Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Joschka Fischer considers the changes which Germany and its role in Europe have undergone since reunification. In a global economic and geopolitical context which is very different to that of twenty years ago, the speaker argues that Germany's economic, security and foreign policies have evolved to take account of Germany's changing position, not only at the heart of a changing Europe but also as a member of a rapidly evolving global community of nations.
Joseph Martin "Joschka" Fischer (born April 12, 1948) was German foreign minister and Vice Chancellor in the government of Gerhard Schroder from 1998 to 2005. He was a leading figure in the German Green Party and, according to opinion polls, he was the most popular politician in Germany for most of the government's duration. Following the September 2005 election, in which the Schroder government was defeated, he left office on November 22, 2005.
Dr. Robin Niblett
Robin Niblett is the Director of Chatham House, President of The Center for Strategic and International Studies, former director of the CSIS Atlantic Partnership Project, and co-editor of Rethinking European Order: West European Responses, 1989-97.
Joschka Fischer, former Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, argues that enlargement is the European Union's most important tool to project power in unstable neighboring regions. He predicts a high risk for instability and crises if a new form of European spirit does not appear.
A comment on dealing with Russia. Ex-foreign minister Fischer still lives in a Cold War era. He considers the breakup of the USSR in the beginning of 1990's as a triumph of the Western democracy. Unfortunately, nobody has won. According to many academic sources, world conflicts after the end of Cold War only intensified. It's a huge mistake to wish Russia "to be down on its knees" or treat it as "complicated" rather than equal partner given its capabilities and weight on the international arena; and this goes regardless of the energy prices.