We are experiencing a turning point. And that means: the world ahead is no longer the same as the world before.” This is how German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described Germany’s and Europe’s situation on February 27, 2022, a few days after Russia invaded Ukraine. In the midst of this upheaval, the German government began drawing up the first comprehensive national security strategy for the country.

The challenges were and are enormous. War in Europe, emerging great power conflict, technological arms races, societal polarization, and an accelerating climate crisis: these are just some of the problems for which policymakers must find ambitious answers. When launching the strategy development process in March 2022, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock defined three pillars on which it was to rest: the inviolability of our lives, the security of our freedom, and the security of the foundations that undergird our livelihoods. 

Guided by these principles, the security strategy was developed across different German ministries and finally presented by the German government on June 242023.

What Happened Here?

To accompany the German government’s strategy process, we launched 49security, a curated platform on all things German security policy post-Zeitenwende, in July 2022. Over the following year, we sought answers to questions like: How can Germany shape a secure future in and outside of Europe? What does it take for Berlin to preserve peace and prosperity at home and foster greater strategic engagement abroad? And what is really different about this world after”? 

In more than 150 opinion pieces, interviews and debates, German and international experts from academia, civil society and politics grappled with these and other questions on this very platform. 49security bundled the most important topics and debates surrounding the National Security Strategy – and offered space for strong opinions, a diverse set of voices, and ideas on how Germany can better position itself in this rapidly changing world. 

The project is now complete, but the articles and interviews remain online for you to read, share and draw on to continue the debate on German and European security and defense policy that this platform ignited.

And the Name?

A symbolic link between Germany, Europe and the rest of the world – in the best case, a national security strategy also fulfills this function, among many others. With this image in mind, we arrived at the name of our platform. We wanted to give a nod to +49 – Germany’s international calling code. If you want to get through to Germany or are hoping to get answers from there, you will have to call here. 

But there is more to it than that. Our​“plus” stood and stands for the conviction that more is possible: more imagination, more strategy, more creative will, more active listening, more partnership. And what better way to get started than with more voices and ideas?

The Team Behind the Platform

49security was a project of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin and generously funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. The editorial team was based at GPPi. Responsibility for the content and opinions expressed in the articles and interviews continues to lie with the respective authors.

If you have questions, you can still reach us at gppi@​gppi.​net.


We are no longer accepting submissions for 49security.