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25th International WDR Europaforum 2023


Supporting Ukraine against Russia’s aggression is just one of the new challenges Europe is facing. The ‘Zeitenwende’, or turn of the times, has thoroughly changed framework conditions for all major tasks of the EU.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Russian war against Ukraine is in its second year, and the outcome remains uncertain. But one thing is already certain: Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of the neighbouring country will leave behind a fundamentally changed balance of power, in Europe and beyond. The anniversary edition of the WDR Europaforum on 6 June in Berlin will focus on this geopolitical litmus test that Russia‘s war against Ukraine represents for our continent.

Meanwhile, other global problems demand attention with undiminished urgency. Climate change, migration, epidemics and environmental disasters, especially in the global South, require coordinated responses from the community of nations. However, this comes at a time when their willingness to cooperate is further weakened by the dominating world event of the war against Ukraine. Appreciation of the value of international rules and systems of order is under pressure – from Russia‘s open aggression, from China‘s growing great power ambitions and from the ambivalent attitude of key third countries such as Brazil, India or South Africa.

Amid this new confusion, orientation is of the essence more than ever – concepts for the challenges that will determine whether a united Europe can maintain its place among the global powers: In what form is some form of cooperation – or at least coexistence – with Russia conceivable after the war? How should partnership and rivalry be balanced in the relationship with China? What must Europe do to strengthen democracy and the rule of law against nationalism and populism in its own camp?

At its anniversary event – the 25th edition – the International WDR Europaforum will address these questions on 6 June 2023 under the motto:

Marginalised in geopolitics? Europe’s role after the ‘Zeitenwende’

The event is hosted by: Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Südwestrundfunk, Österreichischer Rundfunk and the ARD/ZDF event and documentary channel phoenix, together with the European Commission and the European Parliament.

We  are looking forward to your participation!

Tom Buhrow

Director Genreal of Westdeutscher Rundfunk

Kai Gniffke

Director General of Südwestrundfunk

Joachim Knuth

Director General of Norddeutscher Rundfunk

Roland Weißmann

Director General of Österreichischer Rundfunk