Since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, Germans have lost trust in the United States. Will Merkel cozy up to Trump after the election or continue to criticize his actions? Commentary in Foreign Affairs.
President Trump and Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley have been calling for the US to leave the Human Rights Council. Why is its membership controversial? what reason is there to stay? An interview with Senior UN Advocate Laila Matar from Human Rights Watch.
Last week, President Trump hosted Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, for discussions on an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and further economic and security cooperation between the US and the West Bank. What can we expect from the US administration and how committed are the parties involved in the conflict?
In his book “Defending Freedom - How We Can Win the Fight for an Open Society”, Ralf Fücks sheds light on the underlying causes of the crisis of liberal democracy and the erosion of the political center. He concludes that our societies are undergoing a crisis of modernization triggered by four main fundamental changes
The most discussed topics at this year’s Munich Security Conference were the new U.S. administration’s position on NATO and European security, and European commitment to meet the 2% defense budget target. But doubts remain if the European members will meet the NATO target.
Are the German Greens compatible with Angela Merkel? How can we explain the success of the xenophobic ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) party? And what awaits Europe in the year 2017? The Green European Journal sat down with Ralf Fücks, the outgoing President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, to talk about Christian Democrats, Trump, and the upcoming German election, as well as the foundation’s development over the past 20 years.
European policymakers were astonished by Trump’s recent remarks on NATO and the EU in an interview with Bild and The Times. Europe should be prepared for pivotal changes in U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic relations.
On the occasion of the release of the new EU progress reports on the Western Balkans, the Heinrich-Böll -Stiftung North America held a roundtable discussion on the EU’s accession process and the future of transatlantic cooperation in the region.
Lebanon has seen political stagnation and sectarian tensions for years. As a result of the Syrian conflict, Lebanon has also become the country with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. To gain a more nuanced understanding of the situation in the country, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung North America and the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Middle East organized a study tour to Lebanon in October 2016.
Hillary Clinton should be warned by the British referendum: Similar to the Brexit movement, Trump’s campaign benefits from anti-immigrant sentiment and anger over the “political elites” and “mainstream media”.
What are strategic expectations of Member States to be addressed during the forthcoming Summit in Warsaw? Which major challenges will it face? What marks the Polish position vis-a-vis NATO and EU issues? Analysis by former Polish diplomat Piotr Łukasiewicz.
We cannot quarantine ourselves from the instability that reigns south and east of Europe. Europe must strike a new balance between idealistic foreign policy and realism. The opening address of the 17th Annual Foreign Policy Conference.
On June 23, voters in the United Kingdom will go to the polls for a referendum on the country’s membership in the EU. Most experts agree that a Brexit would fundamentally reshape the transatlantic relationship.
Despite frustration over the pace of reform, many Ukrainians remain cautiously optimistic about the country’s direction. The new government would be well-advised to take advantage of this resolve, and leverage it to usher in a more democratic system.
Thirty years after the biggest nuclear disaster at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine is still seriously dependent on nuclear energy. It is high time for Ukraine to take the path of nuclear phase-out.
The recent attacks in Brussels have left everyone in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe in shock. People feel more and more helpless in the face of what seems to be, after the attacks in Paris last November and in January 2015, an increasingly destructive threat.
Since February 26, a truce has largely prevailed in Syria. However, hardly any improvements to the humanitarian situation in the country can be observed to date. People continue to suffer starvation. That is part of the war strategy.
After a recent visit to Washington, Sergey Lagodinsky, head of the EU/North America Department at the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Berlin, reflects on Americans’ understanding of the European refugee crisis and the failure to anticipate long-term repercussions for US foreign policy interests.
Syria and the fight against ISIS is the dominating foreign policy topic in the current presidential debates. The discourse on no-fly zones and efforts to topple Bashar al-Assad show that divisions run deep and beyond party lines.
After the United States and the European Union have lifted economic sanctions on Iran, the country can expect major economic rewards and greater interaction with the international community. This is a success for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under whose leadership Iran complied with its obligations under the international agreement to restrict its nuclear program. Dr. Roubzeh Parsi explains the challenges the administration could face after the parliamentary election in February 2016.
Following the attacks in Paris, a global coalition in the fight against ISIL emerged. History seems to repeat itself. What have we learned from the events since 2001, and how did it come to the current escalation?
