Populists could give Germany Trumpian foreign policy – Asia Times

Populists could give Germany Trumpian foreign policy - Asia Times

Significant geopolitical ramifications for Europe are brought to light by recent political developments in Germany, as highlighted by the boycott of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s speech to the Bundestag by members of the Alternative for Germany ( AfD ) and Bündniss Sahra Wagenknecht ( BSW) parties.

The Bundestag election and the party’s overall electoral success suggest a possible readjustment of Germany’s foreign policy and position on the Ukraine issue.

Change in European political scenery

The present president’s support for Ukraine and its aggressive climate policies have fueled growing public dissatisfaction. Their electoral victories reflect a wider sentiment in Germany and Europe, where more and more voters are turning away from traditional functions that support military engagement and the” Green New Deal” in Europe.

The AfD’s protest of Zelenskiy’s talk – labeling him as a “war and crying leader” – and BSW’s calls for immediate peace agreements mark a dramatic departure from the ruling government’s policies. This change may prompt a reevaluate of Germany’s aid for Ukraine and its strategy for the Russian-Russian issue.

Prospective policy changes

If the AfD and BSW continue to gain control, we could see several important policy changes:

  • Diminution of Ukraine’s military help: Both parties support politics over military options. This attitude might lead to fewer weapons sales and a force for peace conversations. In the run-up to the German elections, the SPD has previously attempted to address these feelings, but without success.
  • Reevaluating NATO Relations: A change in Germany’s position on the Ukraine conflict may stress NATO relationships, especially with nations favoring a more aggressive policy toward Russia.
  • Local focus: These factions ‘ populist policies, including tougher immigration controls and a focus on local issues, could alter Germany’s priorities, possibly leading to a foreign policy as practiced by former US President Donald Trump.

European geopolitical dynamics

Germany’s potential policy shift could have ripple effects across Europe:

  • Strengthening peace-oriented coalitions: Germany’s shift toward peace-oriented policies may inspire other countries to reconsider their positions on the Ukraine conflict because it is a major player in the EU.
  • Diverse approaches to the Ukraine conflict among EU members could stifle the bloc’s unity, causing collective decision-making to be hampered, and reducing the EU’s influence on the global stage, giving more power to the national governments.
  • Increased Russian influence: A decrease in the EU’s military might support Ukraine, which might encourage Russia and make it more powerful in the region.

Broader implications

The rise of figures like Trump and influential voices like Elon Musk, who recently refuted the extremist label attached to the AfD, signals a broader reevaluation of geopolitical alliances and strategies. This adjustment might result in:

  • Redefinition of extremism: Public perception of what constitutes extremist policies may shift, affecting political discourse and alliances.
  • New diplomatic efforts: With a stronger mandate for diplomacy, there might be renewed efforts for peace talks, potentially altering the trajectory of the Ukraine conflict.

The AfD and BSW’s actions in Germany are not just domestic events, but they are also a part of a larger trend toward geopolitical realignment. These developments have the potential to significantly alter Europe’s approach to the Ukraine conflict and reshape the continent’s geopolitical landscape.

As these peace-oriented parties gain popularity, the emphasis on diplomatic solutions over military engagement is likely to increase, potentially leading to a new era of European foreign policy.

Diego Fassnacht, CFA, is an international economist and an investment advisor to individual clients and institutions. Prior to his work in finance, he served on the governing council ( Deutschlandrat ) of the youth organization ( JU) of the main German opposition party, the Christian Democratic Union.