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13. Oktober 2015

The UK beyond 2015 – defining a global role

Paul Heardman, British Consul-General, Munich

Presented by the Foreign Affairs Association’s Young Forum and the Globe Business College Munich

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This year the United Kingdom will be facing challenges, both in domestic and in foreign policy. The right-wing “United Kingdom Independence Party” could become the big winner of the general elections in May, pushing major parties like the Tories to the right. How does this affect the relationship of the UK with the European Union?
Since the “No” to participate in an intervention in Syria two years ago the United Kingdom found itself at a crossroad of reorientation in their foreign policy. The primary objective of British foreign policy, to maintain the “Special Relationship” with the United States, its closest bilateral partner, is at stake. This becomes evident in both, the decision by Prime Minister Cameron to put the military participation to vote and the rejection by the House of Commons. In the current Ukraine-crisis the British government seems to be leaving the field open to French and German officials. How could the political climate in the UK have an impact on the future of British foreign policy? What is the British involvement in the European Security Architecture going to look like in the future? How is the European foreign policy without British evolvement regarding the refugee issue? Where does the UK stand in 2015 and how should we define its global role post 2015? We are looking forward to be discussing these questions with the British Consul-General Mr Heardman in October.

s216_heardman-960-640“Paul Heardman was appointed Her Majesty’s Consul-General for Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in July 2012. He returned to Germany having served previously in the British Embassy Berlin and having been an Erasmus student at the University of Cologne in his undergraduate days.

Heardman joined the UK civil service in 1995 and has specialised in European issues during his career. His first postings were in the UK’s Business Department, including as Assistant Private Secretary to the Industry Minister, and roles covering EU competition policy and EMU. Mr Heardman has also worked on secondment to the European Commission in Brussels and in the UK Cabinet Office’s European Secretariat advising the Prime Minister’s office on European issues.

Heardman’s overseas postings include working in the UK’s Representation to the EU in Brussels, as well as 4 years in Berlin, firstly on secondment to the Federal Chancellery’s EU division and then in the British Embassy as Head of the EU team.

Most recently, Heardman was Private Secretary to 2 successive British Ministers for Europe.” (Source:

Held under the Chatham House Rule: “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” (