The 67th Königswinter Conference took place in Neuhardenberg (Brandenburg) from 30th March to 1st April 2017: "The End of Tranquility - what now for Europe?"
One day after Article 50 was officially triggered by the United Kingdom Government last week, the 67. Königswinter Conference took off at Schloss Neuhardenberg. For two days, around 70 participants discussed the German-British and European-British relations in three working groups during a historical moment for our continent.
The Königswinter Conference was established in 1950 with the aim of improving the troubled relationship between Germany and Great Britain. It takes its name from the Rhineside spa opposite Bonn where the Conference took place initially. Since then the Conference has convened once a year bringing together around 80 German and British politicians, diplomats, business managers, academics and journalists for a profound exchange of ideas. Königswinter has created bonds and friendships helping to improve the understanding of policy differences on topical issues and challenges and to work towards common approaches. The issues discussed over the years have ranked from security policy, the Atlantic alliance, European integration, the future of the welfare state, education policy and the integration of ethnic minorities to international economic policy. The Königswinter Conference is organised jointly by the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft and its British counterpart, UK Koenigswinter.
State Secretary Silberberg addresses participants
in Potsdam, 2007
Location, Date and Programme
The Königswinter Conference takes place alternately in Germany or Britain, normally in spring or early summer of each year. The overall theme of the Conference is always a broad one in order to allow for exchange between participants of different backgrounds.
The conference lasts for two days, beginning with a plenary discussion. Afterwards, participants break up into working groups devoted to in depth discussion of a specific topic, such as security issues or economic questions. The conference usually begins with a plenary discussion. Results of these working group meetings are presented in the closing session.
Former Federal President Horst Köhler underlined the importance of Königswinter in his opening address in 2005 as follows:
"’Königswinter’ has become such a widely-recognised brand name for bilateral social dialogue that you could almost have it patented. The central task of the Deutsch-Britische Gesellschaft and the Königswinter Conference remains highly relevant: to bring two of Europe’s large nations even closer together, and to promote the German-British relationship, also within the European framework."