Review 2014: The Role of Germany in European Foreign Policy

ECFR's contribution to German Ferederal Foreign Office's Review: 2014


Dr. Markus Ederer, State Secretary, Federal Foreign Office

Mark Leonard, ECFR director

Robert Cooper, former Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs at the General Secretariat of the European Council

Bernard de Montferrand, former Ambassador of the French Republic to Germany

Tomasz Orlowski, Undersecretary of State, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Chaired by

Christiane Hoffmann, Deputy Head of DER SPIEGEL’s office in Berlin

On Friday, the ECFR Berlin office held a public event to mark the end of our contribution to the Federal Foreign Office’s Review: 2014. The event, which was held in Stiftung Mercator’s Projektzentrum, was heavily attended, demonstrating a clear interest in the topic from a wide array of age groups and backgrounds. Der Spiegel’s Christiane Hoffmann moderated the event, in which the speakers were ECFR director Mark Leonard, State Secretary at the Federal Foreign Office, Dr. Markus Ederer, former Director-General for External and Politico-Military Affairs at the General Secretariat of the European Council, Robert Cooper, former French Ambassador to Germany, Bernard de Montferrand and Tomasz Orlowski, Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The external guest speakers outlined their views on what they thought of current German foreign policy and the direction they expected it to take in the future. It was remarked upon how responsible Germany has been in initiating a review process in which its foreign policy is left open to criticism. A general consensus seemed to prevail that Germany is the only leader within Europe at the moment when it comes to foreign policy issues and that within the last 12 months its importance to European foreign policy has greatly increased. Participants said that they would like to see greater German leadership still. The mood was summed up by a quote from the Mr Orlowski, who said “I fear German power less than I fear its inactivity.” Mr Ederer was the last of the guests to speak. He said that Germany was determined to lead a cooperative style of foreign policy that included the voices of European partners. He used the phrase CFO – chief facilitating officer – to describe how the Federal Foreign Office envisages its role in future European foreign policy.

This event was the last in a series which ECFR has conducted across our European offices in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office. The findings of the events, which were all attended by high-level experts from the respective countries, will be analysed and compiled into a publication which will be released in the coming months.