Electoral race in Germany: what will change for Ukraine

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Electoral race in Germany: what will change for Ukraine

How Germany's foreign policy will change.

On September 26, parliamentary elections were held in Germany – the future of European and world politics. How the favorites of the electoral race changed and why it is important for Ukraine, read our material, Chronicle.info reports with reference to Channel 24.

The 2021 elections to the German Bundestag showed the result of changes in the policy of Christian Democrats to create a welfare state, but this did not prevent the strengthening of threats to the international dimension. A whole generation has already grown up that knows no other leader of the country except Angela Merkel, but very soon this will change.

Political division is growing

In German politics, the coalition has always played a key role, which nominates a candidate who will head the government. It is a normal practice when there is a division of jobs. For example, the last parliamentary elections in 2017 brought to power a coalition of the CDU/CSU and Social Democrats.

But even then it became clear that the rating of Merkel's party was gradually undermined by corrosion from & # 171; Alternatives for Germany & # 187 ;. It is a right-wing populist party that received support in the territory of the former GDR thanks to Euroscepticism and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

But the events of this year, with deadly floods, pandemics and scandals around candidates for the post of chancellor, showed that economic growth may not always be the key to the success of the party in power. And there may appear quite a lot of alternatives – sometimes even unpredictable ones.

Therefore, according to the researcher of German history Andrei Martynov, the main difference of the current election race is the fragmentation of political forces within the country.

The peculiarities of the 2021 election campaign, first of all, are that the era of Angela Merkel has ended. The tendency towards fragmentation of the German party-political field has also become evident, which complicates the coalition negotiations after the elections as much as possible.

Andriy Martynov , Doctor of Historical Sciences, Leading Researcher at the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

The main favorites of the electoral race in Germany are three political forces: the CDU/CSU (which have been in power since 2005), the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Union90/Greens. For the last time, the odious Gerhard Schroeder was the Chancellor of the Social Decks in Germany, with whose help Russian capital united with German politicians and businessmen.

The Greens, who have been in the Bundestag since 1983, and Schroeder's chancellorship (1998-2005) went down in history as the & # 171; red-green coalition & # 187; because of Joschka Fischer, now advocate a response to global climate change due to changes in the entire economic model. Recall that the European Union in 2019 announced a new ambitious goal – to make Europe a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

And in the spring of 2021, the Green Party had significant support. Thus, according to YouGov polls, as of April 30, the level of party support was as follows:

  • (Annalena Berbock) Greens 25%,
  • (Armin Laschet) CDU/CSU 24%
  • (Olaf Scholz) Social Democrats 14%.

Rating flooding

In July, terrible events took place – the border territories of Germany, France, Switzerland and the Benelux countries were flooded. The heart of the disaster was North Rhine-Westphalia, where the CDU/CSU candidate Armin Laschet is the Prime Minister.

Moreover, the story of how Laschet became the Christian Democratic candidate for the post of chancellor is no less interesting than the scandal that destroyed his political future.

In 2018, Angela Merkel decided to step back from running the Christian Democratic Union. And Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer became the new leader of the political force. But not for long – the scandal with the general voting of the CDU and Alternative for Germany in the Landtag (local parliament – 24 channel) of Thuringia led to her resignation from this post. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the election of the new head of the CDU was postponed for a year, and therefore, from January 2021, the party leader is Armin Lashet.

Deputy Director of the Foreign Policy Council & # 171; Ukrainian prism & # 187; Sergei Gerasimchuk believes that the election of Lashet as the final candidate did not add popularity to the Christian Democrats, but rather drew attention to the rivals of the ruling party.

Therefore, the championship was given to Armin Lashet, who does not stand out for his special charisma. Olaf Scholz, who has been in the Merkel government for a long time, was able to instrumentalize this fact. He adopted the statement that it was he, as a person who worked with Merkel, who can provide Germany with the same stability the Chancellor is an icon of.

Sergey Gerasimchuk, Deputy Director of the Foreign Policy Council & # 171; Ukrainian prism & # 187;

Therefore, the campaign of Olaf Scholz, who is now Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance of Germany, turned out to be more attractive. They say that the country was led by Merkel, and specifically, Scholz raised the standard of living of the Germans.

However, it was precisely because of the emotions of the Christian Democratic candidate that the party's rating suffered.

Armin Laschet's rating was influenced by his tactless behavior during President Steinmeier's stay in the flood zone, when Laschet & # 171; joked & # 187; and it hit the TV cameras. On the other hand, they should have strengthened the rating of the Greens, but their candidate Annalena Berbock did not take advantage of this opportunity, having lost three television debates to the Social Democrat Scholz, Andrei Martynov sums up.

Moreover, scandals accompanied not only Laschet's campaign, but also Berbock … She was & nbsp; accused of plagiarism while writing the book & # 171; Now. How do we update our country & # 187; and false information in the resume. It is difficult to say who was behind this story, but it definitely did not benefit the Green Party.

International Affairs

Angela Merkel has established herself as an anti-crisis manager who is able to cope with any challenges, including those of an international nature. During these 16 years, Merkel has led not only Germany, but also the European Union.

Experts from the European Council of Foreign Affairs recently analyzed how Germany is perceived in Europe already in the post-Merkel era. And there were quite interesting results on voting for the EU President (non-existent position):

  • 41% would vote for Merkel,
  • 4% for French President Emanuel Macron.

At the same time, according to a September poll by Augsburger Allgemeine, 52% Germans will not miss Angela Merkel. That is, we must take into account that for the Portuguese or the Dutch, Merkel can be much better than the inhabitants of their own country.

In this case, what the greens offer in the foreign policy part of their election program is important, including for Ukraine …

Maria Vladimirova, adviser to the Green faction in the Bundestag, notes that due to historical ties, Berlin considers itself to be Russia's mediator in Europe. This led to the fact that Berlin never officially questioned the status of Moscow as a party in the negotiations, and not as an aggressor state in the Normandy format.

The Greens have consistently advocated increasing pressure on Russia. Such calls are motivated by the party's value orientation towards an international order based on the principles of international law and multilateral democratic institutions, she added.

The Greens also strongly oppose the Russian gas pipeline & # 171; Nord Stream-2 & # 187; – not only for environmental but also geopolitical reasons. As a reminder, on September 10, Gazprom announced the completion of this gas pipeline, through which gas transit to Europe will continue bypassing Ukraine.

Another topic that is important for Ukraine is the role of Germany as a mediator in the settlement of the conflict in Donbass. The new chancellor will determine foreign policy towards both Russia and Ukraine. According to Vladimirova, pressure on Russia will continue if the Greens win.

In foreign policy, the vector of cooperation with Eastern European states that are building democracies will be strengthened as a counterbalance to authoritarian Russia. For Ukraine, stabilization is a priority. The most important thing at the moment for the Greens is to increase pressure on Russia in order to comply with the Minsk agreements,
– the adviser notes.

And Sergei Gerasimchuk predicts that under the new circumstances, leadership positions will move to Paris.

& # 171; Merkel has authority and experience, which is recognized in France, and in Ukraine and in the Russian Federation, and ultimately in the United States and the EU. Obviously, the new Chancellor will find it difficult to compare with her and, probably, France may try to take the lead in the settlement process. At the same time, if Russia continues to block the process, then it will not have much significance & # 187; – he reminded.

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