EIt should go without saying that Germany will remain a committed and reliable partner in international politics even after this election. But none other than the Federal President thought it advisable to reaffirm this matter of course before the UN General Assembly: The key act of German democracy does not change anything in the European and Atlantic orientation of our country and in our willingness to assume global responsibility. A coalition that does not have this self-image and is even considering withdrawing from NATO and the EU would be devastating, for our country as well as for others.
Germany is not a big Switzerland. Germany is the anchor country of the EU and an important security partner for its neighbors. It is a major economic power that not (only) plays on the small provincial stage, but pursues interests far beyond that. That is why, for example, a frigate is on the move in the Indo-Pacific region. Germany is expected to be ready to take on responsibility, even if the Germans sometimes feel a little overwhelmed. But those who benefit from a stable order in Europe and in the world as well as from being part of alliances must play an active part in maintaining it and contributing to its functioning.
Realism, cleverness, strength
The end of the Merkel era makes some partners look to the future with concern and ask whether the fundamental constants of German foreign policy could be shaken. European unification, Atlantic connection, readiness to defend against authoritarian regimes, participation in global issues of the future – every responsible German government must adhere to this. And where there are deficits, it has to eliminate them.
Yes, the geopolitical reality is sobering, as sobering as the Afghanistan balance sheet. But you can also learn from that. Our foreign policy, Steinmeier said in New York, must become more honest, smarter and stronger. Realism, wisdom and strength: these are the foreign policy guard rails for every post-Merkel government.