In this interview with Maya Hojeij from Asharq Business Bloomberg, Christof Rühl, member of the Advisory Board of Crystol Energy and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, discussed the possible outcomes of the German elections.
Germany’s leading position in the European Union (EU) is unlikely to be threatened after Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the office. It has a strong economy backed up by a strong Central Bank. The threat, however, is in the political instability that arises from the coalition government and, in turn, can negatively impact Germany’s role in the EU.
Christof added that there is no competition on who leads the EU, but the internal picture in Germany remains unclear. Historically, two main political parties shared power in the country, unlike this time where three parties will do so. If a leftist government prevails, the economy will witness higher taxes and tougher circumstances leading to a slowing economic growth in the country. A right-winged coalition government will increase internal tensions since the parties do not have a clear stance on key issues, such as climate change, taxes and other debates. In all cases, Germany won’t be as strong as it was, and, instead, the country will have a more cautious and conservative approach.
On the relationship with Russia and China, the picture is still unclear and it will be more difficult to navigate Germany’s foreign policy. In all the televised debates so far, the German Foreign Policy didn’t seem to have a big share which hints that future governments will primarily focus on internal problems. Christof added that NATO will continue to struggle to find a role especially after the Anglo saxon agreement.