Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine not only caused Germany to radically and critically rethink its policy towards Russia, but also led to comprehensive changes and realignments in Germany’s defence, security and foreign policy. In addition to a massive investment in defence, the „Zeitenwende“ declared by Olaf Scholz also encompasses a renewed awareness that Germany must take its role as guarantor of European security more seriously.
In this policy brief, Dr Jana Puglierin outlines the transformations in German energy, foreign and security policy in the context of the “Zeitenwende” over the past year. Moreover, she identifies challenges that the German government will have to overcome in the coming years in order to assume leadership for European defence and security. On the one hand, she argues that Germany should permanently increase its defence budget in the future. On the other hand, she calls for rebuilding lost trust among European partners – especially in Central and Eastern Europe – and for better communicating its political decisions.