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Germany

Behind the scenes at the Munich Security Conference

For three days, Munich will be the center of global politics. DW takes a brief look at the participants and the logistics involved in such an event, from police and hotel staff to bottles of wine and breakfast rolls.

Munich likes to refer to itself as the cosmopolitan city "with a big heart."

But every February, Munich turns into a cosmopolitan city of diplomacy when the annual conference on international security policies comes to town.

The 52nd Munich Security Conference at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, a luxury hotel in the heart of the city with 340 rooms and 40 conference rooms, is a forum for official and unofficial meetings, for allies and opponents alike. About 600 international senior policymakers are expected at the conference this year, among them almost 30 heads of state and government, about 70 foreign and defense ministers and five directors of intelligence services.

Deutschland Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz 2015 Steinmeier, Fabius und Kerry

Steinmeier, Fabius und Kerry at last year's conference

Participants include US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as well as Iranian chief diplomat Javad Zarif and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel's Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier will also be present.

Key annual gathering

Naturally, such an abundance of VIPs from the political arena attracts the media: 700 reporters from 48 countries are accredited for the conference.

VIPs also need protection. Details for 2016 weren't yet available, but in 2015, 3,600 police officers guarded the event - a figure that seems almost frugal compared to the 24,000 police at last year's G-7 summit at secluded Schloss Elmau, also in Bavaria.

Deutschland Sicherheitskonferenz in München Hotel Bayerischer Hof

Security is always tight at the conference venue and around the city

Protesters are also expected to flock to Munich for the occasion, with nine demonstrations planned over the course of the conference - 4,000 demonstrators are expected to show up for the largest protest on Saturday.

4,000 meals, 700 bottles of wine

Conference participants are unlikely to notice protests, as the Hotel Bayerischer Hof will be securely cordoned off. The city is even shutting down part of a tramline to guarantee safety.

Meanwhile, the hotel's 900 staff members will all have access to the premises - 640 regular hotel employees and 260 temporary staff. The in-house bakery plans to bake 3,000 breakfast rolls; the hotel's five restaurants are ready to prepare about 4,000 meals. The hotel has also provided for plentiful drinks supplies: 5,500 bottles of water, 5,000 soft drinks, 700 bottles of wine and 2,000 bottles of beer.

Some 140 vehicles are also available for transporting the guests to and from the conference venue.

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