Germany

  • 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.


    Read More
  • German Defense Minister: The World Still Needs NATO

    The alliance is not just about bases and troops. It is about defending the world order.
    Read More
  • President Trump: 'I Want Europe to Pay'

    [Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan] is working so hard on the military. We have a — we were taken advantage of by so many countries on our military.
    Read More
  • Angela Merkel's Data Leaked

    Massive cyberattack targets politicians, celebrities, and journalists in Germany

    The personal information and correspondence of hundreds of German politicians, celebrities, journalists, and public figures has reportedly been leaked on Twitter since early December 2018. German media reports that the leaks were first discovered late on January 3 and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is among the targets.

    The targeted leaks “[look] like a clear attempt to disrupt German politics,” said Ben Nimmo, an information defense fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab).


    Read More
  • Opposition to Nord Stream 2 Gathers Steam on Both Sides of the Atlantic

    Natural gas pipeline would connect Russia to Europe

    Opposition to Nord Stream 2—a pipeline that will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany while bypassing Ukraine—is building on both sides of the Atlantic.

    On December 11, the US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution expressing opposition to Nord Stream 2. The nonbinding resolution calls on European governments to reject the pipeline and expresses support for US sanctions on entities involved with the project.


    Read More
  • Merkel’s Greatest Legacy May Be Her Unerring Sense of Style

    The chancellor announced her departure, as observers noted, with quiet dignity. Some thought she looked almost relieved. Angela Merkel surprised her party, her country, and the world by saying that she would let someone else lead the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) after the party’s congress in December; but she would continue to lead the government for the remainder of its term until 2021. This would then be the end of her political career; she would seek no further office.

    Can Germany’s leader for thirteen years last in the chancellery for another three? At this stage it is more than doubtful. Merkel herself left the door discreetly open to an earlier exit. In her carefully calibrated speech on October 29, she mentioned the agreement between the three coalition partners in Berlin to review their joint work at half time next year. This was no accident. There are so many scenarios that could prompt an earlier exit that it would be a miracle if Merkel’s final political act lasted for a full parliament.

    Read More
  • As Angela Merkel Begins Her Exit, What Next?

    Angela Merkel announced on October 30 that she would not seek re-election as leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) when the party hosts its annual convention in Hamburg in December. She also declared that this would be her last term as chancellor, as she will not stand for reelection to the Bundestag or any other political office. The announcement is surprising for several reasons, not least because of Merkel’s fundamental belief, inherited from her time in Helmut Kohl’s cabinet, that the chancellorship and head of the party should go hand in hand.

    Read More
  • Angela Merkel Will Not Seek Re-Election as Germany’s Chancellor in 2021

    German chancellor to step down from party leadership in December, give up chancellorship in 2021

    Germany’s Angela Merkel, viewed by many as a staunch defender of the liberal world order and a bulwark against the rising tide of populism in Europe, has decided to step down as leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in December and not run again for the chancellorship in 2021. Merkel, who dominated European politics for the past thirteen years, has been chairwoman since 2000 and chancellor since 2005.

    “I will not be seeking any political post after my term ends,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin on October 29.

    Read More
  • #ElectionTracker: No, the United States Isn't the Only Country Getting Ready To Vote

    Scan the headlines these days and you would be forgiven for thinking that the United States is the only country preparing for an important election. As seemingly all attention focuses on voters from the Atlantic to the Pacific don’t lose sight of some other contests around the world. Here is a look at the races we are watching in the runup to the US midterms.

    Read More
  • Bavaria Election Casts Doubt on Merkel's Grand Coalition

    The result of the October 14 election in Bavaria has prompted the question: is this the beginning of the end for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition?

    The Christian Social Union (CSU), which along with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is part of the governing coalition in Berlin, suffered heavy losses. It lost its absolute majority in the Bavarian parliament and 10.5 percent of votes compared to 2013. This was its worst showing since 1954.

    Read More