Over the last several years, citizens in Europe have been randomly selected to participate in specific policy debates. But to make an impact, selection-based participation needs to be more integrated into mainstream democratic politics.
Only the combination of military assistance and reconstruction efforts now will one day put Ukraine in the position to decide if and when it wants to negotiate.
Zeitenwende has since morphed into a catch-all term and shorthand jargon for analysts inside and outside Germany to describe whatever policy change they want to see from Berlin. This goes beyond Berlin’s response to the Russian invasion to now include a more assertive German China policy.
Recent tensions between Paris and Berlin have led some to question the partnership’s purpose and relevance. But a track record of overcoming differences suggests relations can be revived.
Russia’s war on Ukraine has driven European states to reimagine the continent's security architecture. Several have taken concrete steps to reorient their foreign policies, including Germany, which notably chose to increase its defense spending and send weapons to Ukraine in March.
The European Political Community aims to draw EU’s neighbors into its orbit while leaving enough room to accelerate European integration. Doubts remain over the new platform’s ability to overcome the harsh political realities that sunk similar initiatives over the years.
Berlin’s pursuit of economic and political ties with Beijing and Moscow has created dangerous dependencies. A change in strategy would benefit both Germany and the EU.
With more than 52 million tickets sold, the measure provided direct financial relief to citizens, to the point where it effectively lowered Germany’s inflation rate between June and August when the offer was valid.
German’s nation-wide public transportation ticket in the summer of 2022 offered access to the entire country for just nine euros. The project, and its understanding of interdepartmental coordination and citizen engagement, might serve as a model for foreign policy innovation.