Tiergarten Conference 2020 (Online Event)

Cooperative security in times of confrontation

Wishful thinking or a must?

The Corona pandemic is posing some major challenges for international relations, already reeling as they were under the weight of parochial ways of thinking and polarisation before the outbreak. But this global crisis clearly underscores just how vital effective and trustworthy international cooperation really is for human security. Human lives could have been saved. Instead, a bitter realisation is starting to sink in that the window in international politics for urgently needed cooperative security is becoming ever smaller. Instead of growing cooperative security, humanity is witnessing cooperative security on the wane. The fatal reaffirmation of narrow national interests in the field of security policy is fomenting confrontation and uncertainty in the areas of nuclear and conventional arms, strategic balance, climate policy and migration. We are witnessing a resurgence of global rivalry between the great powers. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung would like to discuss this and how Europe and the world can once again achieve more cooperative security at this year's Tiergarten Conference. The event is being staged against the backdrop of the Cooperative Security Initiative.

Our Hashtag: #TGK20

The conference will be held in German, English and French. German-English-French interpretation will be available.

Marius Müller-Hennig
 +49 (0)30–269 35-7710

Event organisation
Adriana Hornung
 +49 (0)030–269 35-7709


The Future of Security is Cooperative
Reinhard Krumm talking to Nils Schmid, Hélène Conway-Mouret, Luisa Neubauer, Kübra Gümüşay and Kristina Lunz.

Speakers Day 3

Christoph Matschie

Christoph Matschie dedicates his second time as Member of Parliament to the German foreign policy with a special focus on Africa. In the ongoing legislative period he is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and deputy speaker of the working group on Foreign Affairs of the social democratic parliamentary group. Also, he leads the working group on Africa within the social democratic parliamentary group. From 2004 until 2017 he held a seat in the Thuringian Parliament, from 2009 until 2014 he was Deputy Prime Minister in Thuringia and Minister of Education, Science and Culture. From 2002 to 2004 as a Member of Parliament he had several functions, among others he was Parliamentary State Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2002-2004).


Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel

Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel is professor of “Politics in Africa” at the Institute of African Studies at Leipzig University (Germany). He is also a visiting professor at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) and a professor extraordinary in the Department of Political Science at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). Since 2006 he is advising the African Union’s Peace and Security Department on issues of early warning, conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy.


Dr. Katharina P.W. Döring

Dr. Katharina P.W. Döring is researcher at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University Stockholm. She works on competing geopolitical projects in the military and security sector in Africa. She is part of the research group "Continentalism, Geopolitics, and the idea of 'big-space' political formations in comparative historical perspective" that brings together studies from Africa, Eurasia, Europe and Latin America. She received her PhD from Leipzig University. Currently, she is authoring a book on African military politics in the Sahel.


Abdi Aynte

Abdi Aynte is the former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Somalia, and a board member of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies (HIPS), a think tank in Somalia. Mr. Aynte is a widely published commentator and analyst on the Horn of Africa, and has been a journalist for 12 years working with the BBC, VOA and Al Jazeera English. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in political science from the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.


Ulrich Thum

Ulrich Thum is Desk Officer for Eastern Africa and Peace and Security at the Africa Department of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Berlin. Before he was Resident Representative of the FES office in Abuja, Nigeria. He has previously worked as a program coordinator for the GIZ Civil Peace Service program in Zimbabwe and as a peace worker for AGEH in South Sudan and Nigeria.


Philipp M. Goldberg

Philipp M. Goldberg is Regional Director of the Peace and Security Competence Centre of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Dakar, Senegal. Before he was Director of the FES office in Bamako, Mali.
Previously, he was working as government advisor of the German Cooperation at the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana.


Mariano Aguirre

Journalist und außenpolitischer Analyst, Experte in internationalen Konflikten, Friedensprozess und -konsolidierung, humanitärer Hilfe sowie Konflikt und Entwicklung. Associate Fellow beim Internatonalen Sicherheitsprogramm vom Chatham House. Ehemaliger Senior-Berater für den kolumbianischen Friedensprozess im Büro des Landesvertreters der Vereinten Nationen in Kolumbien. Ehemaliger Ko-Direktor und Koordination der Programme für Frieden und Sicherheit und Menschenrechte der Stiftung FRIDE (Stiftung für Internationale Beziehungen und außenpolitischer Dialog).


Lucia Dammert

Professorin an der Universität von Santiago, Chile. Soziologin, Doktor der Politikwissenschaften an der Universität Leiden, Niederlande. Tätigkeit an wissenschaftlichen Institutionen in den Vereinigten Staaten, Argentinien und Chile. Regierungsberaterin für mehrere Regierungen in Lateinamerika zu Fragen der öffentlichen Sicherheit.


Wolfgang Grabbendorff

Gastprofessor für Internationale Beziehungen an der Universität Simón Bolívar, Ecuador. Deutscher Politikwissenschaftler und internationaler Berater, 2019 Repräsentant der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Ecuador. War für die Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik und als Lateinamerika-Korrespondent für die ARD in Buenos Aires, Argentinien tätig.  Studium der Geschichte, Soziologie, Politikwissenschaft und Internationaler Beziehungen in Frankfurt, Grinnell (Iowa, USA) und Berlin.


