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Realpolitik vs. Values at Foreign Policy Conference of German Greens

Heinrich Böll Stiftung Berlin (image file)The 'Heinrich Böll Stiftung' - the political foundation affiliated with the German green party - is having its annual foreign policy conference next week, on September 11th and 12th. It will be a big issue conference, focusing on the question of ideals versus interests in foreign policy. The German greens are one of the broadest green parties that exist, and have a lively internal debate between party leaders on realism versus a more pacifistic foreign politics. It was Joshka Fischer, German Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, who took the Germans into the Kosovo war back in 1999.

Fischer, now something of a foreign policy star, won't be attending. However, a former MFA of Poland, Adam Daniel Rotfeld, will. Rotfeld is also a former Director of SIPRI. Other speakers include Ahmed Rashid, Steven Weber, and two members of the current leadership of the greens, Renate Künast and Reinhard Bütikofer.

You can find the programme via this page (page in German, programme also available in English)

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung recently moved to a new office in Berlin Mitte, which frankly looks boring, but is very energy-efficient! We hope to give you some details of the view from the inside, next week.


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David on :

Did you know that the German Greens have a [url=,2144,3252853,00.html]branch organization[/url] in Washington DC? Also, Renate Kuenast was at the Invesco Stadium last week to hear Barack Obama's speech. She gave an interview about her impressions in [url=;art16901,2603547]Der Tagesspiegel[/url].

Zyme on :

Am I the only one wondering about how the Greens of the 1980s would treat those leading the party today if they had known how this was going to turn out in light of - let's say military interventions? "Did you know that the German Greens have a branch organization in Washington DC?" No - but isn't also the Afghan foreign minister a member of the Green Party? The Afghan foreign minister, not the german one :D

Marie Claude on :

that's really funny :) opiuom is vox populi

Andrew Z on :

I worked for the Greens in the European Parliament last year and noticed that there was a significant division between different members of Parliament on issues other than the environment. Quite a few strongly supported the Afghanistan war. I will be interested to hear on where the German Greens stand on the war now since there was real discord between members back then...

Joerg - Atlantic Review on :

I will attend that conference. Are there any specific questions you would like me to ask the penalists? There are not so many Greens on the panels. There are some cool other guys, though... Have a look at the program. The link is in the post. The shorter and the more specific you phrase that question, the easier it is to get an answer... I might even get the answers on film. I will bring my video camera and try to conduct some interviews during conference breaks.

Fuchur on :

The programme looks very interesting: They ask a lot of good questions. Oh, I have a question: If you run across a member of the European parliament, could you ask him/her if they are now completely out of their f***ing minds? (Regarding their recent mindbogglingly inane attempts to regulate TV advertising.)

Marie-Claude on :

do they are useful anyway ??????? I heard that "commission" is "God" the father

Anonymous on :

Oh, don't get me started on this. Just look how one member of the European parliament presents himself: [url][/url]

Marie Claude on :

does the yellow color of his balls has something to be related with the greens' ?

Anonymous on :

He's a Christian Democrat

Marie Claude on :

then he is a sinner

Don S on :

Surely you mean yellow bells, franchie?

Marie-Claude on :

how di ya know ????

Nanne on :

Fuchur, the vote in question was on a non-legislative 'report', e.g. something with no legal meaning. I don't see regulation of advertising as particularly problematic, although going after gender roles is a bit far sought, and anyway, in my experience these are not a big issue anymore in advertising in Germany or the Netherlands (more semi-clever gender role reversal than housewifes in advertising, these days).

Joe Noory on :

Fischer is a man with a clue. But Realpolitik aside, theories and practices can get thrown out the window when you're dealing with liars. One week, the Russians sign a withdrawal agreement. The next week they [url=]annex territory[/url]. Talk about keeping it real(-politik)...

Marie Claude on :

Joe, you read french, here is a site that has some clues afterwords, you can get the home page and get the views upon Ficher and co

Jean on :

Joerg, I have a question!!!! Could you please ask the greenies if they would reconsider their stance on nuclear energy? Embracing the nuclear option would address both the CO2 issue and reduce the power Russia has over the entire EU.

Johnathon on :

All I know about the conferene is that Ralf Fücks opened it by describing the current context of international politics. The conflicts of the 1990s, the attacks of September 11 and the continuing “war on terror” have laid to rest the theory of “the end of history” posited by Francis Fukuyama at the conclusion of the Cold War. America’s global leadership has likewise been challenged by the rise of new powers like China and India and the reassertion of Russia. Global politics is fraught with the potential for misunderstanding and conflict. “With few exceptions, the free market system has been victorious,” Fücks told the audience. “But, democracy and human rights are still controversial.”

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