. For more, visit the 49security website (also available in English).

The project was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.