Implications of the German Elections; interact with experts and join the event
Five questions about the event ‘Germany after the Elections: implications for Foreign Policy and European Security’ answered by one of the experts at the event: Joachim Koops. Come by at the Spanish Steps in Wijnhaven on Friday 15 October or join the event online (link below).
What is the main goal of organising this event?
Koops: ‘The main aim of the event is to provide an initial analysis and assessment of the election results of the German Federal Elections that took place on 26 September 2021. The Panel will bring together experts from the field of policy-making (i.e. Dirk Brengelmann, the former German Ambassador to The Netherlands) , ISGA Professors Bert Koenders and myself as well as Eva Froneberg (Docent at ISGA) to explore in particular the potential implications of the elections for Germany’s future role in European and Global Security. In other words, which kind of government coalitions are possible and what can we expect from the new German government in terms of Foreign and Security Policy?’
Why should students tune in or come by?
Koops: ‘Germany is the largest economy in Europe, an important bilateral partner for the Netherlands and without a doubt one of the most influential member states of the European Union, NATO, OSCE and global security arrangements. The shape, form and direction of the new government -at a time when pressing national, European and global challenges await- will have significant implications for the future of European security and defence, transatlantic relations and the future of global security. Students will have the opportunity to interact first hand and live with one of Germany’s most astute former ambassadors and experts on a topic that has variety of direct implications for the study of security and global affairs. After the event, there is also an opportunity to network and deepen the conversation over drinks and nibbles.’
As a kick off for Friday: what does the result of the 2021 German elections tell us?
Koops: ‘The elections have led to the end of the 16 year political tenure of the CDU (the Christian Democratic Party – which is the party of the outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel) and the rather unexpected outcome of the SPD (Social Democratic Party) as strongest party. Yet, the most fundamental change created by these results is that for the first time in history of the German Federal Republic there is the possibility of Germany being led by a coalition of three parties rather than a coalition of two. The outcomes also mean that whatever the outcomes of the negotiations, the Greens and Liberals will certainly be in the next government – whether under the leadership of the SPD (traffic light coalition) or -more unlikely, but still not impossible- under CDU leadership (Jamaica coalition). This means in all likelihood a stronger, more value-based foreign policy, tougher stances on Russia and a reinforcement of the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedom.’
There are talks of different coalitions, with beautiful names as traffic light (Ampel) and Jamaica. What are they?
Koops: ‘In Germany, coalitions between more than 2 parties are a novelty. Throughout the last 7 decades, German governments were either made up by a single party, a Grand Coalition (between CDU and SPD) or by coalitions between a people’s party and a smaller coalition partners (such as CDU-Liberals or SPD-Liberals or SPD-Greens). In the media and common parlance, German commentators and politicians refer to coalitions by referring to the colours each party uses in their logos (CDU being black, SPD red, FDP yellow, Greens green etc.). A combination of these colours are then referred to in symbolic manners – i.e. a coalition of the SPD-Liberals-Greens (Red-Yellow-Green) is called an ‘Ampelkoalition’ (traffic light coalition) since it has all the colour of a traffic light and a coalition between CDU-Liberals-Greens would be referred to a Jamaica Coalition because all the colours of the Jamaican flag are included (Black-Yellow-Green).’
And which coalition seems the most likely to happen?
Koops: ‘The event on 15 October will take place at the end of a week where the SPD, Liberals and Greens are frantically meeting to assess their differences and commonalities for a joint government vision. There are still strong differences between the Liberals and Greens and compromises will have to be made without abandoning red lines. The devastating results of the CDU and its front-runner Armin Laschet as well as the ensuing party infighting will make it unlikely that the CDU will lead a Jamaica coalition and will make it more likely that Germany will be governed under a traffic light coalition of SPD, FDP and the Greens.’
Watch the lecture online
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