Wolfgang Ischinger: Future of the Euro-Atlantic Security Order
Former Distinguished Scholar Wolfgang Ischinger is a German diplomat who was affiliated with the Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program from April to June of 2014. He has been Chairman of the Munich Security Conference since 2008, and was Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany from 1998 to 2001. Ischinger began his diplomatic career in 1973 in the cabinet of the UN Secretary-General. He served as German Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2008 and to the United States from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, he represented the EU in the Troika negotiations on the future of Kosovo. In 2014, Ischinger was the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office in the Ukraine crisis. He was named Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin in 2015.
Q: What issues or topics are you working on currently?
A: The future of the Euro-Atlantic security order, the transatlantic relationship and European security policy are the issues that continue to preoccupy me!
At the Center, you have so many outstanding thinkers around you that any short meeting or talk could turn into a wonderful, deep discussion which would lead to new ideas.
Q: Have you found your association with the Wilson Center to be beneficial to your work?
A: Very much so! I have hardly ever been in a more stimulating environment than in my months at the Wilson Center.
Q: What are your best memories of your time in residence at the center?
A: The conversations I had. At the Center, you have so many outstanding thinkers around you that any short meeting or talk could turn into a wonderful, deep discussion which would lead to new ideas.
Q: Would you recommend a term as a Wilson Center fellow to a colleague?
A: Without hesitating for a second!
Q: There are lots of conversations about “impact” in the think tank world. What’s the best example you can provide that highlights the impact of your work?
A: I would say that the institution I chair, the Munich Security Conference, has been repeatedly named the number 1 “Think Tank Conference” in the world by a University of Pennsylvania study. And, of course, I am proud that the Munich Security Conference is the premier security policy meeting in the world, where senior global leaders come to present and discuss policy options.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects or other future plans you can tell us about?
A: I am, in addition to teaching and preparing the 2018 Munich Security Conference, currently working on a book about foreign policy.
About the Author
Chairman of the Munich Security Conference and Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany; Former German Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2006 to May 2008 and to the United States from 2001 to 2006.