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Greens see little foreign policy change coming with electoral results

brussels bureau

Greens see little foreign policy change coming with electoral results


Germany’s Greens are pursuing their electoral campaign in Brussels. Their leader Joshka Fischer has been the country’s leading diplomat for almost seven years. Whatever changes may come about after this weekend’s election, many Greens believe that even if a conservative-liberal government emerges, there will be no revolution in European and foreign policies. German Green leader in Brussels Frank Schwalba-Hot says: “Unfortunately, foreign policy is not playing a major role in the election. The current political framework will more or less stay, whatever government comes of it. It will stay European and strongly allied to France.”

If a conservative-liberal coalition triumphs, the liberal Wolfang Gerhardt, tipped to become foreign minister, promises a more Atlanticist policy and less a Franco-European-oriented policy, according to liberal MEP Silvana Koch Mehrin: “Franco-German friendship can’t become an alliance of arrogance as some have defined it. With a new government, I believe, there will be more cooperation between Germany and the United Kingdom, especially relating to the current financial perspectives debate.” The budget row and the EU constitution setbacks have the 25 EU member states in a stalemate, the mechanisms which worked for an EU of 15 insufficient. The European Policy Centre’s Guillaume Durand says the core of the EU may have to be enlarged to overcome an eventual political crisis: “The relationship with France will remain one of the pillars of German policy, but, as everyone can see, with 25 members, and soon even more, this relationship must be open to other countries. A Franco-German alliance might not have the necessary weight to formulate the proposals needed to make Europe go forward.” Analysts say that the foreign policy of a Merkel government would also redefine relations with Turkey, Russia, Poland, and smaller EU countries, but otherwise quite resemble Chancellor Schroeder’s.
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