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  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Körber-Stiftung
  • Abstract: Dear Readers, Welcome to the third edition of The Berlin Pulse! The first edition, published in November 2017, was an experiment. Two years later, I am convinced that The Berlin Pulse has made a positive contribution to Germany’s foreign policy debate. Internationally, the past two editions have served as a valuable tool for explaining the forces underlying German foreign policy. I would like to start, therefore, by thanking all who have contributed to this project through comments and suggestions, their own contributions, or simply by reading. The idea behind The Berlin Pulse remains the same: To identify potential gaps between German public opinion and international expectations of Berlin’s foreign policy. However, the results of this year’s survey once more underline a different gap, namely that between public opinion and government policy: To policy-makers in Berlin, the transatlantic alliance remains a pillar of German foreign policy. In contrast, a majority of the population (52 percent) believe that Germany should reconsider its alliance with Washington, even at the cost of more than doubling the country’s defence budget. However, despite efforts to strengthen Europe’s defence capabilities, Germany will continue to rely on the United States for its security for the foreseeable future. Clearly, its politicians need to become better at explaining to Germans why this is in the country’s interest. As Germans and the world are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakdown of the Iron Curtain, dividing lines old and new are making (re-)appearances. Therefore, the present issue will focus on three particular challenges facing German policy-makers: Berlin’s role in the EU and the Union’s foreign policy; transatlantic relations under the Trump administration, and the question of what role Germany will be willing and able to play in Asia. With Germany preparing for the presidency of the European Council and the US elections looming, 2020 is bound to be an eventful year. Amid continuing threats to multilateralism and the liberal international order, friends and competitors alike are closely watching the decisions taken (or not taken) by Berlin. This year’s authors hail from a rich variety of backgrounds, and include Germany’s Federal Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Bulgarian intellectual Ivan Krastev, eminent Chinese diplomat, Madam Fu Ying, as well as public intellectual and journalist Walter Russell Mead, to name but a few. Last but not least, allow me to thank our editor, Joshua Webb. It is in no small part thanks to his excellent work that I am confident the present issue of The Berlin Pulse will provide you with plenty of food for thought and discussion. I wish you an insightful read. Thomas Paulsen
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: A shorter version of this Research Study was presented at the International Conference: “Bulgaria. Ten Years After Its Integration in the EU and the Upcoming Presidency of the EU Council 2018”, convened on 21-22 November 2017 in Berlin, Germany, and organised by the Southeast Europe Association, Germany, The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The activity of Bulgaria and the EU during the Presidency of Sofia in the first half of 2018 proved the consistency of the assessments in the presented paper a year earlier. New developments and facts confirmed the growing complexity of the global strategic situation, the rising need of the Union to keep its unity in the intensifying competition of the global centers of power, the necessity of clear definition of the strategic autonomy of the EU. The slogan of the Bulgarian Presidency – “United We Stand”, vividly illustrated the correct Bulgaria’s perception of the evolving international political environment
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Körber-Stiftung
  • Abstract: Dear Readers, Welcome to the second edition of THE BERLIN PULSE! At times of turmoil, when the rules-based international order is put into question and traditional alliances become weaker, the majority of Germans still do not favour a more active stance in foreign policy: 55 percent of Germans prefer restraint rather than Germany engaging more strongly in international crises. Apparently, the demands by leading politicians and think tanks for Germany to take on greater international responsibility have not persuaded Germans to change their mind. THE BERLIN PULSE guides policy-makers and experts along the fine line between domestic constraints and international expectations. Political leaders such as the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid express their hopes and expectations for German foreign policy in 2019. Their perspectives meet the attitudes of the German public – sometimes they overlap, sometimes they clash. This year’s issue brings together data, analysis and different perspectives on the most pressing challenges for German foreign policy today and in the years to come – including some trends and outliers that may surprise you. With its new focus topic “The Value of Europe”, Körber Foundation is contributing to the debate on the past, present, and future of the European project and is paying special attention to the question of how a new split along the former “Iron Curtain” can be avoided. We are witnessing a growing internal division in the European Union: 77 percent of Germans believe the cohesion between EU member states has recently weakened. A striking 46 percent of Germans believe the EU’s Eastern enlargement in 2004 was not the right decision. At a time when the transatlantic relationship is going through turbulent times, three out of four Germans describe US-German relations as “somewhat bad” or “very bad” and favour a more independent foreign policy from the US. However, this alienation is not mirrored in the US: even if they consider Germany not a very important partner, 70 percent of Americans believe the relationship between the US and Germany is somewhat good or very good. We thank our transatlantic partners from the Pew Research Center for fielding joint questions on the transatlantic relationship in the US together with us. The results of the representative survey commissioned by Körber Foundation in September 2018 should enrich the conversation about German foreign policy during and beyond the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum, which we are proud to host together with the German Federal Foreign Office. “Talk to each other rather than about each other” – the motto of our founder Kurt A. Körber continues to guide Körber Foundation’s activities today. I hope you enjoy reading. Thomas Paulsen
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Military Affairs, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Dinah Pardijs, Almut Möller
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Faced with internal and external pressures, the EU is increasingly focused on “cooperation” and “deliverables”, rather than “integration”. ECFR’s research shows that a critical mass of countries agree on the need for more flexible cooperation within the EU.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Körber-Stiftung
