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What Is Ostpolitik?

The actual foreign policy that Scholz' three-point approach meant to embody was not very different from that of his predecessor Angela Merkel. Nonetheless, his specifically Social Democratic use of the term "Ostpolitik" triggered vehement reactions in Germany. Some questioned the use of the word itself in the present era.

"The use of the term `Ostpolitik' was very unfortunate," said Gwendolyn Sasse, director of Berlin's Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOIS). The term may provoke positive connotations among Social Democrats, she said, "but reaction [to it] in Central and Eastern Europe is highly negative." The word "Ostpolitik" can stir up fears among Germany's eastern neighbors that Berlin may go it alone on Russia, ignoring the wishes of countries like Poland. These historical concerns are genuine, although they have at times also been cultivated by Eastern European governments, keen to use to them for domestic political benefit.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 16th, 2022 at 10:09:54 PM EST
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