Berlin / Brussels.
As Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock relies on Europe. The Green leader also wants to show a clear edge against Russia and China.
At the end of June, Annalena Baerbock was asked where she would go on her first trip abroad as Federal Chancellor. the Greens boss replied like a shot at a debate at the Munich Security Conference: “After Brussels.“
German foreign policy must “always” be a European one. A “European answer” to “America is back” is needed. The chancellor job didn’t work out. However, the 40-year-old will soon head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Your political focus remains Europe.
Annalena Baerbock: Europe is a matter close to her heart
It is a matter close to her heart. In the recent federal election campaign, the then told Chancellor candidate like the story of the Polish EU accession on May 1, 2004, which she experienced at midnight on the Oder Bridge in Frankfurt / Oder. The then foreign minister celebrated there Joschka Fischer with his Polish counterpart. “Not a single eye stayed dry. Such moments shape ”, she said.
Baerbock does not have any foreign policy experience in government. But it can have some international stations. After completing her diploma in political science in Hamburg in 2004, she switched to the renowned London School of Economics. There she graduated with a in 2005 Master in “Public International Law”.
The husband takes care of the two children
From 2005 to 2008 she worked as an employee of the Green MEP Elisabeth Schroeder, first in the Potsdam constituency office and later in the Brussels parliamentary office. As a student, she completed an exchange year in the US state Florida.
In her adopted home Potsdam, the designated German chief diplomat will in future be less likely to be found. The husband takes care of the upbringing of their two daughters – 9 and 15 years old Daniel Holefleisch, a former lobbyist of the Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Baerbock also messes with Vladimir Putin
Fear of princely thrones is alien to the former trampoline gymnast. She also wants to talk to the die-hard autocrats of this world. For example with the Russian President Wladimir Putin. She referred to its Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as an “insidious plan”.
The Kremlin chief wanted them Ukraine disconnect from gas transit and blackmail the EU in an emergency. She demands that Europe must not become dependent on Russia and become a political plaything due to excessive gas imports.
Rhetorically, the Green boss chooses the boxing glove
Even with the criticism of the gagging of the Russian Opposition Baerbock chooses the rhetorical boxing glove, not the velvet glove. No matter whether in the Brussels or Moscow arena. Chancellor-designate Olaf Scholz (SPD), who sees himself as a pragmatic realpolitician, is likely to raise eyebrows more often.
With a view to China, Baerbock does not shy away from harsh rhetoric. She calls her approach “dialogue and hardship” and advocates a stricter trade policy against the rising trend World power: “We have to ensure compliance with standards when there is dumping in other regions of the world,” she emphasizes.
The tone is now also getting rougher towards China
It proposes a corresponding mark-up for companies that have been subsidized in the Chinese market or that do not have any Environmental standards gives. The outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had criticized China at best behind closed doors. With Baerbock, a new, rougher tone has entered German foreign policy. We can look forward to her first visit to Beijing.
Baerbock sees itself as a standard bearer for Human rights and Rule of law. The Polish and Hungarian governments will feel this when it comes to their access to their own justice system or the media landscape.
Baerbock does not want to leave climate policy to Robert Habeck alone
Baerbock does not only want to leave the field of climate policy to Robert Habeck, the head of the economic super-department. “The big domestic issues like Climate neutrality we can only create together with a globalized world, ”she emphasizes. For a strong climate policy, an “active European and above all a German international foreign policy” is needed.
In Washington one likes to hear such sounds. In the spring, the US climate commissioner had John Kerry met Baerbock during his visit to Berlin. American diplomats also praise the clear words of the Green politician towards Russia and China.
The reluctance to spend on German armaments is met with skepticism. However, a question mark hangs over everything: “Let’s see how much leeway Chancellor Scholz gives Foreign Minister Baerbock”, says a US diplomat.
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