We know that there’s war, and that there’s peace—but not that there’s something in between. Yet, the terrorists of the Paris attacks have added a new category to our notion of violence. A commentary by the political scientist Herfried Münkler.
Those convinced that Israel should not have been created in the first place, or that it no longer has the right to exist, are entitled to their opinion. But they have obligations, too. They must come clean about seeking a post-Israel endgame. An essay by Prof. Dan Rabinowitz
Days after the Paris attacks, Europe is only slowly awakening from a state of shock. The events served as a painful reminder of our vulnerabilities from within and the daunting threats we face from abroad. A reflection on seven challenges looming on Europe’s horizon.
Never before has the US-Israel relationship been as fraught as it is today. The Profound differences in strategic outlook vis-à-vis Iran, the Palestinian issue, and the toxic interpersonal relations between the US President and the Israeli Prime Minister all contribute to a tense political atmosphere. Will the bilateral relationship recover?
The AKP has gained the absolute majority in Turkey’s recent snap elections, allowing it to continue to rule without a coalition partner. Deep rifts within Turkish society, however, remain. A take on the elections by Kristian Brakel, hbs-office director in Istanbul.
Support for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel is growing, generating great angst amongst Israel supporters – including pro-peace progressives – in the United States and elsewhere in the world. How can pro-peace progressives respond to the BDS movement?
The relationship between the Israeli and American public appears strong. But the romantic vision of Israel is descending from its perch above US politics, and Americans increasingly examine Israel through the prism of their broader political views.
The battle over the Iran deal has shattered AIPAC’s myth of invincibility, as well as the notion that supporting Israel requires the American-Jewish community to unquestioningly support the Israeli government. The way is now open to a more nuanced concept of what support of Israel can and should entail.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict arena is once again beset with violence. The parties have retrenched to recriminations and hardline positions, and once again the US faces the question of how to get things back on track. Is US engagement really worthwhile?
Poland has elected its new government. Not a single left-wing party has made it through the elections.Director Irene Hahn-Fuhr comments the outcome of the Polish parliamentary elections from a European perspective.
Canada’s Conservative government often boasts having one of the strictest national control regimes for military exports in the world. A recent major arms deal with Saudi Arabia - the biggest in Canada's history- tells a different story. If a country like Saudi Arabia is classified as a suitable recipient for arms exports, what country, if any, would be classified as unsuitable?
Triggered by Russia’s push to turn the military tide in Syria in Assad’s favor, Washington D.C. is currently seeing renewed debates about the need to revise the administration’s Syria policy. Prominent voices, such as former White House Coordinator for the Middle East Phil Gordon, have advocated for striving for a negotiated interim solution in Syria that defers the question of Assad’s fate. Bente Scheller, hbs office director in Lebanon, addresses some of the underlying myths and arguments shaping the current debate.
Canada’s national interest is often said to center around one single objective, namely a close but independent relationship with the United States. In the 90s and early 2000s, Canada's Liberal government begged to differ. During its international heyday, Canada became the patron of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Whatever happened to Canada's commitment to the R2P under Harper's Conservative government?
While Russia’s recent military involvement in the Syrian war theatre has caught much of the West by surprise, the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine has increasingly slipped off the public’s radar. We spoke with Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag and spokesperson for Eastern Europe of the Green Parliamentary Group, about the daunting reform challenges in Ukraine, the prospects for the implementation of the Minsk agreement, and German public sentiments towards Russia.
This Sunday, September 20, Greek citizens will go the polls for the third time in just eight months. While the refugee crisis in Europe has ousted Greece from the international headlines, the country’s political landscape is undergoing some deep and significant shifts. We spoke with Olga Drossou, director of our hbs office in Thessaloniki, to shed light on what moves Greece in these times of turmoil.
Turkey is currently undergoing a period of domestic turmoil while facing various external challenges along its borders. We spoke with Kristian Brakel, office director of hbs Turkey, about the recently announced snap elections, chances for reviving the peace process with the Kurdish PKK, and U.S.-Turkish cooperation in fighting the Islamic State (IS).
In the aftermath of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed upon between the P5+1 and Iran on July 14, 2015, a heated debate has erupted in the United States over the pros and cons of the nuclear agreement. Republican-held Congress is set to vote on the deal after returning from recess in September. In order to shed some light on the political battle under way between the opponents and the proponents of the deal, we have spoken to Barbara Slavin, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center in Washington D.C.
