In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines Germany’s abstention from the UN vote on Libya and the questions surrounding the German and other European responses to the continuing developments in the larger region.

When it comes to Libya, the Merkel government finds itself on the defensive on many fronts, writes DAAD/AICGS Fellow Pia Niedermeier. The German government has correctly pointed out that a political vision for the conflict is missing, Ms. Niedermeier argues, but it must also take the blame for not developing such a vision together with its partners.

In Saxony-Anhalt, the retirement of Minister-President Wolfgang Böhmer has opened the door to aspiring leaders Reiner Haseloff (CDU) and Jens Bullerjahn (SPD), who would like nothing more than to avoid another CDU-SPD ‘grand coalition’ in the government. Currently, the SPD looks likely to retain its position in the majority, but whether that will be in a coalition with the CDU, the Left Party, or the Left Party and the Greens remains to be seen. Another victory here for the SPD on March 20 would add to the momentum gained in Hamburg. AICGS has compiled essential links and media coverage surrounding the election in Sachsen-Anhalt, and will do so for each of the remaining Land elections throughout the year.

The outcome of the euro area meeting last week was far more substantive than expected, even if one takes into account that the expectations had been at rock bottom, writes Jacob Kirkegaard, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a regular contributor to the Advisor. Not only did EU leaders demonstrate how they intend to prevent peripheral defaults, they also gave us an idea of their longer-term solutions for Europe’s economic problems and future integration, Kirkegaard argues.

In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes examines the unfolding crisis in Libya and the potential lessons of past crises in the Balkans for Germany, the EU and, NATO.

Are the Americans the only ones who can talk seriously about how to help the Libyans and to maintain global balance? AICGS Trustee Ambassador John Kornblum, former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, ponders this question knowing that it is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future based on the perception that Europe cannot meet the new security challenges. Kornblum argues that a new strategy for Atlantic relations must be developed that demonstrates how Western values can help master the practical problems of globalization. The German version of this essay originally appeared in the March 8, 2011, edition of Die Welt.

Whether Muammar Qaddafi manages to maintain power in Libya or not, there will be no going back to the old order in the region, writes Dr. Ian Lesser, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States and a regular participant in AICGS events. Libya looks set for a protracted period of turmoil, Dr. Lesser argues, and the strategic implications for North Africa, the Mediterranean, and transatlantic partners could be profound. This essay originally appeared in the blog of The German Marshall Fund of the United States.

The “creative economy” is an important economic factor in Germany, write former Deutsche Bank/AICGS Fellow Thomas Dapp and Philipp Ehmer, producing goods and services worth over 60 billion euros in 2009. The industry has significant growth potential for the future, but some changes within the sector are necessary – namely some changes to copyright and patent statutes – to achieve the maximum growth potential.

In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes looks at the opening round of Germany’s regional elections in 2011 and examines the potential pitfalls and possibilities for Chancellor Merkel during this unusual year of political barometers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has some major challenges ahead regarding the future of the euro, writes Senior Non-Resident Fellow Dr. Ulrike Guérot of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Dr. Guérot argues that Chancellor Merkel’s options regarding reform efforts in the euro zone have been severely limited by domestic issues, and that her ability to reach a compromise with other EU countries depends on the outcome of these domestic developments. This essay originally appeared in the ECFR’s blog on February 24, 2011.

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