At the same time, they played to the expectations of its Western partners. When NATO decided to conduct another military intervention in the Balkans, Germany contributed to the fighting part of the operation Brummer It was the first participation ever in a war-fighting mission of the armed forces of the Federal Republic, the Bundeswehr. While the actual military contribution remained limited to a dozen or so Tornado aircraft and some five hundred soldiers, Germany had proven itself to be a reliable NATO ally during combat operations.
The relationship of Germany with NATO, and the United States in particular, was further strengthened in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, The goal and purpose of OEF were heavily contested within the coalition government, especially within the ranks of the Green Party. At first glance, opposition within the governing coalition seemed to be hardly consequential, since the opposition parties, particularly the conservative Christian Democrats CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union CSU , were in favor of supporting OEF. Thus, the buck was passed to the Green Party, whose members of parliament had to decide on whether to keep the coalition government in power.
To give but a few examples, together with the Netherlands, Germany served as lead nation between February and August Thus, from the mids onward Germany had increasingly shouldered responsibility within the framework of NATO operations. The bilateral relationship did not improve until a change in the German government in , when Angela Merkel from the conservative CDU took over the chancellorship.
With the United Kingdom being more inclined to detach itself from the European integration process rather than assume a leading role in it, Germany has become the primary point of contact in Europe for the United States. The appreciation of the expanded role of Germany in international affairs, and of Chancellor Merkel in particular, was mirrored in granting her the opportunity to address both houses of Congress in —Merkel was only the second German chancellor to receive that honor, after Konrad Adenauer in —and awarding her the US Medal of Freedom in However, in recent years some major irritants have arisen that put a strain on the bilateral relationship.
In some respects the situation resembled that of the Iraq intervention in , with Germany once again refraining from supporting key allies and ending up in the company of possible challengers of the Western order, including China and Russia, who had also abstained. More recently, Germany has been criticized by representatives from the US administration and members of Congress for its handling, or rather alleged mismanagement, of the crises respectively over the eurozone e.
German decision-makers also exhibit unease about the strategic implications that the American pivot, or rebalancing, to Asia is likely to engender for the future of the transatlantic alliance BMVg Overall, since reunification Germany has become a much more self-confident partner of the United States, who does not shy away from openly disagreeing with, and at times even refusing allegiance to, the superpower. Indeed, German decision-makers exhibit reduced inhibitions about disappointing American expectations if they are seen to go against domestic constraints. Having said that, the United States remains the indispensable partner for Germany on all matters of strategic importance.
Despite occasional frictions and mutual disappointments, German decision-makers are patently aware of this fact. Nothing indicates that this promise is about to be broken anytime soon. Germany agreed to swap its national currency, the Deutschmark, for a common European currency, the euro. While decisions to that effect had already been made prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, reunification accelerated the introduction of the common currency Sadeh and Verdun In addition to pushing the project of European economic and monetary integration, Kohl together with Mitterrand proposed in April to let the European integration process evolve toward a political union.
The result of those activities was the Treaty of Maastricht, which entered into force in November This treaty led to the creation of the EU, which was no longer confined to the economic realm like its predecessors, but extended cooperation to the realms of foreign and security policy as well as justice and home affairs.
For the most part, Germany is no longer willing to act as paymaster, solving disagreements among member states by opening up its purse, and it has also shown itself willing to bend rules if it deems fit. Ironically, it was at the insistence of the Kohl government that this pact had been made in in order to maintain the stability of the common currency.
When in mid the Treaty for a Constitution for Europe TCE was rejected in referendums in France and the Netherlands respectively, the European integration process reached a low-point. To pull Europe out of the crisis, high hopes were placed on the German presidency of the Council of the EU, and thus on the chancellor, in the first half of Merkel lived up to the expectations and managed to broker an agreement on treaty reform at the June European Council Wendler , — Overall, the German Council presidency proved crucial for the successful conclusion of the treaty reform process, which culminated in the Lisbon Treaty that entered into force in December In battling the effects of the crisis, Germany has become the leader of Europe, albeit mainly by default.
On the one hand, expectations arose simply because Germany has by far the largest economy among the eurozone members. In addition, though, the inability of the other major EU member states to take over the lead has also pushed Germany front and center. France is hampered by a weak and unpopular president, and the United Kingdom not only has shied away from adopting the euro but is rather contemplating whether to stay inside the EU in the first place.
As the then Polish foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, stated in November :. The biggest threat to the security and prosperity of Poland would be the collapse of the Euro zone. And I demand of Germany that, for your own sake and for ours, you help it survive and prosper. You know full well that nobody else can do it. I will probably be first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity.