  • Abstract: Dear Reader, Welcome to The Berlin Pulse! In the past years, calls for greater German international engagement were heard at many occasions. As Germany sets out for a new coalition experiment, the question is whether the new government will assume this responsibility, and how it will address international challenges. To succeed, a Chancellor Angela Merkel will have to reconcile the views of her coalition partners with expectations of Germany’s international partners. How much leeway does a new government have between international expectations and domestic constraints? The idea behind The Berlin Pulse is to guide policy-makers and experts on this fine line. To this end, prominent international authors such as Jens Stoltenberg and Mohammad Javad Zarif formulate their expectations for Germany on 2018’s most pressing issues. A representative survey commissioned by Körber Foundation in October 2017 contrasts their perspectives with German public opinion. We will publish The Berlin Pulse annually on the occasion of the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum, which we host together with the Federal Foreign Office. The contrast of domestic and international perspectives indicates what kind of foreign policy actor Germany can become. For example, while many foreign policy makers demand that Germany punches its weight on the international stage, Germans do not demonstrate the same enthusiasm: 52 percent prefer international restraint over increased engagement, a value similar to past years. As Timothy Garton Ash writes in his contribution on Germany’s role in the world, “there has been no historical caesura since 3 October 1990 large enough to justify talking about a ‘new’ Germany.” And while experts still discuss whether we are in a “post-Atlantic era”, the German population already seems to have reached a conclusion: 56 percent consider the relationship between the US and Germany to be somewhat or very bad, and a striking 88 percent would give a defense partnership with European states priority over the partnership with the US. In an interview for The Berlin Pulse, Condoleezza Rice stresses the importance of increased defense spending for the transatlantic relationship, yet 51 percent of Germans think spending should stay at current levels. Opinion polls are often snapshots. Yet, we have been conducting polls since 2014 and believe that continuity allows distinguishing between outliers and underlying characteristics of German public opinion on foreign policy. We particularly thank the Pew Research Center for fielding six joint questions on the transatlantic relationship in the US. The motto of our founder to “talk to each other rather than about each other” has guided Körber Foundation’s activities from the beginning. The Berlin Pulse shall gather representative voices from within and outside Germany to illustrate and acknowledge the potential and limits of Germany’s role in the world. We believe this is a prerequisite for developing a viable and successful foreign policy. Behind every successful publication, there is a dedicated editor. Thanks to the acumen and persistence of Luise Voget, Program Manager at our International Affairs Department, the idea of a ‘guidebook to German foreign policy’ has been molded into 60 pages of data, analysis and opinion: The Berlin Pulse. I wish you a good read. Thomas Paulsen
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, International Affairs, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Philippe Le Corre, Jonathan Pollack
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: China’s emergence as a global economic power and its fuller integration in the international order are among the principal policy challenges facing Europe and the United States in the early 21st century. At the time of Beijing’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, China (though already growing rapidly) was in global terms an economic actor of limited consequence. A decade and a half later, China’s transformation is without parallel in economic history. Over the past 15 years, China has experienced an eightfold increase in GDP, enabling it to serve as the pri- mary engine of global economic growth in the early 21st century. It has leapfrogged from sixth to second place among the world’s economies, trail- ing only the United States in absolute economic size. In addition, China has become the world’s leading trading state and is now the second largest source of outward foreign direct investment. Change of this magnitude has enhanced China’s political power and eco- nomic leverage. It has also stimulated China’s internal economic evolution, simultaneously expanding the power of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) while also contributing to major growth in the private sector. China has also begun to think bigger, devoting increased attention to the rules of global economic governance. Although Beijing insists it has no intention of supplanting the existing international order, China contends that chang- ing power realities will require modification of global rules.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Political Economy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, America, Europe
  • Author: William Perry, Deep Cuts Commission
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This report contains a number of bold proposals on how to better manage relations between the West and Russia in order to avert worst-case scenarios. Specifying that cooperative solutions are pos- sible without giving up on the fundamental interests of each side, it warrants a close look by officials in both Moscow and Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, International Security, International Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Hans Binnendijk
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: NATO tends to make progress on key policy issues and capability from summit to summit. Major shifts in the orientation of the Alliance can be traced to significant summits like London (1990), Washington (1999), Prague (2002), and Lisbon (2010). During the past two years, NATO has held a summit in Wales (4-5 September 2014) and one in Warsaw (8-9 July 2016). A third minisummit is planned for Brussels in 2017. These first two summits taken together again significantly shifted the focus of the Alliance in the face of a series of new and dangerous challenges in the East and South. They shifted NATO’s posture in the East from benign neglect to allied reassurance to some degree of deterrence. The proposed force posture is inadequate to defeat a determined Russian short warning attack. Considerable increases in forward deployed forces (perhaps seven brigades) plus strengthened reinforcements would be necessary for NATO to hold its ground. But the Warsaw formula does provide what might be called “deterrence by assured response.” In the South, Allies recognized the complexity of the threats to Europe and sought to define NATO’s role in dealing with them. The third summit next year in Brussels could set the stage for further progress on both fronts. Much more still needs to be done. But with these fairly dramatic changes, NATO is in the process of once again restructuring itself so that it will not be “obsolete” in the effort to provide security for the transatlantic allies. This paper briefly analyzes 20 key issues now facing the Alliance and highlights the progress made in Wales and Warsaw. It also suggests some directions for the Brussels summit and beyond.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Brussels, Warsaw, Wales