Long seen as a reluctant player, Berlin is assuming greater responsibilities for two reasons: foreign policy has finally arrived on Germany’s domestic scene, and its partners are not ready to step up.
An executive power like the US exercises a completely different leadership style than a consensus-based power like Germany. Leaders on both sides should keep this in mind.
Germany, along with the rest of the world, seems surprised by the principled stance Angela Merkel has taken in the refugee crisis. Looking over her record, however, the German Chancellor has never shied from putting her values on the line.
Berlin has emerged as the continent’s de facto leader – but what does this mean in 21st century Europe?
Berlin is more deeply engaged in solving the situation in eastern Ukraine than ever before in an international conflict. State Secretary of the German Foreign Office Markus Ederer on the attempts to make “Minsk” work.
Twenty-five years after German reunification, the European Union is struggling to come to terms with the consequences of that profound shift – as is Germany itself.
Berlin has been vilified for its handling of Greece, but 2015 has actually been a banner year for German diplomacy: de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine, finding agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, and avoiding a Grexit.
Think that a “Merkel doctrine” is an oxymoron? Wrong: Ertüchtigung – loosely, “help for self help” – sounds outdated even to German ears, but the concept behind it is useful today.
Germany’s old Russia policy, an attempt to build a “modernizing partnership,” is dead and should be buried. The beginning of 2015 saw Berlin searching for a new way forward, informed by recent events.
Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Chinese foreign policy is becoming more ambitious. Consequently, new China policies are needed. Europe should build on past German successes.
2014 was a mind-boggling year, marking the start of profound changes in world affairs, but also in the way Berlin thinks about foreign policy. Part of this is the “Review 2014” process Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier launched earlier this year, inviting over 60 political observers, commentators, and think tankers from across the world to put their thoughts down on paper. We offer a critical overview.