This policy brief explores how Germany responds now that the favourable environment created by the combination of the EU and the transatlantic alliance is jeopardised. Is Berlin seeking to rescue that order? What is Germany’s vision for the future shape of Europe? How much further is Berlin willing to go in its commitment to European integration – and to what extent will the German government risk confrontation with Britain, the US, and other countries along the way? And, finally, what does it take for Berlin to start turning its back on the EU model in its current shape, and look for new ways of organising the European continent?
The paper contains three case studies on some of the thorniest questions currently facing the country: international trade under Trump and the debate around the German export surplus, the future relationship with Turkey, and the relationship with Russia. All three resonate strongly in the German domestic arena, and how these play out in the federal election will also influence Berlin’s action at the international level.