Great interest in Sigmar Gabriel's lecture

2023-11-10 Lüneburg. At the invitation of the Centre for Democracy Research (ZDEMO) at Leuphana University Lüneburg, the former Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, spoke on 7 November about 'Europe in uncomfortable times'. In his lecture and subsequent discussion in the packed Libeskind Auditorium, he dealt with the future of Europe in the geopolitical power play between Russia, China and the USA and also addressed the current situation in the Middle East.

The starting point for the lecture was the diagnosis that everything that previously seemed safe and reliable is changing at a rapid pace - and not just since the war in Ukraine. The coronavirus pandemic has shown the vulnerability of supply chains and raw material supplies, while Russia's brutal war of aggression against Ukraine has called energy supplies into question.

Another of Gabriel's findings was that the world's power axes have shifted. Not only has the role of the USA changed in relation to Europe, China is also becoming increasingly important economically and politically. The dominance of European ideas in the world that has existed for centuries is history. It is no longer values but economic interests that are taking centre stage in global political developments.

Against this backdrop, Gabriel emphasised that only a Europe united in its foreign policy goals could continue to retain its international significance. And Germany has a key role to play in this European cohesion.