The chancellor has rescued his country’s reputation with its allies while upending its relationship with Moscow.
Chancellor Scholz’s refusal to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine is antagonizing Germany’s allies and will negatively impact European integration. Berlin should seize this chance to shape history.
It’s his boss.
On the inaugural episode of The Eurofile, Max and Donatienne sit down with Sophia Besch, Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to discuss Zeitenwende and all things German foreign and defense policy.
The Sondervermögen was a necessary step on Germany’s long road toward becoming a European defense leader. Now, EU countries have a rare window of opportunity to integrate procurement and create a genuinely European defense base.
The problems in bilateral relations are unlikely to disappear any time soon. Ukraine won’t want to become another buffer zone separating Russia and the West, but that is the scenario Germany will give serious consideration, fearing another war or Moscow’s nuclear threats.
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.
Berlin is still in the early phase of its Indo-Pacific journey. While the war in Ukraine has not changed its path, it is Berlin’s relationship with Beijing that will ultimately determine the credibility and depth of its Indo-Pacific engagement.
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.