Sikorski ; emphasis in original. Instead, the German emphasis on austerity spending cuts has further deepened the North-South divide among EU member states. While not calling into question the process as such, calculations on the costs and benefits of European integration have increasingly gained prominence, particularly since the sovereign-debt crisis has hit Europe.
During this crisis Germany has—more inadvertently than by design or aspiration—taken over a leadership role in Europe. In recent years Russia 3 has re-emerged as one of the most important focal points of German foreign policy. Of course Russia, or rather the Soviet Union, had already been crucial in the context of German reunification. Both developments would have weakened the Warsaw Pact at the expense of the Western alliance. The United States and Germany were crucial for winning Gorbachev over, the former mostly by cooperating with the Soviet Union in strategic and military affairs e.
The conclusion of the Two-Plus-Four Agreement in September paved the way for reunification and also for a fully sovereign German state. During the remainder of the s the economic dimension increasingly gained in prominence in the bilateral relationship Stent , In the political domain, however, some problems arose.
Still, not least due to the personal friendship that developed between Kohl and Yeltsin, the bilateral relationships developed smoothly for the most part. The following year, however, this certainty was about to be challenged. In several Eastern European countries, most notably Poland, this accord between the two big states despite the objections of their smaller neighbors raised massive concerns Hellmann , Chancellor Merkel has not walked in the footsteps of her predecessors.
From the outset Merkel, whose parents moved to the GDR a couple of weeks after her birth, has been rather critical toward Russia. The relationship soured dramatically, however, after the Russian annexation of Crimea and its subsequent involvement in the eastern part of Ukraine. Overall, the quality of the German-Russian bilateral relationship has deteriorated significantly since reunification.
This does not preclude cooperation with the country, as the discussions over Ukraine illustrate. The continued interdependence between the two countries in the oil and gas sector also stabilizes the relationship to some extent Szabo Nonetheless, trust is running low on both sides, and a solution to the most pressing issue, namely the conflict in Ukraine, seems nowhere near.
Indeed, rather than seeing a mutually beneficial partnership evolve, the two countries are more likely to engage in zero-sum games in the years to come. For Germany, the primary institution in the pursuit of multilateralism has been the UN. German reunification has not ushered in any changes in that respect. The country continues to consider the UN, and especially the UNSC, the preeminent multilateral forum for solving international conflicts, preferably diplomatically but if need be also by mandating the use of force. Germany also took the initiative for triggering institutional change.
The goal of obtaining a permanent seat in the UNSC has received less emphasis during the chancellorship of Angela Merkel. Yet this is not to say that it is no longer an aspiration. It still is, as corresponding stipulations in the coalition agreements, and thus governing programs, of all three Merkel-led coalition governments highlight.
In all instances, a German seat is presented as a waypoint toward a European one. However, this re-emphasis on the European dimension does not imply that Germany would necessarily back down if its goals collide with those of fellow EU member states. Overall, since reunification Germany has for the most part proven to be a staunch supporter of the UN. To be sure, this is not to say that Germany has previously pursued multilateralism exclusively for altruistic reasons. Still, in multilateral fora like the UN, Germany seems increasingly prepared to engage in more self-regarding behavior even if doing so pits the country against some of its partners.
The previous section showed that on the international level, expectations for Germany to pursue a more active foreign policy have grown considerably since reunification. This section highlights that during the same time period constraints on German foreign policy decision-makers have increased on the domestic level. The overall effect is that foreign policy has become more contested and politicized in the domestic arena and that the leeway for German foreign policy has therefore become more restricted.
The constitutional practice, however, is that these are purely formal and ceremonial responsibilities, which do not give the president material influence on German foreign policy Jochum , — Specifically, the president is bound by the foreign policy direction and guidelines set by the German government and has to coordinate all activities related to the external representation of the Federal Republic with the chancellery or relevant ministries.
From this perspective, therefore, it would appear odd to include the president in any discussion of relevant domestic parameters of German foreign policy. However, it is in part precisely because the president is not involved in the making and implementation of government foreign policy that this office has become an important voice in the German foreign policy debate.
While this clearly depends on the personalities of individual presidents and how they conduct their office, it is primarily through their speeches that presidents can employ their political capital to shape the German foreign policy discourse. No less controversially, the current president, Joachim Gauck, repeatedly called for a more active German foreign policy to make more decisive and substantive contributions to international security Gauck On the one hand, these presidential interventions exemplify attempts at creating discursive space for adapting German foreign policy to rising international demands and expectations.