Arlene Tickner

Professorin an der Universität in Rosario, Kolumbien. Zuvor war sie mehr als zwei Jahrzehnte lang Universitätsprofessorin im Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft an der Universidad De los Andes, Kolumbien.   Doktortitel in internationalen Studien der Universität Miami, USA und M.A. in Lateinamerikastudien der Universität Georgetown, USA.  Zu ihren Forschungsschwerpunkten gehören die Wissenssoziologie im Bereich der Internationalen Beziehungen und die Weiterentwicklung der Disziplin.


Kristina Birke Daniels

Leiterin des Regionalen Sicherheitsprojektes für Lateinamerika, FES Kolumbien.  Leiterin der FES Kolumbien seit 2018. Zuvor: Leiterin der FES Marokko, stellvertr. Leiterin der FES Indien, Koordinatorin eines Regionalprogramms sowie Referentin (Referat Lateinamerika und Referat Entwicklungspolitik). Politikwissenschaftlerin, Masterstudium der Internationalen Beziehungen an der Universität Aberystwyth, Bachelor an den Universitäten Hull (Großbritannien) und Barcelona (Spanien).


Online Event - Programme

Day 1

Part 1:  Cooperative Security in Europe under stress

Online discussion


In Europe, Cooperative security does not seem to be working well any longer. Divisions and distrust between Russia and the West create the risk of military incidents, accidents and escalation, and an arms race. At the same time, the safety nets of arms control agreements and confidence-building measures are being cut away. There are fundamentally different narratives on both sides about how we got into such a situation – so soon after what was supposed to have been a new era of democracy, peace and unity after the end of the Cold War. Furthermore, both sides seem to be convinced that they are right, that it is the responsibility of the other to change its ways first, and that time is on their side. As the “Status quo” is becoming more precarious by the day and as we know from history, that a continuation along this trajectory has led to war, we need to have a serious discussion right now.

On this panel on the Euro-Atlantic setting we therefore want to address three fundamental questions:

  • Just, how bad is the security situation in Europe really?
  • Are security and defense in Europe at a purely national level without cooperation still realistic ambitions at all?
  • In which direction do we see the security situation in Europe heading for the coming 5-10 years?

Opening statement:

Kurt Beck, Chairman of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and former Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate

Dr. Reinhard Krumm, FES Vienna: Short presentation of Cooperative Security Initiative


Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former Federal Minister of Justice (tbc)

Ambassador Thomas Greminger, former Secretary General of the OSCE

Heather A Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, CSIS

Hubert Védrine, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of France

Moderator: Christiane Hoffmann, Der Spiegel

Day 2

Part 2: No chance for cooperative security? The “Strategic New Normal” in Asia

Online discussion


Multilateralism and regional cooperation are experiencing an unprecedent crisis. Nowhere is this more evident than in Asia. With the escalating US-China tensions, as well as regional power rivalries, Asia will likely be caught in a long contest for political dominance and military power, collective security, connectivity, supply routes, resources, artificial intelligence and technological supremacy in the age of digital capitalism. The rules and terms of what many refer to as the “Asian Century” are about to be renegotiated in the coming years.

• What does the emerging “strategic new normal” look like in the Asia-Pacific region? Who are the players? What are their narratives and agendas?
• How much room for cooperative security can there realistically be in Asia?
• How are the states and organisations that are more geared to cooperative security dealing with this difficult environment?
• What is the future of major regional organisations such the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with countries across the region being caught between the US and China?


Dr C. Raja Mohan, Professor and Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

Dr Mely Caballero-Anthony, Professor and Head, Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Professor and Director, Institute of Security and International Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Moderator: Mirco Günther, Director, FES Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia, Singapore

Part 3: Cooperative security in the Middle East

Online discussion

Background: Maritime Security in the Persian Gulf – Chances for Cooperation in a Contested Region

Tensions in the Persian Gulf have been rising steadily over the past years, bringing Iran, the U.S., the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their allies close to the brink of a regional war which would have severe regional and international consequences. The current stalemate of positions, the U.S. maximum pressure campaign on Iran as well as rifts within and in-between the gulf monarchies make the prospects for an inclusive regional security forum rather grim, at least for the near future.

Against this backdrop, this panel will discuss the following questions:

  • What would be a more pragmatic approach towards de-escalation and cooperation in this highly contested region?
  • Focusing on maritime security: which possibilities for cooperation in less-sensitive policy areas exist and which role could potential regional / or international mediators play in order to ease tensions and to create the needed trust for any further, more institutionalized, form of security cooperation?
  • How can European political actors support these pragmatic initiatives?


Dr. Ebtesam Al Ketbi, President, Emirates Policy Center

Jytte Guteland, Member of the European Parliament

Dr. Sanam Vakil, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Barbara Slavin, Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council

Moderator: Dr. David Jalilvand, Orient Matters

Day 3

Part 4: Challenges for Collective Security in the Context of the African Peace and Security Architecture

Online discussion


What challenges do ad hoc coalitions such as the G5 Sahel and the Coalition pour le Sahel pose for APSA and how do such coalitions contribute to cooperative security and its future development on the continent?

