A careful balancing act - germany's new role in security and defence policy


  • Anna Sundberg
  • Eva Hagström Frisell

Publish date: 2017-02-08

Report number: FOI-R--4399--SE

Pages: 73

Written in: Swedish


  • Germany
  • security policy
  • defence policy
  • white paper
  • NATO
  • EU
  • CSDP
  • Bundeswehr
  • recruitment
  • acquisition
  • defence budget
  • defence reform.


Germany is Europe's largest economy and has in recent years also become increasingly important for European security. The purpose of this study is to analyse the German security and defence policy, by focusing on a range of topics that have been especially prominent in the German security and defence policy debate in 2016. The study shows that Germany in 2016 has taken several steps to be able to take more responsibility in security and defence policy. The new white paper on German security policy and the future direction of the armed forces, which was adopted in July 2016, emphasizes that Germany is prepared to play a significant and leading role in security policy. In 2016, the Government has also taken a number of important decisions to adapt the current German defence reform to the new security situation. Germany seeks first and foremost multilateral arenas such as the EU and NATO for its new role but bilateral collaborations are also important to complement the national capability. At the same time, several domestic and foreign policy challenges are emerging for Germany which can affect the ability of the country to live up to the expectations that are placed on Germany, but also the completion of the reforms undertaken to strengthen the German defence capability.