Panel discussion and ceremonial act by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung

Peace policy in our time – 50th Anniversary of Willy Brandt winning the Nobel Peace Prize

What can we learn from Willy Brandt's policies to help us cope with the challenges in global and European politics today? How can social democracy boost the European peace mission in an increasingly complex world? What questions must an all-embracing peace policy seek answers for in the future and for future generations?

From the United Nations Agenda 2030 to the guidelines of German foreign and peace policy: Willy Brandt's guiding principles for a more peaceful world have left their mark on German and international politics. His strong commitment to international peace still shapes the core of social democratic foreign, peace and development policy today.

50 years ago, on 10 December 1971, the German Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo for his committed work for détente and peace in Europe. The Nobel Committee paid tribute to the German Chancellor and former Foreign Minister for his then domestically controversial “Ostpolitik” which was based on the principles of non-violence and recognition of the status quo of the Eastern and Western blocs.

Willy Brandt acted in accordance with his profoundly pacifist beliefs which were not restricted to the pursuit of national and European interests. Half a century ago, he was already actively campaigning to balance the economic disparities between the North and South and for a comprehensive peace policy.

"Change through rapprochement", "Policy of small steps", "Common security" – are Willy Brandt's guiding principles for promoting peace and security still significant in a world of multipolar confrontation?  How can social democracy boost the European peace mission? What questions must a comprehensive peace policy seek answers for in the future? What roles will NATO and the OSCE play?

From 14:00-20:30 on 8 December 2021, 50 years after Willy Brandt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, we will be discussing whether Willy Brandt's peace policy ideas and initiatives can continue to form a basis for foreign, peace and security policy in the 21st century.

Some discussants at a glance:

  • Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the OSCE
  • Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO
  • Ursula Schröder, Director of the IFSH
  • Niels Annen, Member of the German Bundestag and State Minister of the Federal Foreign Office
  • Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
  • Martin Schulz, President of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
  • Barbara Kunz, Researcher at IFSH


Please find a programme overview here.


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The event will be held online. German-English translation is available.

If you have any questions, please contact