Thursday, December 05, 2019
Politics

EUreka! The EU remains a great success. Brexit will only strengthen it, and even the UK will know it to be true

EUreka! The EU remains a great success. Brexit will only strengthen it, and even the UK will know it to be true
By Michael Rutz

When someone talks about the European Union these days, it’s a shock to hear them utter anything but negative criticism. After all, there’s quite a lot to criticize, and politicians and the media – especially during election campaigns – pick and choose the details to cite in delivering their expected anti- EU bromides: too much Brussels bureaucracy, too patronizing, too confining for its member states, not really democratic and too …

Live to debate another day – not having easy answers is a liberal asset, not a moral failing

By Lutz Lichtenberger

Jeremiads about the state of liberal democracy and its institutions have been the dissonant theme of 2019. The West as a whole is in decline; NATO is obsolete; once proud and powerful parliaments and congresses have been rendered superfluous. Autocratic rulers like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un seize the day while Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro seem more inclined to emulate their …

Donald Trump wants Germany to beef up its military spending. But the real numbers underlying the dispute don’t add up

By Johannes Leithäuser

When US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Biarritz, France, in August, it marked the first time the two had ever held a meeting at which the dominant theme was not their dispute over the level of German military spending.

Trump has visited Paris, London and Warsaw twice since coming to office, but has not yet made the trip to Berlin. This, in turn, highlights the …

The AfD’s populist rhetoric attracts those who are traumatized by the past and scared of the future

The AfD’s populist rhetoric attracts those who are traumatized by the past and scared of the future
By Peter H. Koepf

In the past several years, Görlitz, a picturesque town on Germany’s eastern border with Poland, has functioned as the backdrop to several major Hollywood films, including Around the World in 80 Days starring Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Reader with Kate Winslet and David Kross and The Grand Budapest Hotel featuring Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray. However, the town’s elegant facades conceal a weak economy and scores of elderly …

NATO and the EU were created in a world that vanished 30 years ago. Clinging to that lost era means denying the facts of the present day

By Gregor Schöllgen

If solidarity is a valuable commodity, then the West was heaven on earth. It doesn’t matter that NATO and the various European communities started out as emergency solutions. They were the answer of North American and Western European states to the specific challenges posed by the Cold War. The actions, especially in Eastern Europe, of Stalin and his successors were seen as so dangerous and unpredictable that Western nations were …

Trump’s offer to buy Greenland is a sign that an ecologically destabilized Arctic could become the theater of a new Cold War

By Joachim Müller-Jung

The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans is wreaking havoc in the Arctic, where the summers used to be short and cold and winters prohibited any type of commerce – and any type of war, for the temperature was unthinkably cold and storms punished anyone bold enough or unlucky enough to be there. It used to be unimaginable that the Arctic would ever thaw, but today’s say that it …

FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
By Detlef Prinz

World conflicts continue to grow in both number and ferocity. Politics, economics and society are changing at a rapid pace. In this uncertain environment, there are two democratic principles to which we must remain steadfast: freedom and responsibility.

The gradual shift of power, influence and wealth from the Atlantic to the Pacific is having a growing impact on Europe. Economic dependence on China, the ASEAN states and the entire Indo-Pacific …

He’s no Stauffenberg

By Thomas Schuler

It was almost 15 years ago when Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia announced his return from his birthplace of Bremen to Berlin and Potsdam. His ancestors in the House of Hohenzollern, which the 43-year-old has titularly headed since 1994, had been Prussian kings since 1701 and German emperors from 1871 until the abrupt end of the monarchy in 1918. In 2005, the prince said in an interview with the monthly …

To cut the Gordian Knot in Eastern Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky will have to skirt accusations of treason while convincing the Kremlin to change its course

To cut the Gordian Knot in Eastern Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky will have to skirt accusations of treason while convincing the Kremlin to change its course
By Dmitri Stratievski

May 20, 2019, saw the inauguration of Ukraine’s sixth president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Despite his convincing results at the polls, the young politician polarizes Ukrainians like no one else can. The split for and against Zelensky cut right through the heart of Ukrainian society. His supporters and critics have pinned various hopes and concerns on their new head of state: fighting corruption vs. continuing the system of oligarchs, improving living standards …

The night my scoop evaporated. Deputy Ambassador James D. Bindenagel recounts the night the Wall came down when he was a diplomat in East Berlin

By James D. Bindenagel

On that fateful night of November 9, 1989, there was no sign of revolution in the air. Sure, change was coming – but slowly, we thought. As the US Deputy Ambassador to East Germany at the time, I lived on the communist side of the Berlin Wall, but I was spending the afternoon in West Berlin at an Aspen Institute reception with leaders from both sides of the divided city. …