It is over. Donald Trump has lost. After four years of chaos, the self-declared saviour of America failed to convince the voters in key states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to grant him another term. Their choice will have a significant impact on German-American relations. President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on nothing less than restoring the soul of the American nation.The new administration faces a raging pandemic and a troubled economy, much like the rest of the world. Nevertheless, Biden’s foreign policy will be substantially different from Trump’s. After years of troubled relations with one of America’s most important allies, Biden will have to try to re-engage with Germany. Berlin ought to be prepared.
November 2020, US-Präsidentschaftswahlen. Die ganze Welt blickt auf die USA, so auch wir in Deutschland. „Wie geht es weiter mit der atlantischen Gemeinschaft?“, fragen sich einige. Für viele ist klar, dass es nur besser werden kann, wenn Trump aus dem Amt gewählt wird. Zu lange, so denken viele, wurde im Weißen Haus gelogen, betrogen und respektlos mit der Welt – einschließlich Amerikas Partnern – umgegangen. Unzählige Zeitungen malen sich aus, wie die USA bis 2024 wohl aussehen würden. In den Projektionen schwingt eine klare Nachricht mit: Wir erwarten mehr von den USA. Viele in Deutschland sind enttäuscht von einem Land, das aber gleichzeitig noch immer viele Sehnsüchte zu wecken scheint. Da stellt sich die Frage, was wir eigentlich von den USA wollen?
My Uncle ‘Stanley’ was my favorite. He was funny, kind, and made me feel safe. I remember lighting up every time he came around in his uniform. The uniform that got him killed. When my family was finding their way out of Liberia during the civil war, rebels at a checkpoint stopped him. Recognized as a police officer, he was executed.
2020 is the first year of delivery for the EU’s climate ambitions. The European Commission has set itself a goal to tackle climate change with unprecedented urgency and ambition through its European Green Deal plan, at the heart of which is the objective to make the EU climate neutral by 2050. Yet as the EU produces only about 9% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, it is absolutely vital that these ambitions have a strong external element to them as well. The transition must thus be built upon realistic targets and pragmatic diplomatic approach to credibly project the EU’s normative power.
Water is the basis of life. The access, possession and control of water therefore mean power, make it a potential source of conflict. But the hypothesis that as nations run of out of water they may go to war is one-dimensional and linear. It underestimates other factors including how nations operate, what motivates war and the actual cost of war.
Shared water resources i.e. the approximately 276 water bodies, lakes and rivers shared by some 148 countries around the world, are generally seen as issues of potential conflict. Empirical evidence reveals, however, there have been more instances of cooperation than conflict over shared water resources in the past decades. On occasion countries have used their shared water resources to forge ties often leading to cooperation in other spheres as well.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) currently faces the biggest crisis since its inception in 1995. Events that appear as bureaucratic chess games threaten to risk the business rules of major trading nations around the globe. On 11 December, the Appellate Body, the committee dealing with WTO members’ appeals became incapacitated after its membership dropped from three – the minimum to take decisions on cases – to only one remaining adjudicator. New appointments have been blocked by the United States since June 2017. This effectively shuts down the body, because the minimum requirement for any decision is three judges. In a recent move, the U.S. government has placed a veto on any funding for the Appellate Body’s secretariat in Geneva, meaning that it will have to stop operating at the beginning of 2020.