On September 25, the Valdai Discussion Club held an expert discussion on the results of the parliamentary elections in Germany.
Although the elections to the German Bundestag do not foreshadow the change of the Federal Chancellor, they can bring some important changes in the political life and foreign policy of the country.
Germany is the second-largest country in the West after the United States, the undisputed economic and political leader of the EU, and after Donald Trump’s coming to power lays a claim to become the leader of the collective West. Elections in Germany are in any case one of the most important events in the European and world politics, because they occur at a time of fundamental transformations in international relations. The European Union is looking for a way out of the deepest crisis in its history. The wave of populism is in temporary decline, but its causes are not overcome in Europe or the US, and it can stage a comeback.
The US has become increasingly less inclined to play the role of a benevolent hegemon and responsible leader, and its policy is increasingly selfish. The world is developing in the direction, which is opposite to the ideal world order that the European Union promoted and in which it would feel comfortable and secure.
How will Germany respond to new challenges? How does it see its place and the position of the EU in a much more conflicted, unstable and fragmented world? How will it adapt to the new role of the United States in world and Atlantic politics? Will Germany change its policy toward Russia and the post-Soviet space? The participants of the discussion will try to answer these and other questions.
Mirko Hempel, Director, Friedrich Ebert Foundation Moscow
Nikolai Pavlov, Professor, Department of European and American Studies, MGIMO University; Member of the Central Board, Russia-Germany Society; Member of the Joint Commission for the Study of the Recent History of Russian-German Relations