Europe in the World


Germany and the Ukraine war

20 Oct 2022 - 17:47
Source: Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks to media as he arrives at the Informal EU 27 Summit and Meeting within the European Political Community at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Zeitenwende with the brakes on

More than most Western European countries, Germany appears especially affected by the Ukraine war. Faced with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany finds itself in a state of geopolitical shock. Its foreign and security policy, built upon such principles as ‘militärische Zurückhaltung’, ‘Wandel durch Handel’ and a conciliatory ‘Ostpolitik’ towards Moscow, is outdated and unfit for the strategic challenges of the 2020s. Under great internal and external pressure, Germany is undergoing a process of soul searching over the direction of its foreign and security policy, the so-called ‘Zeitenwende’. But the outcome is by no means certain. However, even if the watershed in Germany’s foreign and security policy does not meet initial expectations, the shifts could be substantial and likely to have profound implications for the EU and the Netherlands.

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