A bimonthly magazine on international affairs, edited in Germany's capital

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Berlin Policy Journal

International affairs from the heart of Europe


As the balance of power shifts away from the United States, favoring China and others, the European Union must adapt to a new world order – and try to be a major player.


Europe urgently needs to become a credible actor in international affairs – but to play its role, it has to do a better job framing its stage, its story, and its audience.


In the past 25 years, Russia has gone from being the defining member of the Eastern bloc to a European integration project, only to shift east once again – this time toward China. In which camp will it end up?


The peculiar ways President Vladimir Putin’s regime understands Russia’s past are feeding the current conflict with the West.

After forteen years of a mostly fruitless war, and with the conflict still unresolved, the NATO coalition members have had different takeaways from the attempt at nation-building in the Hindu Kush.


Yemen is headed for all-out civil war, another theater of the sadly familiar cast of proxy wars, sectarian violence, state collapse, and militia rule. The only actors who will prosper are the likes of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.


The Estonian president on austerity and difficult neighbors.


NATO’s Secretary General on expecting the unexpected and how to relax in snow-deprived Brussels.


Recent polls show: Europeans want more independence from the United States, Germans in particular. However, Washington is still by far the preferred partner.


The extent to which the United States and Europe doubt the worth of their own systems and values has become self-destructive.


Pride in past achievements is great but far from good enough. The West needs to pursue a bold, imaginative agenda, lead an effort to redesign the international system, and make it work better.


The latest “scandal” over NSA support from Germany’s foreign intelligence service reveals Berlin’s political class as ever willing to ride the tiger of German anger toward the Americans – and score cheap political points.


When “polite people” do impolite things, they can redraw the map of Europe. After facilitating the annexation of Crimea, Russia’s “gentlemen soldiers” have become a national meme.

The European Council in April missed another chance to create an effective refugee and migration policy. The new Commission agenda at least acknowledges: Rescued people need to be put somewhere.


Athen’s and Moscow’s tactical coupling of the Greece crisis and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is upping the ante for the EU. Geopolitical thinking, once passé in Germany, is experiencing a comeback.


Even three decades after joining the EU, Greece is still ruled by feudal Ottoman tendencies.