Between Berlin and Washington: Two Diverging Visions of the World
Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer was interviewed by Le Monde's correspondent in Berlin to discuss the impact of President Trump's election on U.S.-German relationships in a historical perspective. She explained that Trump's election marked a radical departure from the Obama-Merkel period, which was characterized by policy convergences despite a few disagreements (e.g. Germany's austerity policy in Europe or the NSA affair): "If we put aside the NSA affair, we can say that the golden age of the U.S.-German relationship took place with the Obama-Merkel duo. Under Obama, we have witnessed a "germanization" of U.S. leadership, replicating the German concept of "leading from the middle" used by German Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, by which a superpower refuses to act alone and favors multilateralism Trump is promoting the exact opposite vision. The ideas he defends, i.e. unilateralism, the disintegration of the EU, and protectionism, are all practices that Merkel rejects. In addition, it's the first time that a U.S. president openly criticizes the German government, in this case Merkel's refugee policy". To sum up, under Bush and Obama, disagreements between the U.S. and Germany came primarily from diverging policy choices. With Trump, they originate from diverging visions of the world.
Read the full interview in French below.