The panel will look at the different forms of cooperative security in Africa.  Ad hoc coalitions and their international support can be seen as a challenge for the collective security architecture on the African continent. The panel will ask about the area of tension between APSA and ad hoc coalitions and the long-term influence on the existing APSA. 

In addition, the international influence on the ad hoc coalitions, and in particular the question of what effects the increasing dovetailing of military and development policy measures on the part of the EU and other international actors will have on the collective security system will be discussed. The question must also be asked to what extent the coalitions represent a regression towards an increasing militarisation of peacebuilding approaches and in how far a turning away from the concept of collective security inherent in APSA can be observed?  This discussion will be based primarily on the example of the G5 Sahel and the Coalition pour le Sahel - although it will also be discussed whether these coalitions can influence the building of structures of the APSA and whether this could possibly be a blueprint for other conflict regions on the continent (e.g. AMISOM, AU UN Hybrid Mission Darfur, MNJTF).

Opening statement:

Christoph Matschie, Member of the German Bundestag, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the discussion group on Africa of the SPD parliamentary group


Dr. Katharina Döring - Researcher at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University Stockholm

Abdi Aynte, Former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Somalia, Executive Director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies

Prof. Dr. Ulf Engel, Professor of “Politics in Africa” at the Institute of African Studies in Leipzig


Ulrich Thum, Desk Officer Eastern Africa/Peace and Security, FES Berlin

Philipp M. Goldberg, Director FES Peace and Security Competence Centre, Dakar, Senegal

The discussion between the experts will be held and moderated in English. There will be a German and French translation.

Part 5: Cooperative Security in Latin America and in the Carribean: Does this term fall short of the region’s reality?

Online discussion


During the first decade of the 20th century Latin America developed a set of regional security mechanisms, which enabled the continent to address border conflicts, to continue its politics against the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons, and to exchange information between states in order to build mutual trust.

Despite this progress the region lacks a concept of cooperative security, while the regional bodys have been severely weakened. In addition, the states do not participate in western defence alliances, the only exception being Columbia since 2016, which for its very own reasons became a global partner of NATO, participating in the global security partnership by „sharing information and resources“. This step is viewed sceptically by all other countries in the region. Could the term of cooperative security fall too short in a region that historically has few cross-national conflicts or external perceptions of enemies (like terrorism)? Altogether, what is the state of cooperation between the Latin American countries and that of multilateralism in security issues?

The security policy challenges in the region are – except the internationalization of the crisis in Venezuela – mostly of internal nature, although transnational problems are growing. These are caused by traditional risks like international organized crime, militarism (which could lead to military coups), trafficking of drugs, weapons and humans as well as a lack of intra-societal conflict solving mechanisms (which, for example, could end up in gender specific violence). Other serious problems are the effects of environmental degradation, cyber crime and health crises caused by pandemics. But today’s collective security is more difficult than ever before.

• Why did the region fail to develop a cooperative security system?

• Which would be the attributes of a cooperation initiative that aims at reducing internal conflicts and providing a better response to the challenge of violent transnational actors?

• Do the USA offer a regional security strategy for Latin America?

• In what direction do the security concepts in the region develop?


Mariano Aguirre, Associate Fellow at Chatham House

Lucia Dammert, Professor at the University of Santiago (Chile).

Wolf Grabendorff, Visiting professor for International Relations at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Ecuador)

Arlene Tickner, Professor at Universidad del Rosario (Columbia)

Moderator: Kristina Birke Daniels, Director, FES Office in Colombia


Watch our Interview on cooperative security with Radmila Šekerinska, Minister of Defence of North Macedonia in the run-up to our Tiergartenconference.

Video statement by Niels Annen, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office on the Tiergarten Conference: "Cooperative security is a major challenge in times of tension".


Information on Cooperative Security Initiative


Tiergartenkonferenz 2020

Part 1: Cooperative Security in Europe under stress


Tiergartenkonferenz 2020

Part 2: No chance for cooperative security? The "Strategic New Normal" in Asia


Tiergartenkonferenz 2020

Part 3: Cooperative Security in the Middle East


Tiergartenkonferenz 2020

Part 4: Challenges for Collective Security in the Context of the African Peace and Security Architecture


Tiergartenkonferenz 2020

Part 5: Cooperative Security in Latin America and in the Carribean: Does this term fall short of the region’s reality?


About the Tiergarten Conference

With its annual Tiergarten Conference, the FES has since 2012 been aiming to address and highlight new trends in international affairs. Drawing on its extensive global network of offices in around 100 countries, the FES seeks to facilitate dialogue between decision-makers, decision-shapers and decision-takers from around the world on some of the key topics of our times.

While FES’s international activities usually proceed without too much publicity, the Tiergarten Conference is meant to combine an in-depth expert conference with a wider outreach to the public. To this end, a live debate between Members of Parliament, experts and civil society will bring the crucial questions of global governance and international politics to the attention of a broader German audience.

The Tiergarten – a venue for international affairs and home of FES’s international headquarter.

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