Last week, negotiators attempted a final push for a nuclear agreement with Iran. While points of disagreement remained, both sides haven’t walked away from the negotiations. But what happens once both sides agree to a deal? Insight from our partners at The Strategist.
For a committed European, opening the newspapers and social media feeds has resembled an emotional roller coaster for the past few weeks. Given the war of words on the Greek crisis, it is not enough to be right or win the argument. Rather than engaging in a destructive blame game, all sides should tone down their rhetoric. Germany in particular should take seriously the inflammatory resurgence of resentment it faces in Europe and abroad for its seemingly overly assertive stance.
The Greek crisis and the past summit seems only like the first mile of a marathon. The next years will require a lot more bold decisions, strong political leadership, and solidarity among the European member states and their citizens. The project of reinvigorating Europe, regaining self-confidence, and redefining our common sense of mission in the 21st century has only just begun. An editorial by HBS North America Executive Director Bastian Hermisson.
Violent conflicts and security crises around the world have many different causes and effects. The vast majority of them, however, are in one way or another related to energy policy. Yet making this link apparent to policy makers has been challenging. Experts from the foreign policy, security and energy communities have been reluctant to fully grasp the security implications of promising green energy technology and market developments.
The EU governing institutions' response to the euro crisis has been very poor. But the key message emanating from EU governing institutions throughout the crisis has too often been a type of ‘stay-the-course’ message. Ricardo Cabral contributed to our hbs Brussel's web dossier 'Europe@theCrossroads' by asking how to make the Eurozone more stable, prosperous and democratic.
While the air force of the U.S.-led coalition played a large role in defeating ISIS in Kobani, it didn’t react to ISIS’s latest attack on rebel-held areas. Many rebel leaders complained publically about the lack of U.S. interest in helping them defeat ISIS in Syria, although it is now apparent that the U.S. administration knows of the cooperation between Assad and ISIS. An analysis by Haid Haid, program manager of our Hbs office in Beirut.
During his recent visit to Washington, D.C., we spoke with Jürgen Trittin, Member of the German Parliament, about European energy independence in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, the role of TTIP in enhancing energy security across the Atlantic, and how the German Energiewende can serve as a model for policy makers worldwide.
On June 24, the Heinrich Böll Foundation together with the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) and the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement hosted a panel discussion examining Europe’s migration crisis featuring Cem Özdemir, co-chairman of the German Green Party. An audio recording of the event is now available.
A no-fly zone is no solution for the conflict in Syria, but it would help save the lives of hundreds of people every month - and less people would be forced to seek refuge somewhere else. An analysis by Bente Scheller, director of our hbs office in Lebanon.
A new study released by the Pew Research Center finds that many European publics are highly conflicted over whether to defend a NATO ally against a potential future attack by Russia. In order to gain insight into the way the study was perceived in Washington’s policy circles, we interviewed Julianne Smith, Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Under Germany’s presidency, the G7 convened for the second summit in a row in the absence of Vladimir Putin. His continued suspension led to a vocal reprise of the German public debate on whether excluding Russia from the G7 was justified or counterproductive. As long as Putin does not change course in Ukraine, the G7 are well advised to stick to their suspension of Russia from their ranks.
At the southern border of “Fortress Europe”, the Mediterranean has turned into a graveyard. The current migrant crisis in Europe is about more than a risk to the EU’s reputation. It strikes at the core of the EU’s founding values. A continuation of its half-hearted response to the migration crisis is out of question.
The Eastern Partnership summit in Riga has been tagged by the hosting Latvian minister of foreign affairs a “survival summit”. This implied that EU leaders might propose decisive actions to intensify relations with the Eastern Partnership countries in light of the Ukraine crisis. But to the disappointment of some of the Eastern European and South Caucasus countries, this did not happen.
While an accord between the P5+1 and Iran would first and foremost stop Iran's nuclear program from expanding, it offers the prospect of paving the way for Tehran’s more constructive engagement with regional and international stakeholders. Regional actors should recognize that a deal would give the international community the greatest chance of affecting Iranian foreign-policy decisions in the future.
If domestic politics kills the Iran nuclear program deal, it will be in Washington, not Tehran. The three months between the announcement of the agreement and when the final deal will be made public are a crucial phase that could make or break its success.
At the beginning of March, international experts discussed at the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Berlin Europe’s response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. They all agreed on Europe lacking a long-term strategy.
