Since the beginning of the European integration in the late s and early s, Germany has seen it as an instrument to realize its national interests. The transfer of sovereignty was accompanied by a growth of influence over the European Communities and then, since , over the EU. As this policy has proved successful, the united Germany also adhered to this strategy, although the increased number of Member States and Germany's poor economic situation after unification made it more difficult to create compromises.
In the 21st century, France and Germany had very different expectations towards the key issues of the European policy. Industry policy, EU budget and the new treaty Constitution for Europe were the main issues.
The discussion following the French referendum that had rejected the new treaty in showed a big divergence in the expectations towards the EU between France and Germany. The French-German tandem no longer dominated the EU in the political, economic and demographical perspective. The situation has changed with the emergence of the euro crisis. Most of the discussions on how to deal with it were conducted among the eurozone member countries.
The eurozone, with only 18 member states at the end of , offers much better conditions to exercise the French-German leadership. In , the French-German cooperation took the right path. The close cooperation between Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy allowed them to reach a compromise concerning the new EU treaty, which was signed in Lisbon. The agreement on the Treaty of Lisbon was a clear success of the French-German cooperation and, specifically, of the two leaders. But only one year later, the atmosphere in the bilateral relations substantially deteriorated. First, the French proposal of the "Union for the Mediterranean" was not consulted with Germany and then, as the war between Russia and Georgia erupted, President Sarkozy declared himself the crisis manager representing the EU.
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The lack of coordination between French and German leaders was also very visible during the Arab Spring. These few examples show how unsuccessful France and Germany were in the area of foreign and security policy. But the central elements of the French-German relations since have been the global financial crisis and the eurozone crisis.
There are, however, substantial differences between the two partners in this area as well. As the Greek debt crisis erupted in early , Germany opposed the French proposal of generous support without substantial conditions. Germany was able to persuade other EU members that strict conditions and participation of the International Monetary Fund are needed. In face of the dramatic economic situation in the eurozone, Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy were able to agree on a joint action in October , during their meeting in Deauville.
Although their proposal was criticized by many EU partners as a "Diktat", it was clear that France and Germany together took the reins of leadership in the EU. As a result, the term "Merkozy" was coined to demonstrate the close cooperation between the two countries and their leaders.
The reforms that have been realized in the EU and eurozone since then have been backed by the French-German tandem. The euro crisis highlighted the new distribution of power in the French-German tandem. Germany has emerged as a "European Hegemon". During the Cold War, Germany was conducting a 'double-track' foreign policy. On the one hand, it maintained close relations with France, and on the other hand, with the United States. In the s, the US-German cooperation was weakened and something that can be referred to as "the end of the transatlantic era" 80 was observed.
In the early 21st century, a new balance in favor of the relations with France emerged. The US-German relations in the area of security have gone through three stages. The first one may be called "adjustment and consolidation". Germany tried to combine two elements: This stage came to an end with the peace in the Balkans in The rise to power of the left-green government in Berlin symbolizes the beginning of the second stage. It was also ready to support the USA in the war against terrorism and German troops were sent to Afghanistan.
But the refusal to provide support in the Iraq conflict marked a deep change in the German foreign policy. Europe, and especially France, took the central position in the German foreign and security strategy. Even though this stage lasted only around three years, it has shaken the relations.
The third stage began as Angela Merkel became chancellor and initiated the repair of the US-German relations. Barack Obama was enthusiastically welcomed in Berlin in by people. Also in economic relations both partners failed to find a common language after The unification of Germany opened high expectations regarding its future role in the world economy.
Bush offered Germany "partnership in leadership". However, Germany's economic difficulties in the s, the focus on the deepening of the European integration and the relations with France made these hopes unrealistic. In the early s, the USA perceived Germany and Japan as their most dangerous competitors in the global market, but simultaneously, it expected that it could manage the transatlantic economic relations together with Germany. These expectations were, however, never realized. At the same time, tensions regarding the access of American enterprises to the German market emerged and environmental standards and agriculture issues led to conflicts.
The key problem until the outbreak of the global financial crisis in was the falling prestige of the German economy in the world. Structural weakness in the labor and capital market led to deep reforms in the early 21st century. The traditional model of the German AG was abolished. Since , the role of security issues has been substantially reduced in the US-German relations.
