Episode 08: German and European Security at a Crossroads
As the March 29 deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union approaches, no one knows how it will ultimately turn out. But some lessons are apparent despite the uncertain outcome. And with elections to the European Parliament happening at the end of May, what direction Europeans want for the European Union is an increasingly salient issue.
French president Emmanuel Macron put it this way, in the headline of an op-ed that recently appeared simultaneously across Europe: “Dear Europe, Brexit is a lesson for all of us: it’s time for renewal.” The French president calls for a European renaissance that would build a closer-knit Europe, focused on the issues that concern many voters, with sweeping proposals for security, including at Europe’s borders; social progress, including a European minimum wage; and scientific and economic innovation. It is more an election platform than a program for governing.
What is Germany’s view on Macron’s agenda? Leader of the Christian Democratic Union Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer issued her response a few days later. She shared President Macron’s urgency, but wrote that there is more support for the European idea than ever before. She echoed the emphasis on securing Europe’s borders, strengthening innovation, and standing up a European security council that would include Great Britain.
In this episode of The Zeitgeist, Dr. Jana Puglierin and Sophia Besch join Jeff Rathke to talk about the direction Germany’s security policy is taking. They cover four fundamental questions: What is Germany’s role in European security? Are the changes in German policy adequate for the changing international security environment? How are Germany and France seeking to strengthen their cooperation? And how can the United States and Germany manage their frictions in the interest of a stronger transatlantic relationship?
Jeff Rathke, President, AICGS
Support for this episode is provided in part by the Steven Muller New Initiatives Fund.