MSC Kick-off

Kick-off to the 54th Munich Security Conference in Berlin

View of the main hall of the Bavarian Representation in Berlin during the Kick-off event for the 2018 Munich Security Conference (Photo: MSC / Kuhlmann)

“In the last year, the world came closer – much too close – to the brink of a significant conflict. With our Munich Security Report 2018, we are asking if the international community is moving away from that brink again." With these remarks, the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, opened this year's MSC Kick-off event. On this occasion, the MSC welcomed more than 300 guests to the Bavarian State Representation in Berlin on February 8.

The event also featured the publication of the annual Munich Security Report, this year titled "To the Brink - and Back?" The report highlights some of the most pressing security policy challenges and serves as a background reading for the 54th Munich Security Conference (download the report as PDF here).

The event provided an overview of the topics of the upcoming Munich Security Conference. Following the presentation of the Munich Security Report 2018, Ambassador Ischinger discussed future challenges to German and European foreign policy with Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office. A subsequent panel discussion featured Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations as well as Franziska Brantner and Niels Annen, Members of the German Bundestag for the Alliance 90/The Greens and SPD Parliamentary Group, respectively. A detailed report on the opening event of the 54th Munich Security Conference as well as photos of the event can be found here and in our media library.

About the MSC Kick-off

Since 2010, the "MSC Kick-off" is taking place in the weeks leading up to the Munich Security Conference at the Bavarian Representation in Berlin. The event addresses decision-makers in politics and business, diplomats, media representatives as well as the Berlin think tank community and introduces key topics that will be featured at the upcoming MSC. Since 2015, the MSC presents its annual Munich Security Report at the "Kick-off" event.

Past Events

"Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?" Preview of the Munich Security Conference 2017

"The international security order today is probably more volatile than at any other point after the end of World War II." With these words, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, welcomed the approximately 300 guests of the traditional MSC Kick-off event at the Bavarian Representation in Berlin on February 13, 2017.

Ischinger gave a first overview of the topics of the upcoming Munich Security Conference and presented the new Munich Security Report. Entitled "Post-Truth, Post-West, Post-Order?", the report compiles a variety of analyses, data, statistics, infographics, and maps on major developments and challenges in international security. Ischinger's summary: "The West is shaken to its very foundations."

His introductory remarks were followed by a debate with State Secretaries Emily Haber (German Federal Ministry of the Interior) and Markus Ederer (German Federal Foreign Office), as well as a keynote speech by Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag. Click here to read a comprehensive report from the event, or take a look at photos and a video of the MSC Kick-off in our media library

"Boundless Crises, Reckless Spoilers, Helpless Guardians" – A Preview of the 52nd Munich Security Conference

The Kick-Off for the 52nd Munich Security Conference took place on 28 January 2016 in the German capital. The event was hosted at the  Representation of the Free State of Bavaria in Berlin and was attended by about 250 guests of the military, private sector, academia, civil society, media as well as German government officials and the Berlin diplomatic community.

The former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan, the former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel as well as the Head of the German Federal Chancellery Peter Altmaier discussed the boundlessness of conflicts and crises, together with the MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger. The current refugee crisis as well as the conflict in Syria were the focus of the debate and of the speeches. The speakers agreed that the crisis and the conflict could only be resolved through a joint international responses. Wolfgang Ischinger confirmed that the refugee crisis would also be high on the agenda during the upcoming conference in Munich. 

This year’s version of the Munich Security Report, which sheds light on major challenges and trends in international security today,  
was also launched at the Kick-Off (available for download here).

"Collapsing Order, Reluctant Guardians" – A Preview of the Munich Security Conference 2015

The 51st Munich Security Conference was kicked off in Berlin on January 26 2015. The Representation of the Free State of Bavaria in Berlin received about 200 guests from politics and business.

During the event, the panelists debated whether increased German responsibility at the global level would also require increased military interventions  
- Peter Gauweiler, MoP for the CSU and deputy chairman of the CSU, Stefan Liebich, MoP for Die Linke, Klaus Naumann, former general of the German army and former chairman of the NATO Military Committee and Norbert Röttgen, MoP for the CDU debated the topic.

At the event, the Munich Security Conference also presented the Munich Security Report – its new flagship publication – entitled “Collapsing Order, Relluctant Guardians?”. The MSR presents data, analyses and maps which illustrate major developments and critical challenges to international security and serves as conversation starter for the Munich Security Conference (available for download here)

The U.S. in Retreat, Europe Without Ambition? The Future of the Transatlantic Security Community – A Preview of the 50th Munich Security Conference

Ten days ahead of the 50th Munich Security Conference, over 200 politicians, diplomats, journalists, and other guests came together in Berlin for the annual MSC Kick-Off event. Together with distinguished guests, among them German State Secretary Ederer and US Ambassador to Germany Emerson, the MSC chairman Wolfgang Ischinger introduced key topics of the 50 th Munich Security Conference. During the Kick-Off, the MSC also presented the anniversary book “Towards Mutual Security – Fifty Years of Munich Security Conference”. Contributors to this unique selection of essays include Helmut Schmidt, John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Omid Nouripour, and John McCain.

The West and the crises from Mali to Syria – An outlook towards the 49th Munich Security Conference

The MSC kick-off on January 21th, 2013, introduced into the key topics of the 49th Munich Security Conference, focussing on the challenges in the aftermath of the "Arab Spring" as well on the Iranian nuclear question. Deputy NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, the Free Democratic Party member of the German Bundestag, Rainer Stinner, Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Minister and designated Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, and the Christian Democratic Union member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag, Ruprecht Polenz, discussed these issues with Iranian IAEO Ambassador Ali Asgar Soltanieh and MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger.