Joschka Fischer, Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, delivered a public lecture, "Europe and the Future of Transatlantic Relations," on November 19, 2003 in Doodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus. The lecture was co-sponsored by LISD and the Woodrow Wilson School.
Joschka Fischer has served as German foreign minister and vice chancellor since 1998. His political career began in the state of Hesse where in 1991 he became the first-ever Green Party minister on the state level holding the portfolios of the environment and energy. In 1994, Fischer entered federal politics and became co-chairman of the Green Party’s federal parliamentary group.
Fischer belongs to the realist camp of the Green party. As Foreign Minister, he stood against German popular opinion and faced down the majority of Green Party members who opposed German military participation in the Kosovo campaign, arguing against pacifism in the face of genocide and ethnic cleansing. But, as the Iraq war loomed, he clashed memorably with then US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and positioned himself as the one of the few outspoken critics of the Iraq invasion of 2003.
Fischer has been one of the most influential leaders of the German Green Party. He led his party into the political mainstream during the 1998 federal election forming social democrat-green coalition on the federal level. Under Fischer’s leadership, the Green party expanded its voice in the coalition during the 2002 federal election where it achieved its best voting result to date.