Introduction Confronted with the arrival of over one million migrants and refugees in Europe in 2015 alone, the European Union (EU) reacted by adopting increasingly restrictive measures, including the closure of borders into many European
Stemming the Flows of Migrants, but at What Cost?
Steven Weldon and Hermann Schmitt
Europe has been hit by a global financial crisis, and so has Germany. This crisis is associated, among European Union citizens, with the degree of support for European integration: those who are skeptical about the Euro and the debt crises in parts of the Eurozone tend also to be skeptical about European integration more generally. Our main question in this article is whether the pledges of political parties (as issued in their election manifestos) can add to our understanding of electoral choices in Germany. Relating German election results to the German data provided by the Comparative Manifesto Project MRG/CMP/MARPOR research tradition, our expectation is that political parties' European pledges have been irrelevant for the vote over half a century. Now that the European Union is rapidly moving in its postfunctional phase, the election of 2013 is expected to mark a turning point in that regard.
In December 1996, the European Union gave its authorization to sell transgenic corn for consumption and cultivation in Europe. Some EU memberstates, notably Austria and Italy, refused to allow any imports of genetically modified organisms (“GMOs” or “OGM” in French). Resistance of that sort was unexpected from France. In Europe, France was originally the country most interested in advancing research and applications in the area of agricultural biotechnology. Before GMOs became a matter of public controversy, France led Europe in deliberate release trials.
M. Anne Sa'adah
Joschka Fischer (b. 1948), Germany’s foreign minister and for several
years one of the country’s most popular politicians, is a man of
the moment, of consequence both domestically and beyond his
country’s borders. Nationally prominent as leader of the “realo” faction
of the Greens, he was instrumental in turning a protest movement
into the partner in power of the Social Democratic Party
(SPD). During the Kosovo crisis, he was a key figure in securing
German participation in the NATO intervention. He has played an
influential role in the unfolding debate about institutional reform
within the European Union. During the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian
violence, he has actively tried to bring the parties to the table.
Recent debates about the future of the European Union have focused
in large part on institutional reforms, the deficit of democratic legitimacy,
and the problem of economic and agrarian policies. As important
as these issues may be, the most crucial question at the moment
is not whether Europe will prevail as a union of nations or as a thoroughly
integrated federal structure. What is of much greater concern
is the fact that political structures and their corresponding political
discourses have lagged far behind the social changes occurring in
European societies. The pivotal transformation of 1989 has not been
grasped intellectually or politically, even though its results are
increasingly visible in both the east and west.
In the midst of the European Union’s (EU) unprecedented crisis and a
rapidly changing international environment, Germany is redefining its
place in Europe and in the world. Long-cherished certainties such as a
staunch commitment to European integration and to its Western allies in
general seem being called into question. Critics like the former Chancellor
Helmut Kohl or the historian Heinrich August Winkler deplore a missing
compass and “politics without a project.”1 Against this background, this
article analyses the German policy toward an issue that forcefully marked
the year 2011 and continues to transform North Africa and the Middle
East—the so-called “Arab Spring”.
Three Remarks for Kindling a Debate
Social rights were to be the completion of the citizenship status of all members within a political community. Through a variety of causes (their entanglement with the goals of full employment and the welfare state, the complexities of the political project of the European Union, and conceptual confusion) the development of these rights has been arrested. The article sketches some of the origins of the present predicament of (social) rights and (social) citizenship. The article is informed by the hope that the arguments it puts forward may contribute to a renewed discussion on the necessity and promises of an EU form of citizenship that is worth instituting and emulating.
In the lead article to this open issue of German Politics and Society,
Michael Werz offers an insightful and ambitious sweep of the
large questions confronting Germany and the European Union in the
context of the twentieth century's legacies. Particularly welcome are
Werz's criticisms of the increasingly crucial role that anti-Americanism
has played in the establishment of a putatively multicultural identity
in Europe. Werz demonstrates how the American experience has
great relevance for Europe and how German and European intellectuals
do their cause a great disservice by dismissing this experience as
irrelevant, inferior—or worse.
Christopher S. Allen
For much of the past two decades since unification, the literature on the German economy has largely focused on the erosion of the German model of organized capitalism and emphasized institutional decline and the corresponding rise of neoliberalism. The first part of the article analyzes the strains unification placed on German economic performance that caused many observers to call for modification of the model in a more neo-liberal direction. The second part takes a different focus and lays out the main rationale of the paper. It inquires why such a coordinated market economy was created in the first place and whether a renewed form of it might still be useful for Germany, the European Union, and other developed democracies in the early twenty-first century. The third section articulates the origins of the institutional and ideational components of these coordinated market economy models, during both the Bismarckian and Social Market Economy periods. The final portion inquires whether the failure of the contemporary liberal market economy approach in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis and severe recession represents a possible opening for the creation of a third coordinated market economy not only for Germany but for a redesigned European Union.
Irwin M. Wall
The French elections of 2012 resulted in an unprecedented and overwhelming victory by France's Socialist Party, which gained control of the presidency and an absolute majority in the National Assembly to go with the party's existing domination of most of France's regions and municipalities. But the Socialist Party remains a minority party in the French electoral body politic, its victory the result of a skewered two-ballot electoral system. The Socialist government, moreover, remains hampered in its action by its obligations toward the European Union and its participation in the zone of countries using the Euro as it attempts to deal with France's economic crisis. As a consequence of both of these phenomena the government may also be sitting atop a profound political crisis characterized by the alienation of a good part of the electorate from the political system.