The first meeting of Donald Trump and Angela Merkel was an awkward affair, from the American president’s lack of response to the German chancellor’s offer of a handshake in front of dozens of cameras, to his bad joke that being wiretapped by the Obama Administration was “one thing” he and the chancellor had in common.
German Chancellor Merkel will enter the lion’s den on Friday, March 17, for her first meeting with President Trump. It is difficult to remember such an inauspicious start in the 68-year relationship between the United States and a democratic Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington for the first time on Tuesday, March 14. The visit could be contested. But Merkel might be able to deflect criticism and work with Trump by taking a maple leaf out of Canada’s book.
Little is more unsettling to a nation than an ally who becomes skeptical of cooperation. Many allies of the United States are now navigating the uncertain terrain of a new, unpredictable U.S. president who is questioning their value. U.S. President Donald Trump’s transactional view of “America First” politics paired with general unpredictability have left allies scrambling.
On December 27, 2016, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an op-ed by Transatlantic Academy Executive Director Stephen Szabo entitled "Amerika zieht sich zurück, Deutschland wird Anker" on its website.
From Russia to refugees, from the eurozone to TTIP, from Brexit to President-elect Donald Trump – at a time of radical uncertainties and a fast-changing European and global environment, Germany knows that it cannot escape from more responsibility. At the same time, Berlin is overwhelmed by expectations which it cannot fulfill alone.
On Tuesday night, the unthinkable happened. The most urgent task now is to think about what other previously unthinkable things might follow from Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States.
As an ardent xenophile, ideologically committed to the values of diversity and political and cultural liberalism, though happy to have civil debates about economic and foreign policy, the rise of populism across Europe and other corners of the world is a depressing topic for me.
Having just returned from a week of meetings in Berlin with our current group of Transatlantic Academy fellows, who are all working on German foreign policy, the future of the U.S.-German relationship, and implications for the broader transatlantic world, I came away with a number of impressions. What follows are some of my impressions based on our discussions.