Germany in the world | Public Agenda

Dear readers, dear readers,

there are events that mark the course of history, that shake the foundations of a reality that seemed immovable, at least in the short term, and open the doors to an uncertain future. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been one of those turning points, although its triggering was part of a gradual process. Its causes, its development and its multidimensional consequences have been widely written in Public Agenda (see the special Putin invades Ukraine), but we want to pay attention to the repercussions that the war has had in a country that is the nerve center not only of Europe and its Community institutions, but also the world: Germany.

At the beginning of the invasion, the eyes were directed to the German country to see the position that the new Executive led by the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz and his green and liberal partners was going to adopt. Since its recomposition after the Second World War, Germany had traditionally opted not to attach much importance to defense issues. Therefore, when Putin crossed the Ukrainian border, the German response was not as forceful or immediate as that of other European partners. Criticism and pressure increased and there were many who accused Berlin of not doing enough, calling for a more assertive and determined role. In fact, there were even some diplomatic frictions with Ukraine, such as Zelensky’s refusal to receive President Steinmeier in early April. About these pressures and German caution he wrote in Ideas Jürgen Habermas, to whom Vicente Palacio responded in this house.

Since then, Germany has had to rethink its strategy in order to meet its own and others’ expectations, which placed the country as an important global player. This has sparked great internal debates that have shown the undoubted interconnection between the domestic and foreign policy of a State. Finally, Germany has increased the budget of its Armed Forces, has ended up delivering weapons to Ukraine and has yielded in energy matters, accepting, among other things, to reduce its imports of Russian oil to achieve independence from this source and origin this year. Thus, the change in actions and discourse has broken with a crucial feature of German national identity: the decades of rejection of a strategic foreign policy, as Bernardino León wrote in The country.

East Blick It is headed by Lars Klingbeil’s reflections on this matter. The German politician and co-leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), who was already interviewed last week in The country, advocates a realistic view of the international system and a European sovereignty that does not leave aside the countries of the East. Germany would have to strengthen its role in seeking to strengthen inclusive structures and strategic alliances that face the challenges arising from the new international situation, the end of the end of History. For this, it is key to achieve a European strategic autonomy that does not limit, but does not isolate either, that takes into account other parts of the world. Examples of this, Scholz’s trip to Senegal so as not to leave the Global South isolated and thus lose geopolitical relevance.

There is more: the summary of the week.

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New! What the current crossroads mean for German foreign policy. The co-leader of the German Social Democrats compares the current situation with historical episodes such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent German reunification, as well as with the September 11 attacks. In this text, he breaks down the “great political task” that lies ahead, from the point of view of his country, the European Union and social democracy.

This analysis is part of SocialDem Agendain collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation

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The true change of cycle to which Spanish politics seems to be headed is a recovery of the concentration of the vote in the old parties, to the detriment of the new ones. Juan Rodríguez Teruel analyzes the results of the Andalusian regional elections.

Ukraine in the EU, force majeure
Europe once again confronts Zelensky with a moral duty like the one it had in the 1990s with Walesa, Havel and Antall after the fall of communism. This candidacy raises different questions: the balance of the successive enlargements, the extension and/or deepening of the EU, Euro-Atlantic security and a considerable etcetera. By Ignacio Molina and Jorge Tamames.

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The Strasbourg Court revalidates its usefulness
The precautionary measures issued by the European Court of Human Rights are not formally binding on states. However, they do have an impact. It is analyzed by Argelia Queralt, who reflects on her contribution to the construction of European standards in human rights.

The transfer of votes between ideological blocs is consolidated
The new political-electoral era in Spain began with the Catalan regional elections. The elections in Madrid followed. This Sunday the same trend was repeated in Andalusia. Andrés Santana considers that there is already jurisprudence to certify that the dikes that prevented significant transfers of votes between blocs have finally given way.

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A historic pact for Colombia
In a highly disputed second round in which the polls fueled uncertainty until the last minute, the Gustavo Petro-Francia Márquez formula ended up being imposed. A cycle is closing in recent Colombian history in which the left had never come to power. Sandra Botero is dealing with the challenges that lie ahead for the new Government.

The conflict between the Mapuche people and the Chilean State
Jeanne W. Simon and Claudio González-Parra analyze the dimensions that allow us to understand the conflict with this indigenous people in Chile and the violence that is marking the agenda of President Gabriel Boric, while the Constitutional Convention completes its work and the country is on its way to the ratification plebiscite.

Officials (also) can change the world
The International Day for Public Administration was celebrated on June 23. Inmaculada Zamora proposes a different angle to commemorate it: consider our institutions as treasures for international cooperation and our collection of laws, regulations, institutions and public systems as one of the greatest contributions to the world.

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The transition, without climate law, of Slovakia
This country has committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, but does not yet have a specific law. Veronika Oravcová analyzes the sectoral strategies aimed at the decarbonization and the reduction of emissions. Here, the English version.

The center-periphery divide on measures against climate change
Living in poorer regions drives resistance to climate change policies. This opposition may have important implications for the behavior of voters, who are increasingly polarized in this area. Christoph Arndt, Daphne Halikiopoulou and Christos Vrakopoulos write.

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‘Far West’.- Social movements and power: the hour of Colombia
Political Science has postulated that the independence of the parties is a key condition for their necessary institutionalization. However, it happens that progress would have been made too in that autonomy, cutting the ties that allow the demands to be connected with decision-making. Yanina Welp writes about movement-based parties in Latin America. Subscribe.

‘Green Deal. Europe’s opportunity’.- Bonfires… of coal, we are in San Juan
Europe has finally dusted off, reluctantly, the most fossil of all: coal. Countries like Germany and France have already announced this measure, which is expected to be as temporary as possible, to overcome the energy crisis. Writes Guillermo Sánchez-Herrero.

Good weekend and good reading,

Paula Alonso
Public Agenda

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