“Germany’s New Role in Europe and the World” – WAC 12/14/2015 Event

The World Affairs Council, in partnership with the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and the American Council on Germany, welcomed Ali Aslan to speak on Germany’s growing influence in Europe and international affairs. Mr. Aslan is a journalist and television host who has appeared on global news networks such as CNN, ABC News and Channel News Asia and is the host of an international talk show “Qaudriga” on Deutsche Welle TV. He has also served two terms as a Policy and Media Advisor to the German government for the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Mr. Aslan contends that Germany has yet to grow into its role as a global leader in international affairs. While Germany has succeeded in becoming Europe’s economic leader, it is still learning to take a more assertive position in foreign policy. Major strides in this regard were made in recent months as Chancellor Angela Merkel encouraged an open-door refugee policy that is projected to welcome 1 million refugees in 2015 alone. While Merkel’s stance makes her popular in the international arena, she faces skepticism among those in her conservative Christian Democratic Union.

Ultimately, Mr. Aslan believes that Merkel has made the right decision in accepting such large numbers of refugees. While he agrees that there may be some cultural clashes, he argues that Germany will ultimately be stronger by welcoming these marginalized families. Merkel’s compassion for refugees will become her legacy, but Mr. Aslan worries that it could potentially lead to her defeat in the 2017 elections, after nearly a decade as Chancellor.

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