Over the last years, geopolitical disruptions in the EU’s neighbourhood such as
the Ukraine crisis and turmoil in the Middle East have led to a major rethinking
of Germany’s defence and security policy.
This is reflected in the Bundeswehr
2016 “White Paper” that sees the world “unsettled” by conflicts and Russia
“openly calling the European peace order into question”. Failing states in the
Middle East provide a “breeding ground” for terrorism while cyber security
increasingly comes into the focus. In the last months, the debate about the
German and European security framework has been strongly influenced by
concerns regarding the US commitment to Article 5 of the NATO treaty under
the new US administration.
Much attention was drawn to a recent speech by
Chancellor Merkel, where she also depicted Germany’s and Europe’s changed
security environment: “The times in which we could fully rely on others are, to a
certain extent, in the past. We Europeans must take our fate into our own hands
more decisively than we have in the past.”