On the other hand, the role of economic issues has grown dramatically in consequence of the global financial crisis. But in this area the two countries are not unanimous either. The first issue is related to crisis management, the second one to the structure of the international economy. Germany has based its crisis management policy on austerity principles and imposed this strategy on the other eurozone countries during the euro crisis. At the same time, the USA implemented a policy of government spending and loosened its monetary policy.
The second issue is imbalance in the global economy. On the eve of the crisis, one of the characteristic futures of the global economy were huge imbalances, with deficit countries such as the USA and the UK and surplus countries such as China and Germany.
China was especially criticized by the us administration, but it reduced its surplus during the crisis years with the aim to rebalance the national economy. Even though the policy of Angela Merkel is much more USA-friendly than that of her predecessor, the US-German relations have not regained the old glamour. But despite certain tensions in the German-US relations, including the broadly commented spying crisis, 89 they are vital to Germany. On the one hand, it would be an important economic agreement establishing the biggest free trade agreement in world history, but even more importantly, it would strengthen the alliance between two partners that share not only interests but also values.
In , the diplomatic relations between the FRG and China were established and ever since the economic dimension of these relations has played an important role. The FRG supports China's economic reforms. Despite a positive attitude towards China's economic policy, the relations were not conflict-free. What especially contributed to the cooling down of the mutual relations was the German criticism of the events in the Tiananmen Square in and the "Tibet resolution" of the Bundestag in Despite these tensions, the development of mutual relations merits a positive evaluation.
In , the German government published a new Asian strategy, with special attention paid to relations with China. In the late s, the bilateral dialogue was intensified. In , the relations were taken to the level of "partnership in a global responsibility" within the strategic partnership between the EU and China. In , Germany and China gave their relations the status of a "strategic partnership" and one year later, they decided to hold annual government consultations.
The positive development of political relations has been accompanied by fast-growing economic exchange. It is enough to indicate that China is the most important trade partner for Germany in Asia, and Germany is the most important trade partner for China in Europe. The intensification of the economic relations was fueled by several factors.
First, the reforms of the Chinese economy and its opening to international trade have improved the quality of China's export. Second, the German unification has accelerated the process of specialization in the German economy and its integration into the international division of labor.
It was also related to the raised importance of the European common market and the political and economic changes in the Central European countries. In the s and s, the economic relations between the FRG and China were on a relatively low level. The trade exchange was developing fast, but FDI, lending and development aid went only one way, from Germany to China. Germany had great hopes regarding China's accession to the World Trade Organization. The economic success of China is so impressive that in the German government decided to stop providing China with development aid in the traditional form.
The cooperation is continued in the form of development partnership concentrated on climate, environment, and energy, economic reforms and the legal system. Today, however, it is not the development cooperation that is valued but the Chinese ability to find an independent solution of internal problems and mutually advantageous cooperation. Despite the intensive development of the bilateral relations, their rationale was long not clear, 95 and only the global financial crisis has changed that. As Hans Kundnani and Jonas Parello-Plesner indicate in their influential paper of May , special relations have emerged between the two countries.
Based on the economic symbiosis between China and Germany, a 'special relationship' is now developing. They argue that Germany is still pro-European, but in the German political circles dominates the opinion that Germany can no longer wait for the European institutions that have not developed and practiced a coherent policy towards China. As a particularly important element of these bilateral relations they indicate the government-to-government consultations between Germany and China, something that is typical for German relations with countries that it deems important, but what is very unusual for China.
Initially, it were exports to the European periphery, but then, after the eruption of the global financial crisis and the eurozone crisis, German exporters focused on China as the most attractive market. The two scholars argue that the German foreign policy is increasingly driven by economic interests. Chinese and German economies complete themselves. China needs German technology and Germany needs China's market. It could be called "change through trade". Close economic ties should allow Germany to influence China.
However, the scholars express the worry that the German strategy is risky and, in consequence, Germany could be manipulated by China. On the other hand, China has a very positive perception of Germany. Germany is seen as a country without a colonial past and a country with a strong industrial basis that can be helpful to the development of the Chinese economy. Also, the model of the German social market economy enjoys interest in China. China promotes the multipolar world order. Europe, which has no security interest in Asia, seems to China a valuable ally in competing against the USA.
As a dominating power in Europe, with strong economic ties with China, Germany may be its key partner. As Hans Kundani noted in his lecture delivered at the Institute of International and European Affairs in March , immediately after the publication of this paper the term "special relations" for describing the German-Chinese relations was refused by German politicians. But already in August , during Chancellor Merkel's visit in Beijing, the term was adopted to describe the relations between the two countries.