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The bicameral German parliament, consisting of a directly elected lower house, the Bundestag, and a representation of state governments in the upper house, the Bundesrat Federal Council , is clearly subordinate to the executive in foreign affairs. As the Federal Constitutional Court FCC clarified in a landmark ruling in , foreign policy is a core competence of the executive, which alone is seen as having the necessary organizational and political resources to adequately respond to changing international circumstances.
While the federal government has the initiative and sets the tone in German foreign policy, the role of parliament is largely reactive. Still, the government needs parliamentary approval for certain types of foreign policy decisions, and the Bundestag, in particular, is an important arena for holding the federal government publicly accountable for its foreign policy. Since the mids, moreover, the Bundestag has reasserted itself in foreign affairs and has become a more significant constraint on German foreign policy in two ways.
First, it has seen an extension of its formal powers in the field at the expense of the government. Quite surprisingly from a foreign policy analysis perspective, which has very little to say about the role of courts, this development has been driven primarily by rulings of the FCC. Second, foreign policy has become more contested in the Bundestag, which is largely due to shifts in the German party system.
The German parliament has always played an important role in the ratification of international treaties. As a general rule, such treaties have to be approved by both the Bundestag and the Bundesrat Geiger , — In contrast, the powers of the Bundestag in authorizing foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr have only been clarified more recently and can be traced back to a landmark ruling of the FCC in June While Germany had already participated in several multinational operations in the early s, it was unclear whether this was covered by the German constitution. The FCC decided that it was.
At the same time, the FCC decided that such foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr require the prior constitutive approval of the Bundestag. Consequently, the practical details of the interaction between the federal government and the Bundestag were laid down in the Parliamentary Participation Act, which entered into force in see Wagner The most notable court decision for our context, however, was the decision on the Lisbon Treaty. While the FCC ruled that the treaty is compatible with the Basic Law, it concluded that the accompanying laws were unconstitutional, because they did not sufficiently specify the participation rights of the Bundesrat and the Bundestag, for instance regarding changes to the European treaties.
What is important to note, however, is that despite the significant extensions of formal parliamentary powers regarding the use of military force and European policy, it is still highly unlikely that the Bundestag will reject government proposals in these areas. Except under very unusual circumstances, such as narrow majorities in parliament and low party or coalition discipline, German governments can therefore expect to get Bundestag support for their proposed course of action.
This is virtually a foregone conclusion in the event of grand coalitions. At the same time, the strengthening of the formal powers of the Bundestag in foreign affairs has contributed to its increased profile as an arena for the public scrutiny and contestation of German foreign policy.
The same is true for the Bundestag debates and votes on government policy in the eurozone crisis. Moreover, the role of the Bundestag in fostering public debate about German foreign policy is reinforced by changes in German party politics. These changes have increased the scope for foreign policy contestation in the Bundestag and have added to the overall domestic politicization of German foreign policy. While it was originally the Greens who challenged the foreign policy mainstream in the German party system, it is now the Left Party that is most vocal in the Bundestag in making the case for radical alternatives to the established lines of thinking in German foreign policy.
Outside the Bundestag, recent successes of the Euroskeptic Alternative for Germany AfG only add to the picture of a foreign policy mainstream that is increasingly under pressure from the left and right margins. Importantly, the increasing party political contentiousness of German foreign policy has also left its mark on interparty and intraparty relations at the center of the party system, including inside governing coalitions. Many of the highest-profile issues on the German foreign policy agenda over recent years have involved at least some degree of conflict between the government and the main opposition parties or within and between the government parties themselves.
Consequently, while coalition governments have always been a core feature of the Federal Republic, the politics of coalition have become a more significant constraint on decision-making, insofar as foreign policy issues become increasingly contested between the coalition partners.
Specifically, the division of authority in German foreign policy between different coalition parties is relevant in two closely related ways. First, it restricts the ability of the senior partner to implement its foreign policy agenda in full. The junior coalition partner, in particular if it is pivotal to the coalition, effectively constitutes an additional veto player whose interests have to be accommodated. The constraints imposed by the junior coalition partners are particularly notable if their preferences openly diverge from those of the senior partner.
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The second way coalition politics shapes German foreign policy comes from junior partner control of the Foreign Ministry Kaarbo This influence rests on the decision-making authority and agenda-setting power junior partners enjoy in foreign policy by virtue of leading the most relevant department in this field Laver and Shepsle , 13— While public opinion should not be expected to dictate specific foreign policy decisions, it still sets boundaries on the range of alternatives German governments will find domestically feasible.
