Bavaria First: How a provincial party is tearing Germany and Europe apart

When most Americans think about Germany, they really think about Bavaria. Lederhosen, beer, pretzels, beautiful mountain landscapes and the Disney-esque castle Neuschwanstein have little to do with any of the other 15 German states. But Bavaria’s culture is not only an external marketing success. Its political tribalism has evolved into a serious threat for German politics and European unity. In an unprecedented escalation over Germany’s migration policy, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s exclusively Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), is undermining a European solution and has destabilized the government. For Germany, it would be best if Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the CSU separated.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


This article was originally published in The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section on July 11, 2018.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.

Philipp Liesenhoff

German Council on Foreign Relations

Philipp Liesenhoff is an AICGS/GMF Fellow with the American-German Situation Room in Washington, DC, until November 2018.

In Germany, Philipp Liesenhoff works at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. An economist by training, he worked as a research assistant at the German Marshall Fund between 2014 and 2017 and has previous work experience at the German Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federation of German Industries, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP).

He holds an MA in International Economics from the University of Bayreuth and received his BA in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Passau. He is completing his PhD in the field of macro-finance and was a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Affairs (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, in 2016/17.

During his time in Washington, Philipp Liesenhoff will focus his research on the impact of U.S. economic and financial reforms and executive trade measures on Europe and how, vice versa, national policy dynamics of EU member states and European governance reforms will shape Europe’s responses to President Trump’s new economic paradigm of “America First.”