The Federal Republic of Germany has a new government that was formed based on a government coalition. In such conditions, particular changes can occur in approaches in the European Union and the region in which the Republic of Moldova is situated. Experts invited to IPN’s public debate “Germany has a new government: Impact on situation in the Eastern Partnership and in Moldova” discussed how things in the EU and the region can change.
Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Science at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, said that after the recent federal parliamentary elections, three parties gained a considerable number of votes: the Social-Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party and the Green Party. As a result of complex negotiations that lasted for over two months, a broad coalition was formed and this is called “traffic light” by experts due to the colors of the parties. “The three parties agreed to form a coalition that was unconceivable at first as the views are in parts different, especially between the Free Democratic Party that promotes the interests of businesses and the Green Party that actively promotes an agenda of economic transition for solving problems related to climate change,” explained Dionis Cenușa, IPN’s senior contributor.
According to him, the members of the coalition signed the government agreement on December 7 and the investiture took place on December 8. The Government led by former minister of finance Olaf Scholz has 16 ministries, one of which was newly created. This is the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Another two important ministries are the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Federal Foreign Office).
“It should be noted that the agreement signed on December 7 is extremely ambitious. It is visionary in parts, especially when it goes to transition to a green economy and, respectively, to digitization of the economy. Particular interests of the Free Democratic Party that will control the Ministry of Finance and the Greens that are to seek more funding for ensuring the wanted transition to a green economy and that control the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action can clash here,” stated the expert
Ex-deputy minister of foreign affairs Valeriu Ostalep, expert in international relations and security, said that Germany as a state deserves all respect for coherence it shows in most of the areas, but primarily in the field of foreign policy. “The decisions taken by the Germans in the field of business and in the field of foreign affairs are analyzed, consulted, well-thought-out and were never chaotic. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a long tenure and the foreign policy and assistance provided by this state were never unpredictable,” he stated.
Valeriu Ostalep noted the new minister for foreign affairs can try to introduce new elements in the agenda, as regards climate change, transport, energy and the relations with Russia. However, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is a component of the German government and governance will most probably be rather calm and predictable. Also, there will be no radical changes in the relations with the Eastern Partnership countries, including the Republic of Moldova, during the next three-four years.
“Germany and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs promote programs of assistance for Moldova. We have specific elements of assistance from Germany. We know that an adviser with German nationality from next year will assist the President of the Republic of Moldova. I know about more assistance programs of Germany, not only for solving the Transnistrian dispute. There are also economic missions in this region. So, I think no radical changes will occur as regards the Eastern Partners and the Republic of Moldova in particular. Germany will be a constant supporter,” he stated.
Dorina Baltag, researcher in foreign policy and EU diplomacy at the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance in London, said that from the perspective of the Republic of Moldova or of the Associated Trio, it is highly improbable that Germany will radically change its foreign policy, if only as regards sector cooperation, based on the association agreements. New directions can appear and these will resonate with possibly radical changes inside Germany.
According to the researcher, from historical viewpoint, Germany had and will continue to have an absolutely central role in the EU, G7 and NATO. “In the academic environment, when they speak about Germany, they discuss the “Merkelism” phenomenon that is about governance practices, international political cooperation, economic and geopolitical positions. Not only once, the former chancellor was named a leader of the free world and a ‘benchmark’ for the democratic standards inside the EU and NATO,” stated Dorina Baltag.
However, she considers this phenomenon will be reviewed so that Germany comes to the forefront of the EU. “Two big threats persist – weakening of the rule of law in the EU and the EU’s failure to defend its interests in the world. Germany keeps the EU united in times of a series of internal crises – the financial crisis, the relationship with Russia, the Brexit, the pandemic etc. The policy to remain neural is the minus discussed at EU level. The question is, will the new government of Germany remain neutral or will it adopt a more drastic position? This will become clear in a period,” said the researcher.
The public debate titled “Germany has a new government: Impact on situation in the Eastern Partnership and in Moldova” is the 218th installment of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. IPN’s project is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.