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Tag: Germany

Germany as a bellwether for post-war European energy security

The interdependence between Russia and Germany has also created geopolitical and security concerns for the EU. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany needs to now understand that domestic and European energy security are intertwined. There are several measures that Germany can adopt in order to address this energy security dilemma in the short and long term, taking into account geopolitical circumstances at the EU level.

Three days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a Zeitenwende – a turning point in the history of East-West relations. His speech in the Bundestag was meant to mark a generational change in German foreign policy towards Russia. When Chancellor Scholz declared that Germany would, in a gradual process, dramatically reduce its dependence on Russian energy supplies, it launched a debate among German policymakers that has reverberated across Europe. While the goal is apparent, to extricate Germany from Russian energy dependence with minimal economic trauma, there is still no consensus on how to achieve this.

September 29, 2022 - Ismet Fatih Čančar Marc Ozawa

A gap in Polish-German relations

Over 30 years have passed since Germany reunified and signed a pivotal agreement on bilateral affairs with Poland. Meant to signal the start of a new age of co-operation, the treaty’s spirit has nonetheless been challenged by numerous issues both old and new. A renewed agreement is now needed to build a shared future free from the ghosts of the past.

September 29, 2022 - Kinga Gajda

Germany’s Russia policy must change

While Germans are slowly learning that Ukraine is a nation with a unique language and culture now threatened with annihilation by Russia, the country’s traditional longing for accommodation with Moscow is already starting to re-emerge in national discourse. In Germany, we have yet to understand that it is a Russian war against which the Ukrainians are defending themselves militarily. Russia must lose and Ukraine must win in order for it to have a future.

There is one key thing that I have learned since Vladimir Putin openly declared war on Ukraine and attacked it by land, sea and air. In Germany, people prefer to speak of peace rather than talk about war. In many conversations and discussions that I engage in privately or publicly, I not only need to explain, but often have to justify myself for being in favour of Germany and the EU supporting Ukraine in its defence against this attack. I am often accused of being emotional. Of course I am emotional. I too, take this war personally. This is what a Ukrainian friend said about herself a few weeks ago.

July 15, 2022 - Rebecca Harms

Germany still struggles to understand its Eastern neighbours

The full-fledged Russian invasion of Ukraine has deeply shocked Germany and its political elite to the core. Ukraine and the West expected Berlin to step up and show leadership in this war. But has anything changed substantively in German foreign policy and its intellectual and institutional ability to handle this invasion? The answers are mixed and disappointing to many in Ukraine and Europe.

July 14, 2022 - Mattia Nelles

Ignorance of history? Germany’s culture of memory and response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Whilst Germany’s work to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust is commendable, its uncertainty following the invasion of Ukraine flies in the face of this historical legacy. It is high time that German society fully stood up and supported Kyiv in its struggle against Russian aggression.

July 8, 2022 - Marcel Krueger

Berlin’s strategic ignorance

Germany does not envisage Ukraine joining the European Union any time soon, let alone NATO. What then is it willing to offer as part of its announced co-operation? Where do they see Ukraine in the European security architecture and prosperity, asks Anna Kwiatkowska, an expert of the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW)

June 15, 2022 - Anna Kwiatkowska

Raphael Lemkin: the ambassador of our conscience

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to massive killings and casualties among civilian population. War crimes committed during the conflict remind us of the menace of genocide, especially while the invaders put the “denazification” motto on their banners. When dealing with such a divisive topic, it is important to remember the legacy left by the man who first coined the term “genocide”.

He was the first to call genocide by its proper name. He was the one who dedicated his life to one mission and enhanced international law via his “own” convention. Like many selfless humanists, this man accomplished his goal at the expense of his private life, welfare and premature death. He was unsuccessfully nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ten times. He was not heard, when needed. He was accepted, only when the world had no choice. He was forgotten, once the world had no more use of him. That was the fate of Raphael Lemkin.

April 25, 2022 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Open Letter by 156 Experts on Eastern Europe and International Security to the German Government: Immediately Increase Berlin’s Support for Ukraine

Russia's illegal and open war of aggression against a peaceful neighbouring country, which began on February 24, 2022, sealed the failure of German and EU policies towards Russia over the past decades. These policies had been based on the hope that Russia's increasingly obvious neo-imperial ambitions could be contained through a combination of intense diplomacy, multilateral agreements, and various business relationships. However, Russia's continuous military presence in Moldova since 1992, its unconcealed expansion into Georgia since 2008 and into Ukraine since 2014, and further misconduct around the world had already shown this approach to be failing.

April 24, 2022 - New Eastern Europe

Prospects for a hydrogen alliance after Ukraine’s victory

The European Union needs hydrogen imports as never before, hence Ukraine could be the new source, Poland a transit country and Germany the destination market. The condition for such co-operation, however, would be a Ukraine without Russian troops killing Ukrainians on its territory.

March 30, 2022 - Anastasiia Zagoruichyk Wojciech Jakóbik

Ostpolitik after the German election

The low priority of foreign policy generally, and Eastern policy particularly, could be observed during the debates shaping the recent German election. The new government will have a chance to prove its position on Ostpolitik amid multiple conflicts in Eastern Europe that threaten peace and co-operation. One thing is certain, the old Ostpolitik does not provide European solutions to the challenges faced in the region today.

Between 1969 and 1989, the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany aimed to reach a mutual settlement with the Soviet Union and its satellites. This policy began with the government of Willy Brandt and quickly became known as Ostpolitik. It superseded the “Hallstein Doctrine” implemented under Konrad Adenauer.

February 15, 2022 - Iris Kempe

Solidarity or death: what are the real challenges for German and EU civil society regarding Russia?

The Kremlin has placed many repressive measures on Russian civil society. These moves are largely based on encouraging self-censorship and dividing the sector into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ organisations. This process has had a devastating effect on public policy and has caused a crisis of representation at all levels. Despite this, the Kremlin appears eager to use these same measures outside the country in order to divide civil societies across the EU states.

August 27, 2021 - Anastasiia Sergeeva

The ongoing German-Polish NATO nuclear sharing nexus 

The future of NATO’s nuclear sharing programme in Central and Eastern Europe is closely connected to the political relationship between Washington, Berlin and Warsaw. Dimensions such as geopolitics and infrastructure must also be taken into account.  

July 1, 2021 - Aaron Allen

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