Angela Merkel

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    Seizing the moment for euro area reform: A three-step action plan

Seizing the moment for euro area reform: A three-step action plan

On 31 May, the European Commission published a reflection paper on the deepening of the economic and monetary union. Henrik Enderlein, Enrico Letta and Aart De Geus outline proposals that they believe should have been contained in the paper. Their plan includes three key building blocks for a lasting and workable reform: a first aid kit, a structural reform […]

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    Macron and Merkel’s warm words mask deeper Franco-German divisions over the future of Europe

Macron and Merkel’s warm words mask deeper Franco-German divisions over the future of Europe

One of Emmanuel Macron’s first acts as French President was to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Julian Göpffarth writes that Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen was welcomed by both of Germany’s mainstream parties, albeit in different ways. But behind the warm words, his ambitious proposals for the Eurozone are bound to generate concerns among German politicians and both […]

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    One hundred days of Martin Schulz: The rise and fall of a ‘Gottkanzler’?

One hundred days of Martin Schulz: The rise and fall of a ‘Gottkanzler’?

Angela Merkel’s CDU secured a surprise victory over the SPD in state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on 14 May. Julian Göpffarth assesses where the result leaves the SPD’s leader, Martin Schulz, ahead of the country’s federal elections in September.

Martin Schulz. Credits: Olaf Kosinsky / Skillshare.eu
It has been not much more than a hundred days that Martin Schulz has been the […]

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    Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?

Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?

The German social democrats (SPD) have experienced rising support in opinion polls following the selection of Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, as the party’s candidate for chancellor at the upcoming federal elections in September. Julian Göpffarth asks whether the re-emergence of the SPD will lead to a more polarised contest, with a clear choice between […]

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    ‘Straight outta Würselen’ and straight into the German Chancellery? Martin Schulz and the SPD’s resurgence

‘Straight outta Würselen’ and straight into the German Chancellery? Martin Schulz and the SPD’s resurgence

Since nominating Martin Schulz as the party’s candidate for German Chancellor, the SPD has experienced an upsurge in support that seemed unthinkable only a few weeks ago. Julian Göpffarth asks what lies behind the shift in support and whether Angela Merkel should now have serious concerns over her attempt to secure re-election.

Martin Schulz. Credits: Mettmann (CC BY 3.0)
When Martin […]

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    Trump’s Foreign Policy: the Catalyst the European Union Needed?

Trump’s Foreign Policy: the Catalyst the European Union Needed?

Much political and media attention is currently focused on the likely consequences of a Trump presidency for US foreign policy and the USA’s European allies. Maxine David examines the reactions of key European leaders and argues that doubts over Trump’s foreign policy direction might be the spur Europeans needed to reassert their own value base and to take on the […]

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    Is this really the beginning of the end for Merkel? Why the CDU is still well placed to win in 2017

Is this really the beginning of the end for Merkel? Why the CDU is still well placed to win in 2017

The result of the election in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania on 4 September, where Angela Merkel’s CDU only managed third place, has been interpreted by some observers as a sign that the German Chancellor could be in danger of losing power in next year’s federal election. Ed Turner writes that there is a serious risk of over-interpretation as far as the […]

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    The Italian troublemaker: How Renzi’s European strategy is putting him at odds with Angela Merkel

The Italian troublemaker: How Renzi’s European strategy is putting him at odds with Angela Merkel

Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has voiced criticism of EU decision-making in recent months in relation to both the migration crisis and fiscal policy rules. Lorenzo Piccoli writes that although Renzi’s European policy is partly rooted in seeing off the challenge of Eurosceptic parties within Italy, he is also intent on playing a more assertive role at the European […]

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    Understanding Germany: Why Berlin’s policies reflect its role as the ‘status quo power’ in Europe

Understanding Germany: Why Berlin’s policies reflect its role as the ‘status quo power’ in Europe

Are European citizens now living, as the German sociologist Ulrich Beck once described, in a German Europe? Peter Becker writes that while the actions of Germany throughout the Greek debt and migration crises have provoked diverse responses from commentators outside of the country, Germany’s European policy has consistently been in line with its role as the dominant ‘status quo […]

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    What do the German state elections tell us about the state of the country’s parties?

What do the German state elections tell us about the state of the country’s parties?

German state elections held on 13 March produced significant levels of support for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), but where does the German party system stand overall after the elections? Ben Margulies writes that Germany is now heading toward a new system split between establishment parties and populist challengers, paralleling previous developments in countries like Austria.

