AFTER THE GERMAN (NON-)ELECTION: HOW MIGHT BERLIN SHAPE BREXIT AND THE EU?

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AFTER THE GERMAN (NON-)ELECTION: HOW MIGHT BERLIN SHAPE BREXIT AND THE EU?

1st November 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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Hans Kundnani

Angela Merkel is said to be trying to assemble a new coalition in light of her reduced standing in the country, a consequence of the federal elections last month.

Insofar as the Social Democrats have ruled out another “Grand Coalition”, the next government will likely include the Free Democrats and the Greens. Some have argued that the inclusion of the former might lead to a different German perspective on European integration, as well as a softer German approach to the United Kingdom as it leaves the European Union. The question arises: is this correct? Will Germany change track once the new government takes shape in Berlin? Or will it remain on its current rigid course?

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Hans Kundnani, the Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and a renowned “Kanzleramtologist”. Hans will argue that there will be little change under the new government, regardless of who Mrs. Merkel’s new junior coalition partners are.

Hans Kundnani is Senior Transatlantic Fellow in the Europe Programme, based in the Washington, DC office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He works on a mixture of internal European economic and institutional issues (in particular the British question), Europe’s role in the world, and on the link between the internal and external dimensions. He also focuses on relations between Europe and Asia through a transatlantic perspective. Previously, he was the Research Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations in London.

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EVENT SUMMARY

On 1 November 2017, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) welcomed Hans Kundnani—the Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and a renowned “Kanzleramtologist”—who spoke about the direction German foreign policy is likely to take in the short- to medium-term, for an event chaired by James Rogers, Director of the Global Britain programme with HJS.

Kundnani argued the recent German election was a “non-election,” since it was clear (in the days prior to the vote) that incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel would secure another term in office. Although there had been a “tantalising possibility” that Martin Schulz could steal votes away from Merkel, Kundnani maintained that the German people (by and large) wanted “more of the same,” vis-à-vis European integration and the Eurozone; as the Social Democrats finished in second place, the success of Merkel more broadly translated into the bursting of the “Schulz bubble.” Furthermore, the prominent electoral gains made by Alternative für Deutschland signalled a willingness to enforce a tougher approach toward the Eurozone (rather than the hysterical warnings made of a reactionary lurch toward a recrudescent German fascism.

Kundnani illustrated there remained three key elements which encompassed mainstream (i.e., centre-ground) German consensus in the early 21st century:

  • first, a broad commitment to European integration;
  • second, a growing recognition within Berlin that Germany and the EU must disincentivise other member states from following the British example; although a strict punishment would be undesirable in the medium- to long-term, London must face (or be seen to face) costs for withdrawal; and
  • third, a desire to maintain absolute freedom of movement, fundamental to the greater cause of European integration; however, Kundnani suspects the German elites couch “hard interests” within ideological norms to consolidate the extreme benefits of migration to the German economy, and thus pursue narrow objectives “in the name of ‘Europe.’”

Details

Date:
1st November 2017
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Tags:
, ,

Venue

Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4RS United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Other

SPEAKER
Hans Kundnani, Senior Transatlantic Fellow in the Europe Programme German Marshall Fund

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