The world seems to be out of joint. Bloody, intractable wars are being waged in the heart of Africa and the Middle East. Democracy and human rights are challenged all over the world by old and new forms of authoritarian rule. Climate change advances, unhindered by the international community’s cumbersome efforts to stop its progress. Within this mayhem, what are the international norms, political actors and concrete initiatives breathing life into a Green vision for peace, social justice and environmental stability?
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America and its partners organized two panel discussions on strengthening accountability for gender-based crimes in armed conflicts. On this occasion, several international experts and activists discussed the current situation in Colombia, continued barriers to justice and cautious hopes for a more peaceful future.
We spoke with Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament and co-chair of the European Green Party, about thriving populism in Europe, SYRIZA's election victory in Greece and possible political and economic consequences for the European Union.
With Minsk II threatened by its collapse only days after the agreement was reached, stern warnings have been voiced on both sides of the Atlantic on the looming possibility of a transatlantic rift in case the U.S. would decide to arm the Ukrainian government with defensive military equipment. But where do the German and U.S. public stand on this issue?
While foreign policy remains a controversial subject for the German Greens, much has changed since the stormy days when then Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer stirred the party toward supporting the NATO intervention against Serbia. The changing Green foreign policy debate over the past decade has been closely embedded in the evolution of a broader post-WWII pacifist discourse in Germany. Spelling out the practical meaning of Germany’s growing responsibility in a conflict-ridden world will be a gradual process dependent on a mosaic of debates in the Bundestag, public events, the media, classrooms and market places. The Greens, for their part, have embarked on the journey.
While the whole world has been watching the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, Iran has quietly expanded its de facto influence in the region. Tehran can now claim considerable influence over four capitals in the Middle East, ranging from Baghdad, to Damascus, to Beirut and Sana’a. The breakdown of the old regional order, however, cannot be managed by any one state alone. The only way to put out the fire in the Middle East is to increase regional cooperation.
Nearly one year after the Maidan protests shook the very core of Ukraine’s political order, opposing narratives of the revolution and the unfolding war in Eastern Ukraine continue to shape the public debate. These discussions do not only determine how the conflict will go down in our history books. They inform our response to the war in Ukraine by paving the way to more or less confrontational approaches toward Russia.
We spoke with Parliamentarian and President of the Greens in the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms, about the future of Ukraine after the parliamentary elections, the external challenges the country is facing, and the responsibilities the EU has towards Ukraine.
ISIS has plenty of funding, but it does not live on material sources only: one of their most powerful weapons is to commit the most monstrous atrocities - and make sure everybody sees them. Unable so far to stop them, Arab activists at least try and mock them, and the French foreign minister tries to ban them rhetorically where they want to be least: in the letter soup. Instead of their self-chosen name "Islamic State" he from now on want to refer to them only by the acronym Daesh which they hate and try to ban by all means.
We spoke to Marieluise Beck, Member of the German Bundestag, about the public mood in war-torn Ukraine, Germany’s hesitant stance towards Putin, and the track record of the transatlantic partnership in responding to the crisis.
The Middle East is burning and, as usual, all eyes rest on Washington. The US bears a considerable share of responsibility for the current crisis. But neither Schadenfreude nor a “we told you so” approach are a viable foreign policy strategy, especially in the wake of the breathtaking costs in human lives. What, then, is Germany willing and capable to contribute to the crisis management in Iraq? The diffuse reactions by German politicians across the political spectrum serve as a case in point for a tentative process of political reorientation currently under way.
It seems like a nightmare: The center of the crisis-ridden Middle East is seeing the formation of an Islamic entity that dilutes national borders and could potentially embroil the region in a war between radical militias. However, the West does not fear reorganization as much as it fears the impending disintegration.
With ISIS’ capture of Mosul, a nightmare seems to be becoming a reality: the development of a caliphate state in the heart of the Middle East. Should ISIS be allowed to become much more powerful in Syria, Assad can benefit from the West’s distorted perception of extremism.
The Ukrainian government should promote an inclusive, participatory and transparent constitutional process. Such a process could help de-escalate the current conflict and build confidence in the central government and its willingness to integrate all constituencies into Ukraine’s political system.
On March 21, 2014 the political parts of the association agreement were signed between Ukraine and the EU. What does this mean, asks Dominik Tolksdorf: is the EU ready to put forward criteria for a reform in the country, and will Ukraine kick off such a reform agenda?
