Germany’s recent achievements in taking the EU forward are considerable and laudable, but insufficient. Berlin must now put as much effort into making Europe count on the world stage.
With the EU member states agreeing to borrow together to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of sovereign debt has reared its ugly head once again. What's more, Hungary and Poland have been handed an effective veto over the future course of the eurozone.
The French president wants Europeans to discover their collective identity. However, his particular concept of "Europeanness" risks alienating other EU member states and could lead to misunderstandings.
The Trumpian wrecking ball has caused serious damage to NATO. But the US president’s antipathy to the transatlantic alliance has also set overdue reforms in motion. A new burden-sharing metric and a China policy are priorities.
The end of the Cold War could have made possible a new global system of collective security, but the West rejected Russia’s outstretched hand. Today, Germany’s interest should lie in seeking solutions to the problems caused by neoliberalism worldwide, not by further militarizing its foreign policy.
Germans, by their own admission, don’t know that much about China, but their skepticism is high and rising. Beijing has failed to significantly profit from the alienation of the German population from Trump-led America.
Germany should stop worrying about becoming a “normal country.” Rather, it should learn to address the new forms of geopolitics with the best version of Germany’s post-war incarnation—for the benefit of Europe.
In the bid to tackle global warming, achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions would be good. Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions would be even better.
The election of Joe Biden has lifted the mood in Berlin. While Chancellor Angela Merkel seems focused on picking up where she left off with Barack Obama, one big idea as to what to offer the incoming US administration is taking shape: making common cause against China in the security realm.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had banked on a second term for Donald Trump. A Biden presidency and loose ties, at best, with the EU will make the task for the United Kingdom winning back credibility a long-haul undertaking.
Germany is facing a perfect geopolitical storm. It needs to respond by further strengthening multilateralism, building up European sovereignty as well as solidarity, and reviving the transatlantic alliance with a new US administration.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been more clear-sighted on Brexit than most European leaders. But now is the time to back down and compromise.