The main topic of this Munich Security conference is #Westelessness
“Westlessness” – a widespread feeling of uneasiness and restlessness in the face of increasing uncertainty about the enduring purpose of the West. About Westlessness mentioned a century ago Oswald Spengler in his book “The Decline of the West”. He wrote “today, “the West” is the subject of new declinist literature, as a cottage industry of politicians, pundits, and public intellectuals has produced speeches, books, reports, and articles discussing the decay of the Western project.”
About the importance and influence of the West mentioned Frank-Walter Steinmeier in 2019 “Let us hold on to the conviction that ‘the West’ is more than a point on the compass!”
It is important to remember that far-reaching power shifts in the world and rapid technological change contribute to a sense of anxiety and restlessness. The world is becoming less Western. But more importantly, the West itself may become less Western, too. This is what we call “Westlessness.”.
Ukraine, Crimea, Donbas
For 2020, the International Crisis Group highlights ten conflicts to watch, which in many ways reflect global trends. In the situation with Ukraine, such a “trend” is the situation in Donbas. ”A new Ukrainian president has brought fresh energy to efforts to end the six-year-old conflict between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists in the country’s eastern Donbas region. Yet if peace seems slightly more plausible now than a year ago, it is far from preordained –recent plans for a more comprehensive ceasefire and disengagement might collapse and fighting could escalate” -says the report.
Another important question regarding Ukraine was the situation with Nord Stream 2. After US Congress introduced sanctions targeted at companies involved in Nord Stream 2 many EU lawmakers are poised to defend it because they see the situation “as illegitimate US interference”. In addition, the EU built infrastructure and diversified supply to protect against overdependence on Russia, while Berlin helped broker a gas transit deal via Ukraine. As Chancellor Merkel put it: “A Russian gas molecule is a Russian gas molecule, whether it comes via Ukraine or via the Baltic Sea. That means that the question of how dependent we are on Russian gas cannot be resolved by asking which pipeline it flows through.”
Munich Forum in general
The Munich Security Conference is an annual conference on international security policy that has taken place in Munich, Bavaria since 1963. Until 1993 it was called the Conference on Military Issues and was organized by the Christian Social Union, and since 1998 it has been financed by the German government.
Over the past four decades, the Munich Security Conference has become the most important independent forum for the exchange of views by international security policy decision-makers. Each year it brings together about 350 senior figures from more than 70 countries around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.
The conference is held annually in February. The venue is the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany.