An AICGS Conversation with Dr. Norbert Röttgen
U.S.-German Relations, Germany’s 2021 Federal Election, and the Future of German Foreign Policy
German-American diplomacy is at a peak. President Biden’s June summit meetings in Europe with the G-7, NATO, and the European Union set a new transatlantic agenda. Secretary of State Blinken subsequently visited Berlin and declared that the U.S. has “no better friend in the world than Germany.” German Ministers of Economy, Finance, and Defense have all been to Washington, D.C. in quick succession. The July 15 visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel built on those high-level engagements to set the course of American-German relations for the remainder of her term and likely beyond that.
Ahead of Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Washington D.C., AICGS President Jeff Rathke sat down with Dr. Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and a leading voice in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), to discuss the outlook for Germany’s foreign policy, especially following the formation of a new government in Berlin this fall. Dr Röttgen, known not least for his strong advocacy in recent years for a more sober and critical approach to Germany’s relationship with China, pointed out that issues such as Sino-German relations, Russo-German relations, and cybersecurity are among the key challenges facing Germany’s next chancellor. In a world increasingly shaped by strategic competition, transatlantic partnership is critically important. He also shared his insights regarding the September 26 Bundestag election that is entering its intense final weeks.