09.01.2019

More responsibility, higer expectations

Germany has begun a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council. GIZ’s study on ‘Germany in the Eyes of the World’ shows the expectations that the world has of the country as an international player.

On 1 January, Germany joined the UN Security Council for a two-year term as a non-permanent member. At a time when populism is on the rise and a multilateral world order is increasingly being called into question, a debate has arisen on the role Germany can and should play in the world in future. 

To answer this question, we need to be aware of the expectations other countries have of Germany. 

The third study on ‘Germany in the Eyes of the World’, published last year by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, provides some indications. In-depth interviews were conducted with 154 individuals from 24 different countries for the study. 

In a guest article in the journal Internationale Politik, GIZ Managing Director Christoph Beier points out the key aspects of the study and puts them in the context of Germany’s membership of the UN Security Council. He draws the following conclusions from the results of the study: ‘When the world thinks of Germany, it would like to see an open-minded country that plays an active role on the international stage. A country that does not hesitate to address the global challenges. A country that follows its own value-based compass while keeping in time with Europe’s rhythm, that helps advance the European Union and by doing so sets standards for the world.’ 

Germany enjoys considerable trust at international level. Survey participants believe that Germany needs a vision for its own future and that of Europe to make constructive use of this trust. The changes that have occurred in the international context have led to higher expectations of Germany to play an active role at global, regional and local level along with its partners. This applies to resolving conflicts, to addressing climate change and to creating and promoting training opportunities and jobs. People hope that Germany will not only demonstrate its resolve to assume more responsibility, but that it will combine this resolve with clear goals and strategies.

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