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Reshaping the nexus of Germany's economic diplomacy and democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland 

Roman Drits / Barnimages
Roman Drits / Barnimages

The “Zeitenwende” is changing not only German foreign policy, but also trade policy. What does this mean for Poland and Hungary in view of their democratic regression? IEP is creating a dialog format for German decision-makers from politics and business.

A recalibration of the long-established German foreign policy approach is on its way due to the government change in 2021 and 2022’s paradigm shift of the “Zeitenwende” in reaction to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. While the dramatic shift of the “Zeitenwende” is predominantly discussed in the realms of security and defence policy, it is also of highest importance for German foreign and economic policies.

For a long time, the nexus between German foreign and trade policy was best summarised through the “Wandel durch Handel” (change through trade) approach. With the “Zeitenwende” as the new leitmotif, a re-configuration of Germany’s foreign policy has spill-over effects on its economic diplomacy.

To examine the significance of “Zeitenwende” for German trade policy as well as the challenges and opportunities arising from its implementation vis-à-vis the democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, IEP hosts confidential roundtables with business representatives and policymakers on the implications on the Polish parliamentary elections in October 2023 as well as on investment conditions in Hungary.

Supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundation gGmbH in cooperation with the Open Society Foundations, IEP aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Zeitenwende both among entrepreneurs and decision-makers through informed debates and confidential exchanges.


Duration: 01 October 2023 – 30 June 2024
Image copyright: Roman Drits / Barnimages