Germany is facing unprecedented challenges leading it to revaluate established policies on security and energy. It has been an important driver of the EU response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agreeing to change its long-standing policy not to supply armaments to active combatant states, announcing significant reinvestment in its own military, and shelving the Nord Stream II pipeline that was to add to the infrastructure for natural gas delivery from Russia.

Likewise, Germany is having to refocus beyond its role as a key pillar of the European Union and a proponent of climate change action to broader international security interests and the Indo-Pacific where relations are being enhanced, following policy guidelines published in 2020 and recently updated. For the first time Germany will also produce a National Security Strategy and a China Strategy both to be forthcoming in the months ahead.

70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Germany, both countries are continuously upgrading their bilateral relationship, following the signing of an Enhanced Strategic Relationship agreement in June 2021. An ever closer partnership in the field of clean energy and expanding defence cooperation are part of that agenda, the latter exemplified by a German frigate visit to Fremantle in September 2021 and German air force participation in Pitch Black exercises in the Northern Territory earlier this year.

The new German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, referred to this shift in foreign and security policy as 'Zeitenwende' —a change in the spirit of the times. But what are the implications of this change for Germany, for the EU and NATO, and the Indo-Pacific?

In this next instalment of our Meet the Ambassador series, AIIA Victoria invites you to join HE Dr Markus Ederer in conversation with former ambassador and current Vice-President of AIIA Victoria, Mr John Richardson.

This event will be held at Dyason House, and online. Please note the earlier start time!

To download the pdf flyer please click here.

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