BERLIN (Own report) – In view of the growing rivalry with China, business officials and foreign policy makers in Germany are warning against the performance of EU critical forces in the European elections in May. “Alone, no individual European country” could “play a major role” in the global competition, says Eric Schweitzer, President of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). German companies need the EU’s single market, the “core of Europe,” as an economic foundation, to assert themselves on a global level against companies from the People’s Republic of China and the USA. Should EU critical “populists” – regardless of their political orientation – obtain more influence in the European Parliament, “the future of the German economy” would also be at risk, according to DIHK Chief Executive Martin Wansleben. Dieter Kempf, President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) is pleading for business representatives to commit themselves “audibly in favor of an open Europe.” At the same time, German businesses are openly demanding that their interests be imposed within the EU – a main reason for the growth of influence of “populists” in other EU member countries.
Every Monday evening since last October, thousands of citizens have marched through the city of Dresden as well as other German cities to protest the Islamization of their country. They belong to an organization, established only three months ago, called Pegida, the German abbreviation for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.”
Pegida is a democratic grassroots organization, without origins in the far-left, far-right or links to any political parties, domestic or foreign. The French Front National [FN] of Marine Le Pen even made it clear that it wants nothing to do with “spontaneous initiatives” such as Pegida. According to the FN, “something like Pegida cannot be a substitute for a party.” Continue reading
BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) – In the prelude to this weekend’s new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s visit to Germany, a prominent German think tank is pleading for closer German-Chinese cooperation. If Germany seeks to continue to have influence in Beijing, it must “put more weight in the balance than it has in the past,” warns a recent statement by the Bertelsmann Foundation. Otherwise Berlin risks suffering the same fate as the EU, which China is marginalizing to a growing degree – not least of all, because of the persisting crisis. The EU’s institutions have – “as has often been the case in foreign policy – also overestimated their roles with China.” The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) sees the development of European-Chinese relations similarly. According to SWP, Germany has become the focus of China’s attention on Europe, while the EU “has been demoted to a ‘political dwarf’ in the course of the crisis.” Foreign policy specialists outside Germany had critically noted last year that there is a disparity between Germany’s China policy and that of other EU countries – wherein Berlin has been having growing success in Beijing. “Europe,” in comparison, is being marginalized. Continue reading