Expert conference

X. “Adenauer-Conference"

Germany’s Role in International Security Affairs


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought war back to Europe – implying a clear caesura for the European security order.

EU and NATO reacted with strong sanctions, humanitarian and military assistance for Ukraine as well as an increased presence of military forces along the eastern flank of NATO territory in Europe. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine underlines the necessity of increased and resolute investments of EU and NATO in the resilience of their democratic societies and defensibility.

The Adenauer-Conference on 19 May 2022, will bring together experts from the realms of politics, science, military and civil society to discuss the implications of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine on Germany and Europe, the future of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture, the strategic challenges of Russian–Chinese alliance for the West as well as the impact of hybrid threats on our democratic societies.

Given the announced German “Zeitenwende”, in his keynote-address Ambassador Dr. Christoph Heusgen will highlight the role of Germany in this profoundest security crisis in decades. Together with the Ambassador of France to Germany, H.E. Anne-Marie Descôtes, and the Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group, Dr. Johann Wadephul, MP, he will discuss the importance of the “Franco-German Engine” for strengthening Europe’s capacity to act.


The event will take place in a hybrid format at the Academy of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Tiergartenstraße 35, 10785 Berlin) and via Zoom with the option for German/English translation. Please register via the corresponding link until 17 May


Please take into account regarding your registration for physical attendance: There is a limited number of seats available. At the Conference location, the 3G-rule applies (fully vaccinated, recovered or tested).


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X. Adenauer Conference | Recording of keynote and follow-up discussion


09:30 am Registration and Refreshments

09:30 am Registration and Refreshments

10:00 am Welcome Remarks and Introduction

Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert

Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung & Former President of the German Bundestag

10:10 am Keynote: Zeitenwende – A Turning Point in German Foreign and Security Policy?

Ambassador Dr. Christoph Heusgen

Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Fellow of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

10:30 am Talk: The German-French Engine and the War in Ukraine

Ambassador Anne-Marie Descôtes

Ambassador of France to Germany

Ambassador Dr. Christoph Heusgen

Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Fellow of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Dr. Johann Wadephul, MP

Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag


Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert

Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung & Former President of the German Bundestag

11:30 am Coffee Break

11:30 am Coffee Break

11:45 am Panel I: Europe’s Role in Times of Global Power Shifts

The European Union’s response to Russia’s war against Ukraine was united and determined. At the same time, the European Union is facing great strategic challenges that require a common strategic approach by its member states. This applies especially to safeguarding energy security, the strengthening of the Common Security and Defence Policy, as well as handling the economic implications of the war in Ukraine. The panel will focus in particular on the question of European sovereignty in a geopolitical context. In what way can Europe strengthen its strategic sovereignty? How will this impact the EU’s relationship towards the US and China?


Patricia Lips, MdB

Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag

Marieluise Beck

Director for East-Central and Eastern Europe, Zentrum Liberale Moderne

Rear Admiral Jürgen Ehle
Senior Military Advisor to Managing Director for CSDP and Crisis Response, European External Action Service (EEAS)

Klaus Welle

Secretary-General, European Parliament


Dr. Christina Catherine Krause

Head of Department International and Security Affairs, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

01:00 pm Lunch

01:00 pm Lunch

02:00 pm Panel II: China and Russia – En Route to a Strategic Alliance?

The consultations between Moscow and Beijing in the run-up to the Russian attack on Ukraine showed once more, that Russian–Chinese coordination has steadily intensified since 2014. Common military exercises, intensified cooperation in the area of technology and implementation of 5G, increase of trade and energy business or voting practices in the United Nations seem to point to a potential new alliance between Moscow and Beijing. According to some analysts, intensified cooperation between the People’s Republic and Russia can be explained by the deteriorating relationship between Moscow and the West as well as the great power competition between the US and China. However, a number of obstacles to Russian–Chinese cooperation still exist. How can Russian–Chinese relations be assessed? How will Russia’s war against Ukraine affect these relations? Do we currently observe the beginning of a new reliable strategic alliance or is this scenario implausible? What are the implications for Germany and Europe?


Roderich Kiesewetter, MP

Special Representative for Foreign Affairs and Crisis Prevention Spokesperson for the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag

Heinrich Brauß
Senior Associate Fellow, Security and Defense Program, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

Dr. Brian Carlson

Head of Global Security, Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich


Dr. Sarah Kirchberger

Head of the Center for Asia-Pacific Strategy & Security, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK)

03:15 pm Coffee Break

03:15 pm Coffee Break

03:45 pm Panel III: Transatlantic relations after the attack on Ukraine

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has brought territorial war back to Europe – this is now the first and foremost threat for the transatlantic alliance. Thus, NATO needs to (re-)establish its abilities to ensure collective defence, re-assure partners on its eastern flank and considerably strengthen the European pillar of the alliance. At the same time, NATO is on the cusp of having completed its most important conceptual realignment process of the last decade, which in June 2022, will lead to the adoption of a new strategic concept on the upcoming Madrid summit. Which lessons should NATO and particularly Europe learn from the war against Ukraine? Which priorities have to be set by the new strategic concept in order to adequately prepare the alliance for the challenges on its Eastern flank? How is this going to affect the alliance’s defence planning and nuclear policy?


Jürgen Hardt, MP 

Foreign affairs spokesperson for the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag

Dr. Detlef Wächter

Director General for Security and Defence Policy, Federal Ministry of Defence

Dr. Margarete Klein

Head of the research group Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)

Brigadier Kay Brinkmann

Deputy chief of staff of the Multinational Corps Northeast (NATO)


Vanessa Vohs

Research Assistant, Research Division International Security, SWP and Member of the KAS Working Group of Young Foreign Policy Experts

05:00 pm Panel IV: Disinformation – Hybrid Threat in the information space

The war in Ukraine has made it particularly clear what a decisive factor the sovereignty of interpretation in the information space can have. Immediately before and at the beginning of Putin’s war of aggression, Russia tried to fuel the narrative of the "Russian special and liberation operation" in the information space – with only limited success. Open, pluralistic societies – of which Russian society may not be one – provide a large attack surface for disinformation (campaigns) and illegitimate, subversive operations. This hybrid threat harbours an enormous potential for escalation, which can undermine the security and stability of a country, exacerbate social upheavals or even interfere with democratic elections. Easily disguised, rapid and anonymous dissemination of disinformation and propaganda via forums, platforms and social media enable cost-effective targeted control and manipulation of discourses and public debates distortion of facts, up to attempts to legitimise a war of aggression in Europe in violation of international law.


Colonel Dr. Ferdi Akaltin

Commander of the Bundeswehr Operational Communication Centre

Prof. Dr. Natascha Zowislo-Grünewald

Professor of Corporate Communications, University of the Bundeswehr Munich

Colonel Dr. Johann Schmid

Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr


Dr. Sophie Eisentraut

Head of Research and Publications at the Munich Security Conference and

Member of the Working Group of Young Foreign Policy Experts of the KAS

06:15 pm Conference Closing

06:15 pm Conference Closing

Here you will find the program for download: Programme Adenauer Conference 2022

Register online Add to the calendar


Academy of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation
Tiergartenstr. 35,
10785 Berlin



Adenauer Konferenz 2022: Zeitenwende für Europa: Eröffnungsrede mit Botschafter und KAS-Fellow Dr. Christoph Heusgen über die Rolle Deutschlands vor dem Hintergrund der schwersten Sicherheitskrise in Europa seit Jahrzehnten.
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Event Reports
Christian Thiel
May 23, 2022