It is not yet clear what the government will look like. Martin Schulz, chairman of the Social Democrats (SPD), rejected a continuation of the coalition partnership with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU. Conversely, the CDU does not completely exclude continuing the “grand coalition” with the SPD. Over the next few weeks, Merkel’s conservative party will also hold coalition negotiations with the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green Party. Economic and business issues figure prominently amongst the important topics that the politicians and experts of the parties will discuss.
On September 22, the Atlantic Council, in collaboration with the Charles Koch Institute, hosted a debate between experts: Should the United States Arm Ukraine?
The divisive prospect of sending US weapons to Ukraine as further defense against Russian aggression in the Donbas could, according to those in favor, defend US interests on the world stage. Alternatively, countered those opposed to the idea, it could escalate the conflict in a manner detrimental to US national security.
Analysts both for and against sending weapons to Ukraine argued that a decision must be predicated on a consideration of what is in the best interests of the United States, yet the opposing sides diverged on how to achieve those ends.
European parliamentarian Elmar Brok says post-election Germany is no “problem case”Elmar Brok is the longest-serving lawmaker in the European Parliament (EP), a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who’s known her personally for nearly three decades. Brok, who spoke out forcefully against the extreme right during the recent election campaign, has no patience for handwringing over the results of the September 24 election.
Merkel was re-elected to a fourth term, but it was also the first time that a far-right political party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), won seats in parliament since World War II.
“Eighty-seven percent of Germans voted ‘not nationalist,’” he pointed out, referring to the other major parties, the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens. “In what [other] country of the world would you get such a result?”
“There are those in her party and sister party that will want to start having a discussion about ‘after Merkel,’ and that number will go [up] as of today,” Ischinger said in an Atlantic Council press and members phone briefing on September 25. However, he added, “she shouldn’t be counted out. She’s been very good.”
Ischinger joined Annette Heuser, chief executive officer of the Professor Otto Beisheim Foundation and Atlantic Council board director, and Stefan Kornelius, foreign policy editor at Süddeutsche Zeitung, to discuss the implications of Merkel’s re-election, not only for Germany, but also for its relationships with international partners such as the United States. Atlantic Council President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Kempe moderated the conversation.
The United States faces something of a predicament because dark money and shell corporations are vehicles of not just foreign, but also domestic political influence, Whitehouse said. He and US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) delivered keynote addresses at STRATCOM DC: The First Transatlantic Forum on Strategic Communications and Digital Disinformation in Washington, DC.
Describing opacity as the “vehicle that enables weaponized fake news and politicized corruption,” Whitehouse added: “Transparency and sunlight are the enemies of Russian election interference.”
Germany’s approach to clean energy on the world stage, namely its support for the Paris Climate Agreement and promotion of the clean energy transition as a foreign policy priority, is unlikely to change in any meaningful way. With strong domestic support for clean energy policy, there is also little doubt that the German energy transition, or Energiewende, will continue.
Rather, the question is one of ambition.
This joint defense comes as US President Donald J. Trump, who has to certify to the US Congress by October 15 that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement, has reiterated his displeasure with the deal.
Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig, said the onus is on those who seek to renegotiate the deal to prove that first, renegotiation is possible, and second, it will deliver better results. “We don’t think it will be possible to renegotiate it and we believe there is no practical, peaceful alternative to this deal,” Wittig said.
Interview with the Atlantic Council’s Daniel FriedGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party came in first, which is good news. But the strong showing by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in elections on September 24 is evidence of the fact that the nationalist wave remains a significant factor in Europe, according to the Atlantic Council’s Daniel Fried.
“The populist and anti-liberal wave, which many had optimistically concluded had crested and was in decline in Europe after the French, Dutch, and Austrian elections is still a significant factor in European politics,” said Fried, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Future of Europe Initiative and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.
“The bottom line is that the election outcome is not the best, but it’s also not the worst,” said Fried, who, in his forty-year career in the Foreign Service, played a key role in designing and implementing US policy in Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.