The German Elections and Europe's Future

Panels and Discussions

The German parliamentary elections could be a watershed moment for the country and for Europe. Will the Federal Republic continue with Merkelism and status quo or are we looking at a possibile repositioning of Germany toward a more engaged posture in European foreign and security policy? What does this mean for Europe’s Future? There are expectations in a significant number of member states of the EU and more broadly for Germany to take a more pro-active and strategic role at a time when Europe is being challenged from various quarters in a changed international environment.

The panel addressed the results of the elections from three regions of Europe by researchers who are this year’s Europe’s Futures Fellows, together with a view from Berlin offered by the research director of the German Council for Foreign Relations DGAP.


Olivia Lazard is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, focusing on the geopolitics of climate, the transition ushered by climate change, and the risks of conflict and fragility associated to climate change and environmental collapse. Olivia is an environmental peacemaking and mediation practitioner as well as a researcher. With an original specialization in the political economy of conflicts, she has worked for various NGOs, the UN, the EU, and donor states in the Middle East, Latin America, Sub-Saharan and North Africa, and parts of Asia. In her fieldwork, her focus was to understand how globalization and the international political economy shaped patterns of violence and vulnerability patterns as well as formed new types of conflict systems that our international governance architecture has difficulty tackling with agility. It is also through fieldwork that she came to observe the ways in which the plundering of ecosystems feeds conflict systems across the world and contributes to climate disruptions. Prior to joining Carnegie Europe, Olivia set up her own consultancy firm, Peace in Design Consulting, which remains exclusively active in conflict and fragile zones. 

Valbona Zeneli joined the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) in August 2011 as a professor of national security studies. She is also Chair of the Strategic Initiatives Department. Previously, she also served as the Black Sea and Eurasia program director and deputy director for the Central and Southeast Europe program. Before joining the GCMC, Valbona was a professor of international economics at the European University of Tirana and associate professor at the New York University of Tirana. She has served as chief of protocol and later economic adviser to the Albanian prime minister. Prior to that, she worked as adviser to the minister of economy of Albania. Valbona holds a PhD in political economy from the University of Studies “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy, as well as a postgraduate studies degree on international marketing from Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Roderick Parkes Since March 2021, Dr. Roderick Parkes has been a research director at DGAP. He also heads the Alfred von Oppenheim Center, where he works on issues of European integration and the EU’s role in the world. He joined DGAP from the Institute for Security Studies, a Paris-based agency of the EU, where he provided advice to decision-makers on dealing with the intersection of EU internal security and foreign policy.Over the past 15 years, Parkes has worked across Europe. At the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI), he worked on a special research project for the foreign ministry on the geopolitics of migration; at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), he headed the Europe Program; and at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), he worked as a researcher in Berlin before heading its liaison office to EU institutions and NATO. Parkes holds a PhD from the University of Bonn and studied at Cambridge, the University of Edinburgh, and Sciences-Po Grenoble. He has taught at the European Security and Defense College, NATO School Oberammergau, and NATO Defense College.

Zoran Nechev is is a leading regional expert on relations between the European Union and candidate-countries from the Western Balkans, specialising in external dimensions of Justice and Home Affairs. Zoran heads the Center for EU integration of the Institute for Democracy “Societas Civilis” from Skopje, North Macedonia. Zoran is also an academic guest at the Center for International and Comparative Studies at ETH Zürich, and has worked at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris.

Ivan Vejvoda, IWM Acting Rector, Permanent Fellow and head of Europe’s Futures programme, will host and moderate the event.

The event will be held in the "hybrid" format: 

You can join either via the Zoom link provided after the registration OR by attending the event in person at the IWM library (under “3G” restrictions) – please specify the preference while registering.


Europe’s Futures – Ideas for Action is IWM’s strategic partnership initiative with the ERSTE Foundation aiming to understand and address challenges posed to Europe and the European Union by the eroding of democracy, rule of law deficiencies, migratory pressures or climate change.