Not least, public sentiments on foreign affairs sketch out opportunities and limits to the party political contestation of German foreign policy. As a general rule, public opinion is more likely to become an important decision-making constraint if foreign policy issues are highly salient in public discourse and can therefore affect the domestic standing and electoral prospects of the government Aldrich et al.
It is precisely the trends toward a more active role of Germany in the international arena and toward greater contestation over foreign policy in the German political elite that should also trigger a stronger mobilization of German public opinion on foreign affairs. It is true that on average the salience of foreign affairs in German public opinion remains comparatively low. Almost one-third of the electorate considered the issue very important to their voting decisions in the general elections. On a general level, the increasing role of public opinion in German foreign policy appears to facilitate a stronger German engagement in international affairs.
In particular, opinion surveys show large majority support for a more self-confident approach to international issues in general and to European integration in particular. However, German public opinion has become altogether more lukewarm in its support for European integration since the early s Busch and Knelangen , 83— The share of Germans who think that their country has benefited from the EU has fallen below the European average.
Both figures display slightly more negative views on the EU than average opinion across Europe and indicate that the German public no longer stands out as being particularly pro-European. On the use of military force, Germans remain highly skeptical about foreign deployments of the German armed forces. Over recent decades the civilian power role has become less prescriptive for German foreign policymaking.
This uncertainty is driven, in particular, by increasing tensions between growing international demands on German foreign policy on the one hand and a more constraining domestic decision-making environment on the other. This includes, most notably, taking on a greater burden in international military missions and providing leadership in European integration. Thus, Germany has become involved in international military missions to an extent that would have been unthinkable until the late s, it plays an increasingly prominent role in international crisis diplomacy, and it has moved center stage in European integration.
It is precisely because Germany has taken on more responsibilities in international politics that governments have become less reluctant to invoke domestic considerations in order to reject specific demands of its partners, for example regarding German participation in particular military interventions. On the domestic level, German foreign policy is being formulated and implemented in an ever more constraining political environment. The Bundestag, in particular, has reasserted itself as a significant constraint on German foreign policy, above all regarding foreign deployments of the Bundeswehr and European integration.
The domestic restrictions on German foreign policy, in turn, have sometimes provoked international criticism that Germany is still not doing enough to fully live up to its enhanced international responsibilities. German governments as well as parts of the German political elite have come to support the case for a stronger German engagement in international affairs and have tried to create political and discursive space for a more active foreign policy in the domestic arena.
However, such attempts often face significant domestic opposition, which constrains the extent to which German foreign policy responds to international expectations and demands. Aldrich, J. Sullivan, and E. Find this resource:. Asmus, R. Bache, I. United Kingdom. Germany—United Kingdom relations.
Embassy of Germany, London. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We are working with Germany to build a more competitive, flexible and democratic EU, to increase trade, tourism and investment, and to address national security threats from terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conflict and crime.
Germany—Italy relations. Embassy of Germany, Rome. Die deutsch-italienischen Beziehungen sind eng. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. Italy and Germany are extremely close economic and cultural partners that enjoy intensive collaboration. Embassy of Germany, Bern. Germany—Switzerland relations. Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Die politischen Beziehungen der Schweiz mit Deutschland sind traditionell gut. Austria—Germany relations. Embassy of Germany, Vienna. Germany—Luxembourg relations. Embassy of Germany, Luxembourg. Wikimedia import URL. Eine deutsche Botschaft existiert in Luxemburg Stadt. Germany—Liechtenstein relations. Cabinet of Liechtenstein. Die Verbindung zwischen Liechtenstein und Deutschland ist traditionell sehr eng.
Belgium—Germany relations. Embassy of Germany, Brussels. There are many ties linking Belgium and Germany. These deepened and gained a new qualitative dimension following the creation, in , of the European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner of the European Union.
Germany—Netherlands relations. Embassy of Germany, The Hague. Die staatlichen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Beziehungen sind vielgestaltig, eng und freundschaftlich. Government of the Netherlands. Germany—Poland relations. Embassy of Germany, Warsaw. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. Czech Republic. Czech Republic—Germany relations. Embassy of Germany, Prague. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Czech-German Declaration on Mutual Relations and Their Future Development closed some of the controversial issues in Czech-German relations stemming from the past and provided room for the development of partnership in the spirit of shared European values.
Denmark—Germany relations. Embassy of Germany, Copenhagen.
