Keynote address by Minister Jens Spahn followed by a moderated discussion with Anne McElvoy

Crisis Leadership





Nov 23, 2020


The Covid-19 Pandemic as a Chance for an Updated German Foreign Policy

Monday, November 23, 2020, 9:00 am EST // 3:00 pm CET

Join this exciting virtual keynote of the German Minister of Health Jens Spahn on crisis leadership during the twenty-first century’s first global health crisis. Do the challenges imposed by Covid-19 set an impulse for changes not only in digitization, but also for international cooperation? What does the crisis imply for an updated German foreign policy?

From one day to another, individuals all over the world had to adapt to completely uncertain circumstances. The Covid-19 pandemic imposed global challenges, not only for health care systems worldwide, but also politically and economically. Rarely have leaders all over the world at all levels been faced with a comparable situation. Crises can make or break a society. This emphasizes the need for responsive governments and leaders implementing solutions if crises put communities to the test.

Even though Germany is often praised for its cautious measures at an early stage of the pandemic, another big test for its society is yet to come: dealing with the worst recession since World War II. This requires solidarity and coordinated policy responses not only nationally, but also across nations. The dynamics of international relations have changed considerably in recent years. Germany is repeatedly expected to take a stronger role in international politics with completely new questions arising: What is the real situation regarding the European Union's (EU) ability to act and European solidarity? How will we collaborate in the search and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine? What about Europe's foreign policy power? What is Germany's role in this and what do the future relations of Germany, the US, Europe and China look like? Will the "West" continue to stick together in the future? And how can our population, which has traditionally shown little interest in foreign policy, be taken along with the major changes in the future?

This keynote address will provide a unique opportunity to get insights from a rising star in German politics. Jens Spahn is the Federal Minister of Health who has dealt with unprecedented challenges when Covid-19 became a global threat. Join Minister Spahn’s keynote address and moderated discussion with Senior Editor at The Economist Anne McElvoy, on the chances for an updated German foreign policy.

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