Germany

  • Here’s What to Expect from Germany’s European Vote

    This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

    Continuing the recent domestic trend of political fragmentation, the parties of Germany’s ruling “grand coalition”—German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and her junior partners of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD)—are expected to lose significant shares of the vote in the European elections later this month compared to 2014. However, the outcome of the election in the European Union’s largest economy and most populous member state will not impact Germany’s broadly pro-European Union (EU) positions and strategy in significant ways.


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  • Germany, NATO, and Transatlantic Security

    NATO Engages 2019

    “Statement and Conversation: Germany, NATO, and Transatlantic Security”

      

    Speaker:

    Heiko Maas,

    Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs,

    Federal Republic of Germany

     

    Moderator:

    Karen Donfried,

    President,

    The German Marshall Fund of the United States

     

    Location:  Washington, D.C.

     

    Time:  4:25 p.m. EDT

    Date:  Wednesday, April 3, 2019

     


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  • Germany Will Meet Its NATO Commitments, Foreign Minister Says

    Amid a storm of criticism from the Trump administration over its low level of defense spending, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sought to allay concerns that Berlin was reneging on its commitment to increase its contributions to the NATO Alliance.

    “We will stand by our commitments,” Maas said on April 3 at the NATO Engages event in Washington. “I know that our budgetary process is sometimes difficult for outsiders to understand…however, we made a firm commitment to invest more money in our defense and we intend to keep our word.”


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  • Pence Takes Germany to Task Over Defense Spending

    US vice president also warns Turkey against purchase of Russian missile defense system

    US Vice President Mike Pence on April 3 chastised Germany for not spending enough on defense, warned Turkey against going ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, cautioned against the rise of China, and sought to reassure NATO allies that they will always have the United States’ support.


    US President Donald J. Trump has led the charge against NATO allies who do not meet the 2 percent of GDP defense spending target set at the Alliance’s Wales Summit in 2014. All allies are supposed to meet that goal by 2024. So far only seven of NATO’s twenty-nine member states meet that target; Germany is among those that lag behind.

    On April 3, the eve of NATO’s seventieth anniversary, it was Pence’s turn to take allies to task.


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  • Dear Europe: Renaissance or Unraveling?

    French President Emmanuel Macron this week stirred up a robust and healthy debate with his letter published in newspapers of all 28 EU nations, calling for a “European renaissance.” First, however, he will have to reverse a European unravelling, both political and economic.

    Markets are bracing for the U.K.’s parliamentary vote on Brexit’s fate next week, the European Central Bank this week sharply downgraded growth projections to a job-killing 1.1 percent and reintroduced stimulus, and Italy is moving to officially tie its wagon to China’s Belt and Road Initiative — choosing market access over European cohesion.


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  • Syrian Refugees' Struggle with Temporary Status in Germany

    Just a few months separated the arrival of Syrian refugees Ahmad al-’Awda and his friend Mahmud al-Agha to Germany.  Both of them fled from the war in their country that started in 2011. Al-’Awda arrived in Germany in January 2016 and al-Agha arrived in May 2015. This short eight month difference separating their arrivals was enough to guarantee that al-’Awda would not be able to apply to bring his family, who are still in Syria, because he did not get permanent residency in Germany. Rather, due to a series of laws, the German authorities have been granting only temporary residence papers to Syrian refugees.


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  • Can Germany Stay the Course on Defense Spending?

    Germany’s defense budget is on the march upwards, but can Berlin maintain the spending momentum given the prospects of a slowing global economy? There are also questions about how the country should spend its defense euros in the long term, say defense officials and policy experts.

    Germany has long been an underspender when it comes to meeting NATO’s defense budget guideline of 2 percent of GDP for each of its allies, but that is now changing.


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  • Binnendijk in Defense News: German F-35 Decision Sacrifices NATO Capability for Franco-German Industrial Cooperation


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  • Ukraine’s Slow but Steady Strangulation Is Taking Place in Plain Sight

    Russia’s war against Ukraine is about to enter its sixth year, but many remain in denial over the true nature of the conflict. There is still widespread international reluctance to acknowledge the global significance of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, leading to a preference for the kind of euphemistic language that blurs the lines between victim and aggressor. This ostrich-like approach to the realities of the new Russian imperialism was on display during German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s recent visit to Kyiv, where he called on “all sides to contribute to de-escalation.”

    Maas was apparently untroubled by the absurdity of urging Ukraine to de-escalate its own invasion and dismemberment. Indeed, it says much about the current climate that one of Europe’s top diplomats felt comfortable coming to the capital of a country fighting for its life and delivering a lecture on the need for moderation.


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  • The New Treaty of Aachen: More Than Just a Symbol?

    The new Treaty of Aachen, signed on January 22 by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel bears great symbolic significance—historical as well as political. The question is whether it carries much practical significance.


    On Christmas Day in the year 800 AD, Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III in Rome as the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite Voltaire’s quip in 1756 that this construction was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, the Sacrum Imperium Romanum was to last until it was dissolved in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. Even today, the prince of Liechtenstein is a direct inheritor of one of the principalities composing the Holy Roman Empire.

    The capital of the empire was Aachen, known in French (and generally in English) as Aix-la-Chapelle. Charlemagne had become King of the Franks in 768 AD, upon the death of his father, Pepin the Short, and, as his father had done before him, he spent Christmas that year in Aachen. Later, and until Charlemagne’s death in 814 AD, Aachen became Charlemagne’s “capital,” the political center of his empire and the location of his imperial court.


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