Conference Profile

The Berlin Security Conference is one of the largest European security and defence policy events. The congress and exhibition, held every autumn since 2001 in Berlin, draw about 1 200 participants from European and non-European countries, the European institutions, and NATO. The 19th Berlin Security Conference will take place at the andel’s Hotel & Convention Center Berlin on 18 and 19 May 2021.

The Berlin Security Conference is organised by the Behörden Spiegel, Germany’s leading independent civil service newspaper. The event is free of any government influence. It is not supported by public budgets and is therefore at liberty to take a neutral and objective stance. The many participants appreciate this independence.

Major Subjects

European Security and Defence
The Berlin Security Conference is a forum aimed at promoting the Common Security and Defence Policy. It focuses on issues concerning the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council as well as national parliaments and ministries. The emphasis is on proposing and discussing concrete solutions aimed at improving European and transatlantic political, operational and tactical cooperation. The goal is to develop ways to mitigate the frictions caused by insufficient capabilities, inadequate standardisation, the lack of interoperability, differences in the levels of support and national restrictions.

Transatlantic Cooperation
Security in Europe must be ensured by cooperating closely with the United States while taking the requirements of the EU’s and NATO’s neighbours into account. Transatlantic cooperation and future security structures will therefore be a central focus of the conference. Members of the EU, NATO and OSCE contribute to the programme and participate in the Berlin Security Confe rences.

The European Post-Cold War Security System
Despite the fact that there is currently considerable disagreement with the Russian Federation, Europe has become a continent of stability and peace. NATO and the EU have substantially contributed to this success. However, the increasing tension indicates that the European Post-Cold War Security System will need to be adjusted.

The Berlin Security Conference deals with European issues of security and defence, but looks also beyond Europe’s borders. Afghanistan has been the focus many times. The Middle East and Africa are areas of major concern requiring continuous attention. Neighbourhood policy is a decisive issue of security and defence.


For some years now nations have been invited to become partners of the Berlin Security Conference. They contribute to the programme, participate with high-ranking delegations and organise the Pre-event Reception in their embassies. Partners thus far include:

  • BSC 2012: Russian Federation
  • BSC 2013: United Kingdom
  • BSC 2014: Turkey
  • BSC 2015: United States of America
  • BSC 2016: France
  • BSC 2017: Sweden
  • BSC 2018: Netherlands
  • BSC 2019: Italy
  • BSC 2020. Czech Republic
Speakers and Participants

In addition to over 150 distinguished speakers including political, military, business and civil society leaders the conference draws an ever larger number of members of national parliaments and the European Parliament, as well representatives of the European institutions and NATO. Foreign and Defence Ministers, Ambassadors, Generals, Admirals and industry representatives see the conference as an invaluable forum for addressing a wide range of topics related to security and defence policy. Members of the armed forces, representing all ranks and a wide range of European countries and multinational staffs, as well as representatives of security organisations and industry, contribute to the lively exchange of views and hence to the success of the conference.