“Germany has no foreign policy !” Cohn-Bendit debate with Fischer and von der Leyen

"L'Allemagne n'a pas de politique étrangère !" Cohn-Bendit débat avec Fischer et von der Leyen

"L'Allemagne n'a pas de politique étrangère !" Cohn-Bendit débat avec Fischer et von der Leyen

In this new issue of Uncut, conversations without filters and without cuts of Daniel Cohn-Bendit with personalities, the former mep environmentalist debate of Germany’s place in the world with two policy-makers German.

If the former minister green of foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer evokes the weight of History which, according to him, prevents even his country to put themselves forward at the international level, the current Defence minister Ursula von der Leyen believes that his country must prepare itself to take its responsibilities,(…)c‘is a process of molting. (…) After 25 years of reunification, it is the right time,” she says. It also highlights the considerable progress made since a year and a half in the construction of european defence, stating : “We are an army of Europeans, we are so connected that we can carry out immediate actions.”

Joschka Fischer meets Dany

The former mep environmentalist who asks questions here one of his long-time friends in the person of former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer does not hesitate to provoke him with : “Germany does absolutely nothing in terms of foreign policy.” What his interlocutor replied : “The Germans should assume a role of world power [particularly in the face of the policy of Donald Trump and the establishment of a new world order], but they can’t” because of their recent history. “After 1945, Germany was drawn instinctively to the teachings of the [Second world War] , saying : ‘never again ! No more war, of genocide, but also more positioning as a global power, more global policy,” he recalls. “The feeling was that we could not do this, that we are brought unhappiness to us and to our neighbours and that we should focus on the economy,” he says.

According to the former minister, the only way to act for Germany, “it is only in the context of Europe, in the framework of the atlantic Alliance, in coordination with France.” It also calls for a strengthening of the weight of the EU at the international level, stating : _”This is only possible with Germany and France and under the leadership of France.” For him, [“moving Europe forward”_ is crucial](https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/joschka-fischer-l-europe-doit-enfin-devenir-une-puissance-independante-20-06-2018-222910224.php because“there is a real danger that we were going to our loss.”_

Joschka Fischer also mentions another obstacle which prevents Germany from playing an international role greater : “the situation of political transition,” in which it is located and which is similar to this that has been experienced by France, with Emmanuel Macron, a judge there. “The old system of parties typically west German is changing in a dramatic way, or even explode,” citing in particular the contribution of the far-right party AfD to this change, and emphasizing in this regard the importance of the regional elections in Bavaria and Hesse in the coming months.

Finally, it indicates one particularity of German, which may also explain its fragility international : “The division that we have within the european Union is palpable, the new Länder are closer to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Western Germany,” he remarked.

Joschka Fischer

  • Born on 12 April 1948 in Gerabronn, Germany
  • 1985 : minister of the Environment and Energy of Hesse
  • 1998 : Vice-chancellor and federal minister of foreign Affairs of the federal Republic of Germany in firms Schröder I and II
  • 1999 : Sending of German troops to Kosovo – the first conflict in which Germany is involved since the Second world War
  • 2002 : The Green party wins the general elections, second mandate of the government Schröder /Fischer
  • Since 2005 : strategic advisor and lobbyist (Siemens, BMW)

Ursula von der Leyen meets Dany

The Face of the current German minister of Defence, our columnist immediately enters the heart of the matter : “How can Germany take a more important role on the international stage ?” At the time of the great foreign powers (United States, Russia, China) are focused on themselves, where “the multilateral world is in a mess,” he says.

Ursula von der Leyen does not avoid the issue : “It has been two or three years that the government has clearly said that it was time for Germany to assume a greater role.” The federal minister then explains the slow implementation of this new positioning on the international scene : “Our country must prepare itself to take its responsibilities, (…) it is a process of molting. (…) After 25 years of reunification, it is the right time.”

For her, Germany has for too long carried the weight of its history : “We continue to be in withdrawal while today we have to impose ourselves in the globalized world and to defend our common values.” It ensures that the right direction has now been taken in citing the case of Iraq. “For the first time since the Second world War, we were ready to send weapons into a war zone, to train and equip the Peshmerga. This is an example of an approach that we must take even though this is not always simple. (…) But when we commit, it is a pledge of reliability and durability,” she says.

Our columnist queries then Ursula von der Leyen, on the future of NATO “, in which the Americans are taking less and less responsibility” and that the embrittlement could lead one day to “the creation of a european army”.

The other person does not believe in the end of the transatlantic alliance : “I am convinced that we will still need NATO to ensure our collective defence. (…) We need to discuss what are our values and what we must defend.” With regard to the establishment of a european army, she explains that today, already, “we are an army of Europeans, we are so connected that we can carry out immediate actions.”

Ursula von der Leyen

  • Born on 8 October 1958 in Brussels, Belgium
  • 2003 : minister, the CDU (Christian Democrats) in the Land of Lower-Saxony
  • 2005 : the federal minister of social Affairs, Women, Family and Health in the first cabinet of Angela Merkel
  • 2009 : federal minister of Labour and social Affairs in the second cabinet of Angela Merkel
  • Since 2013 : federal minister of Defence in the third cabinet of Angela Merkel
  • 2015 : accused of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis, cleared in march 2016

Additional Sources • Journalists : Pierre Michaud, Stéphanie Lafourcatère