Chatham House Conference

Europe's Strategic Choices: Building Prosperity and Security, 17 - 19 October 2014

Europe is facing enormous strategic challenges. In particular, areas of conflict in the evolving international environment and current developments represent increasing problems, but also opportunities. As such, in cooperation with the Westerwelle Foundation, internationally renowned British think tank Chatham House together with Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel invited around 180 senior politicians, business leaders and academics to Berlin to discuss themes on Economy, Energy and Security Policy. The conference under the title “Europe’s Strategic Choices: Building Prosperity and Security” took place from October 17th to 19th.

Two Scholarship Fellows of Westerwelle Foundation

The Conference, attended by Westerwelle Foundation’s two scholarship fellows, opened with a speech by Head of the Federal Chancellery Peter Altmaier followed by Dietmar Woidke, Prime Minister of the Federal State of Brandenburg. The list included other prominent speakers, such as Dr. Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund, Franco Frattini, President of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) and former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Immigration and Security of the UK, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Commissioner-General, Policy Planning, France Stratégie, Services of the Prime Minister, Dr. Emily Haber, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Rainer Baake, State Secretary Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Dr. Markus Ederer, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office.

Director of the Chatham House Dr. Robin Niblett and Director of ISPK Professor Dr. Joachim Krause moderated the panels for the most part and posed the following central questions:


  • What are the threats that Europe now faces and to what extent do these come from within?
  • How can Europe balance competing international priorities among member states and to what extent can Europe sustain a coherent joint foreign policy?
  • With military spending and consequently military capabilities under pressure, how does Europe envisage its future global role in international security policy?
  • Can a Europe-wide balance be struck between export-led growth and growth driven by consumer spending?
  • How can governments keep their electorates onside while implementing necessary structural reforms?
  • How can investment be boosted to ensure business has access to finance?
  • To what extent should governments involve themselves in industrial policy?

“It’s not enough to discuss our values intensively, we have to fight for them, we all are forced to strengthen the value orientation as a frame condition for a peaceful development worldwide and for better individual prospects as well.”

Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, Secretary General of the Westerwelle Foundation and former State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (2009 – 2013) noted in his final summary that Europe’s Security and Prosperity not only relies on what is happening within Europe- in this globalized world we need to think globally and act globally.

Further information:

Please find detailed summary of the Conference here.

To visit the website of Chatham House - The Royal Institute of International Affairs click here.