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Germany—Norway relations. Embassy of Germany, Oslo. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. Embassy of Germany, Stockholm. Germany—Sweden relations. Die deutsch-schwedische Zusammenarbeit zeigt sich in intensiven Kontakten auf allen Ebenen und in vielen Bereichen. Die bilateralen Beziehungen sind weitgehend problemlos. Finland—Germany relations. Embassy of Germany, Helsinki. Zwischen Deutschland und Finnland bestehen seit der Hansezeit und der Reformation enge historische, kulturelle und wirtschaftliche Beziehungen.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Germany recognised Finland on 4 January Finland recognised Federal Republic of Germany on 24 November Diplomatic relations established on 7 January National Day: 3 October Germany—Russia relations. Embassy of Germany, Moscow. Die deutsch-russischen Beziehungen basieren auf einem breit angelegten Fundament der Zusammenarbeit im politischen, wirtschaftlichen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Bereich. Deutschland ist einer der wichtigsten Partner Russlands in Europa und weltweit. Germany—Slovakia relations. Embassy of Germany, Bratislava.
Die deutsch-slowakischen Beziehungen sind traditionell freundlich. Grundlage der bilateralen Beziehungen ist der deutsch-tschechoslowakische Nachbarschaftsvertrag vom Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. Germany—Slovenia relations. Embassy of Germany, Ljubljana. Die diplomatischen Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Slowenien wurden am Januar aufgenommen.
Die deutsch-slowenischen Beziehungen sind gut und harmonisch. Beziehungen zwischen den Staaten sind traditionell sehr gut. Germany—Hungary relations. Embassy of Germany, Budapest. Dezember diplomatische Beziehungen zueinander auf. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. Diplomatische Beziehungen seit Both countries have a long shared history. Croatia—Germany relations.
Embassy of Germany, Zagreb. Die Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Kroatien sind ausgezeichnet. Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Germany—Serbia relations. Embassy of Germany, Belgrade. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia. Date of establishing diplomatic relations: Diplomatic relations were established in Germany—Greece relations.
Embassy of Germany, Athens. Greek-German relations are currently at a very good level, with close cooperation within the framework of the EU and NATO, as well as frequent exchanges of visits between the two countries. Germany-Romania relations. Embassy of Germany, Bukarest. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania. Bulgaria—Germany relations.
Embassy of Germany, Sofia. Die bilateralen politischen Beziehungen sind partnerschaftlich und vertrauensvoll. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Berlin [. Germany-Portugal relations. Die politischen Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Portugal sind solide und beruhen auf einer breiten Grundlage. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal. Aus diesem Grund bin ich sehr stolz, dass ich seit heute, dem Germany—Spain relations. Embassy of Germany, Madrid. Germany—Ireland relations. Embassy of Germany, Dublin. Die Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und Irland sind traditionell freundschaftlich.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland. Embassy of Ireland, Germany [. Embassy of Germany, Tirana. Germany-Albania relations. Die deutsch-albanischen Beziehungen sind eng und partnerschaftlich. Albanien ist Schwerpunktland der deutschen Entwicklungszusammenarbeit. Embasy of Albania Friedrichstr.
On Pride and Other Pitfalls: Recent Debates on German Identity
Germany-Iceland relations. Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland. Germany English. Germany—Ukraine relations. February Embassy of Germany, Kiev. Ukraine Deutsche Vertretungen [.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Embassy of Ukraine in the Federal Republic of Germany [. Germany—Turkey relations. Embassy of Germany, Ankara. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. In addition to the intense and institutionalized relations at the bilateral level, Germany is among our most significant partners in European security and political structures, including NATO, OSCE as well as the Council of Europe.
Georgia country —Germany relations. Embassy of Germany, Tbilisi. April diplomatische Beziehungen aufnahm. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Federal Republic of Germany were established on 13 April Embassy of Germany, Baku. Germany-Azerbaijan relations.
Die politischen Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Aserbaidschan sind gut. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.
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Germany recognized independence of the Republic of Azerbaijanon January, 12 The diplomatic relations were established on February 20, Germany-Jordan relations. Embassy of Germany, Amman. Die politischen Beziehungen zwischen Jordanien und Deutschland sind seit langer Zeit eng und freundschaftlich. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Jordan. Saudi Arabia. German-Saudi Arabian relations.
Embassy of Germany, Riyadh. Die bilateralen Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und Saudi-Arabien sind freundschaftlich und spannungsfrei. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia. Embassy of Saudi Arabia - Berlin [. United Arab Emirates. Germany—United Arab Emirates relations. May