TTIP is an initiative that aims to cement the dominance of the two largest economic powers in the world. Rainer Falk and Barbara Unmüßig consider a topic thus far left out of critical debate: TTIP’s implications for the “rest of the world,” particularly for developing and emerging economies.
HBS Berlin held an international expert conference on the “Future of Arms Control,” jointly organized with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Studies (IFSH).
Eleven years ago, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 (October 31, 2000). This groundbreaking resolution sent a significant message to many countries, including Israel. Anat Thon Ashkenazi of the NGO Itach-Maaki Women Lawyers for Social Justice describes the efforts of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Israel to date.
The importance of Pakistan for the West’s continuation of their unfortunate involvement in Afghanistan is now generally understood. Far less clear, probably for most of the actors involved, is what Pakistan wants in Afghanistan at all.
After ten years of international involvement in Afghanistan, a second conference will take plan in Bonn this December 2011 to discuss the country’s future. Since 2002, the Heinrich Böll Foundation has actively supported the development of civil society in Afghanistan and has promoted exchanges between the German and Afghan public. The following dossier provides a venue for comments, analysis and debate ahead of the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan.
On the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the International Women's Day and to celebrate women empowerment, the Heinrich Böll Foundation publishes a dossier with articles and contributions from all over the world.
Atlantic-community.org in cooperation with the Gunda Werner Institute and others is launching a new op-ed competition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of UN Resolution 1325 and to contribute to the implementation of its goal of empowering women in peace and security.
On September 28, 2010, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Catherine Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, for a roundtable discussion on U.S.-European affairs with a small group of transatlantic policy experts.
On the occasion of the anniversary of U.S. President Obama’s Cairo Speech and the upcoming elections in Egypt, the North America and Arab Middle East offices of the Heinrich Boell Stiftung invited a delegation of human right activists from the Middle East.
By Amal Basha, Michael Posner, Michele Dunne, Tamara Cofman Wittes, Bahey El Din Hassan
Israel’s raid on a flotilla of humanitarian aid has refocused global attention on Gaza’s isolation. In a new Q&A, Taghreed El-Khodary, visiting scholar on hiatus from reporting in the Gaza Strip for the New York Times, details what’s happening on the ground in Gaza and how the incident will shape politics in the area. El-Khodary says that Israel’s action helps Hamas and the group is now operating from a position of greater strength.
The workshop was followed by the 2010 CUSE Annual Conference, which was co-organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Brookings. The Annual Conference featured prominent speakers from both sides of the Atlantic who explored critical issues shaping the future of transatlantic relations in the post-Lisbon Treaty era, including Europe’s Eastern neighborhood and the role Russia plays, and the impact of the Eurozone crisis.
With a U.S. Administration still popular across Europe and a new Lisbon Treaty designed to enhance the diplomatic reach of the European Union, transatlantic relations should now be at their best in years. But this is clearly not the case, with the strategic partners often looking in opposite directions.
On April 8, 2010, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America and the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings will hold a panel discussion to launch the book "The Foreign Policy of the European Union. Assessing Europe's Role in the World" and discuss the past, present and future of EU foreign policy.
Politics can only succeed when it is inclusive of all genders. Gender justice is an ambitious goal, one that the Heinrich Böll Foundation is pursuing together with many different allies worldwide. This publication gives an overview of their work.
The Frontiers of Europe conference will discuss the Eastern Partnership’s potential—and the challenges it will face—in achieving its stated goals of promoting democratic values and good governance; strengthening energy security; and fostering stability and economic development.
The talk series The (Un)Making of Failing States: Profits, Risks, and Measures of Failure, organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation North America in Fall/Winter 2008/09, tried to explore state failure phenomenon via three dialogues.
Roundtable Discussion. With approximately two billion people living on the verge of institutional collapse in fragile states, state failures are a daily tragedy that affect their inhabitants and put in question the stability of the state system. Strengthening weak states and preventing state failure are urgent tasks for the 21st century.
Roudtable Discussion: With approximately two billion people living on the verge of institutional collapse in fragile states, state failures are a daily tragedy that affect their inhabitants and put in question the stability of the state system. Strengthening weak states and preventing state failure are urgent tasks for the 21st century.
As experts and practitioners from Europe, the United States, and the Middle East are brought together, this event will examine the humanitarian and security implications of Iraq’s displacement crisis, and also share and identify possible strategies and policy options to respond to the crisis.