The relations between the FRG and India, the second leading "new player", had an entirely different trajectory. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established already in and in the prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru visited the FRG. At that time, the relations were developing very well. With support of the German development aid, the Rourkela steel mill was constructed and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras Chennai was built.
Cultural relations were also developing well. But then, since the mids, the German-Indian relations "were caught in the doldrums of benign neglect". The federal chancellors did not visit India for 19 years.
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Only in the second half of the s the relations started to be intensified once again. They allowed intensification of political exchange, strengthening of economic ties and development of a lively cultural and scientific exchange. The framework for the current Indo-German relations was established by the "Agenda for German-Indian Partnership in the 21st Century", which was adopted by the foreign ministers of the two countries in May and which focuses on economic, cultural and scientific issues. The Agenda is the basis for further agreements between the two countries.
Two of these agreements, adopted in and , are particularly important. An essential element of the agreement was a declaration that the bilateral relations are based on shared values, principles, and visions. The dynamic growth in India was followed by the development of economic relations with Germany.
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The two countries cooperate also in security issues. In , the defense ministers signed a defense and security agreement. Germany was a part of the consortium offering the Eurofighter Typhoon, but it lost the contract to the French competitor. The decision in favor of the French Dassault Rafale is still discussed in India and the European consortium does not give up the contract offering better terms.
The economic ties have been strengthening as well. Indo-German trade has developed dynamically and German investments in India have increased. But in comparison to the German-Chinese trade exchange the numbers are small.
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There is a strong expectation that in the future Indian companies will invest in Germany as well, trade relations will be better balanced and India will diversify its export basket toward high-tech products. It and biotechnology are two sectors with the best prospects for the future. A further important element of the Indo-German relations is development aid. Despite dynamic economic growth, India is still one of the poorest countries of the world, with million citizens living on less than 2 USD per day. The German aid focuses on three areas.
The first one is the energy sector, especially energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, the second is environment protection, and the third is sustainable development. In , this aid was worth over 1 billion euro and it was the highest in history. The comparison of the German-Chinese relations and the Indo-German relations shows deep differences. Thanks to China's economic dynamism, the German-Chinese relations are much more intensive and play a more important role for the German diplomacy. On the other hand, the Indo-German relations are founded on the foundation of common values.
They also have a much lower conflict potential, in economic as well in political terms. The German foreign policy has experienced a strong shift in the last two decades. In the early s the issues connected with the German unification and then European integration constituted a priority for the German foreign policy, but then the interest moved toward Asia and the "new players".
The German foreign policy has reacted to global changes and tries to adapt to the new balance of power. Especially the relations with China play a crucial role.
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It is an interesting market but at the same time a potential economic and political rival. The close relations with the "new players" have not brought about any change in the principles of the German foreign policy. Germany is a status quo power, well integrated in the Atlantic-European community. The German government has no intention to challenge the current alliances in face of the new powerful competitors. It is interested in strengthening the cooperation within the European Union and the eurozone. Germany is willing to develop relations with the "new players".
Economic relations are prioritized. They provide an opportunity to sustain prosperity in Germany. But even today, one of these powers, China, is also an economic competitor. Other "new players" will probably follow in the coming decades. This development should strengthen the German dedication to deepening the European integration and building a strong, single European voice in the global arena.
Revival of the close German-American partnership should be the second aim of the German diplomacy. Megatrend Review, , 6 1 , Sicherheit, Wohlfahrt, Institutionen und Normen. Germany and the United States must remain allies - they are practically family", IP-Journal [online]. From the Geopolitical Social to Geoeconomics.
Antipode, , 41 1 , Demesmay, C, Kollektive Obsession. Internationale Politik, , 4, APuZ, , 63 , Guerot, Ulrike, Germany goes global: Zivilmacht ohne Zivilcourage, in R. Ein historischer Ausblick, in V. Geburtstag, Baden-Baden, Nomos, , pp. Von "Merkozy" zu "Merkollande"?. APuZ , 63 , Khanna, Parag, Introductory Thoughts, speech on the conference: Opportunities and Challenges, Transnational Corporations Review, , 5 3 , Ayhan, Prasad, Eswar S.
Parello-Plesner, China and Germany: Policy Brief 55, p. Kundnani, Hans, Germany and China. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Product details File Size: August 26, Sold by: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.
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