‘Deutschlands neue Verantwortung’ (Germany’s new responsibility)

03.03.2017 – A new publication brings together a wide spectrum of views on Germany’s role as a global actor, including in international cooperation.

The publication ‘Deutschlands Neue Verantwortung’ (Germany’s new responsibility) brings together more than 140 papers from renowned politicians, researchers and scientists, who explore the future of German and European foreign, development and security policy. Authors include former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller, and Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The book was presented on 10 February on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

GIZ contributed a summary of two studies from 2012 and 2015 on Germany’s international image. The qualitative survey, ‘Germany in the Eyes of the World’ aimed to identify the perceptions, expectations and wishes that people internationally have of Germany. It investigated what grates, what is appreciated, and what is seen as less good. GIZ interviewed almost 300 individuals worldwide from the realms of politics, industry and civil society.

The study’s central finding is that although Germany is highly respected, there is a feeling it should be doing more at international level. Given its economic power and leading role in Europe, Germany ought to show more engagement, and act with more courage and visibility. It is expected to use its strength and capacity to benefit others too. In terms of international cooperation, the study participants, from 34 countries on four continents, wanted to see a balance of give and take.

The study’s findings are of particular value for GIZ in terms of cooperation in partner countries. ‘Anyone aiming to shape the future should be aware of how they are seen by others,’ said Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of GIZ Management Board. GIZ works as a service provider in more than 130 countries, supporting the German Government in achieving its international cooperation objectives. The federal enterprise’s wide spectrum of expertise is in demand around the globe; other commissioning parties include the institutions of the European Union, the United Nations and governments of other countries.