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New in Foreign Policy Orientation of the Leading Parties in Germany
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

New in Foreign Policy Orientation of the Leading Parties in Germany

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2019-1-70-85
© 2019  M. Khorolskaya
Received 17.07.2019.
Maria V. KHOROLSKAYA, Junior Researcher (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation.
Acknowledgements. The article was prepared at IMEMO within the project of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research No 18-011-00464 “The Changing Role of Germany in the European Union Integration and Transatlantic Processes. The Challenges for Russia”.

The article is devoted to the changes in the Germany’s foreign policy views regarding the European crisis, the deterioration of transatlantic relations and the tensions between Russia and the West in the modern period. Acknowledging the pivotal role of parties in the German political system, the author analyzes their views on the future development of the EU, interactions with the United States and Russia. Study of the parties’ positions allows not only to understand the specifics of German political discussions, including on relations with the Russian Federation and the policy of sanctions, but also to predict how volatile the German foreign policy can be in the case of a new governing coalition. The research is based on the parties’ official documents and statements as well as on the author’s own interviews with the representatives of the German leading political parties.

Basing on an analysis of a wide range of sources, the author comes to a conclusion that the positions of the left-center and center-right parties are close in fundamental questions, which demonstrates the stability of the German foreign policy. Leading German parties, with the exception of “AfG”, support the deepening of European integration. Political transformations are in general supported by the centrist parties. They advocate for increasing role of the European Parliament, development of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the PESCO Program and the reform of the Dublin system. But disagreements still exist regarding social and economic issues. The SPD, the Union 90/The Greens, as well as the Left Party, support the development a single social system of the EU, the CDU/CSU and the FDP strongly reject it, but advocate the introduction of measures for preventing economic crises. Almost all German parties criticize the policy of Donald Trump, but at the same time note the importance of transatlantic ties for the Federal Republic of Germany.

The CDU/CSU, the SPD, the FDP and the Union 90/The Greens criticize the policy of Moscow in Ukraine and Syria crises, and also support the sanctions policy. The Social Democrats idea of the special soft policy towards Russia does not look consistent. Only the “AfG” and the Left Party advocate for lifting the sanctions and rapprochement with Russia. While the Left Party helps to convey the Russian point of view on the causes of the current crisis to the German public, wide contacts with the “AfG” could only discredit our country. At the same time, supporters of improving relations with Moscow also exist inside the center-right and central-left forces: usually pro-Russian views are more common among the representatives of the East of Germany, federal states with strong economic contacts with Russia and the “older generation” of party officials.


About authors:

Maria V. KHOROLSKAYA, Cand. Sci. (Politics) Junior Researcher, Sector of Political Aspects of European Integration, Department of European Political Studies.

For citation:

Khorolskaya M. New in Foreign Policy Orientation of the Leading Parties in Germany. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2019, no 1, pp. 70-85.

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