On 13 March, three […]

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    Germany’s state elections: The rise of the AfD and the vicious circle of grand coalition politics

Germany’s state elections: The rise of the AfD and the vicious circle of grand coalition politics

Three state elections were held in Germany on 13 March, with the contests being viewed as a key test of support for Angela Merkel’s government in light of her handling of the ongoing migration crisis in Europe. Assessing the results, Ed Turner writes that the elections demonstrated substantial discontent among German voters, with the Alternative for Germany securing large […]

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    Angela Merkel faces a delicate balancing act on migration ahead of key state elections

Angela Merkel faces a delicate balancing act on migration ahead of key state elections

Elections will be held in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt on 13 March, with some commentators viewing the elections as an effective vote of confidence on Angela Merkel’s policy on refugees. Nitzan Shoshan assesses the political response to the incidents which took place in Cologne and other German cities on New Year’s eve. He states that […]

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    The rise of the AfD after Cologne poses a serious challenge for Merkel’s policy on refugees

The rise of the AfD after Cologne poses a serious challenge for Merkel’s policy on refugees

Following events on New Year’s Eve, in which a number of women were sexually assaulted in several cities including Cologne, the issue of immigration has come to the fore of domestic politics in Germany. Julian M Hoerner writes that the Eurosceptic Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party has experienced an upturn in support since the incidents, with Angela Merkel also […]

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    Merkel has not issued an ultimatum to the UK over free movement, but there is growing German frustration at David Cameron’s approach to the EU

Merkel has not issued an ultimatum to the UK over free movement, but there is growing German frustration at David Cameron’s approach to the EU

An article in the German news magazine Der Spiegel generated headlines in the UK press over the weekend when it appeared to suggest Germany would rather let Britain leave the EU than accept changes to EU free movement rules. Imke Henkel writes that while the reaction in the UK to the comments has been somewhat overblown, there is nevertheless […]

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    The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the limitations of Germany’s ‘more active’ foreign policy approach

The Ukraine crisis has highlighted the limitations of Germany’s ‘more active’ foreign policy approach

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced earlier this year that Germany would be pursuing a more active approach to foreign policy issues. Julia Himmrich writes that while this was an important break from the country’s reluctance to become involved in foreign conflicts since the end of the Second World War, the on-going Ukraine crisis has revealed the difficulties in […]

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Cameron must learn from Merkel on the treatment of low-paid workers, the Financial Transaction Tax, and the banking system

Unlike other western politicians, Angela Merkel has weathered the recession with remarkable success. Richard Carr argues that Merkel’s Germany shows that governmental interventionism can be compatible with the Conservative tradition and offers lessons on how it might be usefully deployed by the British right. The economic crash of 2008 was not kind to the western political status quo. In the […]

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The lack of any effective opposition to the new German government should be a concern for the rest of the Eurozone

Following the CDU/CSU and the SPD reaching a coalition agreement, and the ratification of this agreement by SPD members in December, Germany has finally formed its next government. Steffen Stierle and Christoph Mayer write on what 2014 might hold in store for the rest of the Eurozone now that the new government is in place. They argue that the agreement […]

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With a coalition agreement finally reached, Angela Merkel’s grand coalition is now in the hands of SPD members

Following lengthy negotiations in the aftermath of September’s German federal elections, a coalition agreement was finally reached last week. Patricia Hogwood assesses the gains and losses for the leading party of government, the CDU/CSU, and their prospective coalition partner, the SPD. She writes that the vague wording of the coalition contract and a raft of transitional measures, selective application and […]

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London and Berlin are not speaking the same language when it comes to EU reform

The UK and Germany have both expressed a desire to reform the way the EU functions. Almut Möller and Tim Oliver argue that due to their contrasting constitutional traditions and outlooks, the two countries risk misunderstanding or antagonising one another. They point out that the German discussion around EU competences is part of a country-wide debate on federalism, while the […]

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The polarisation of the German party system in the 2013 elections and the disappearance of the FDP explain the country’s tortuous coalition negotiations

Coalition negotiations are continuing in Germany, following federal elections in September. André Krouwel, Theresa Eckert and Yordan Kutiyski use each of the major parties’ manifesto pledges to illustrate the state of the German party system in 2013. They note that the party system has become more polarised, with an ‘empty centre’ between those on the left and right of the […]

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