German foreign policy has been the subject of heavy debate since Federal President Joachim Gauck and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for Germany to take on increased responsibility in the world. The intervention in the Central African Republic, which Germany participated in, particularly reignited the discussion regarding the foreign policy course. Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen set off promptly for a visit to Africa, because, according to the minister, Africa is under threat and action is necessary. The chancellor and other ministers, in contrast, were more careful. This shows that the pitfalls of expanded engagement remain significant.
The question remains as to how Germany will orient itself in foreign affairs. As part of the conservative-liberal government’s "New Powers Concept," a document that identified the global and regional challenges and illuminated the possibilities and chances of German foreign policy engagements was produced. The development of a coherent foreign policy is now a key task of the grand coalition.
What will such a foreign policy look like? Which military and, above all, non-military activities are possible and reasonable within the framework of UN resolutions? How does German foreign policy fit within the structures and goals of the European Union? What role do rising powers such as India or Brazil play in the German government’s strategy?
The GIGA has published extensively on these questions and has made its position papers available as a basis for discussion.