On the 12th of April 2016, a discussion was held at the Embassy of Germany, with HE Mr Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Czech Republic. The discussion concerned Germany, the current relations between our countries and the future of the European Union.
The Germany Embassy is named after Lobkowicz’s palace because, historically, there was a brewery there. The building of the Germany Embassy was previously the Chinese Embassy. During the Cold War in the Czechoslovak Socialistic Republic, the Germany Embassy functioned as a gateway to the Federal Republic of Germany (to cross the border from the Eastern to the Western Bloc). There were about 2, 000 refugees, who typically climbed over spiked railings – many of them were injured in the process. In the beautiful palace of this embassy, we can view lots of artistic masterpieces from German and Czech artists alike. The embassy is very large and breathtaking – it looks exactly like a palace – surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Germany has large diplomatic representation across the World, even in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the Czech Republic tries to maintain a similar level of representation across the World too, having, for example, an embassy in Syria). Germany is currently focused on culture, foreign policy, human rights and the immigration issue. They are try to improve, or just maintain their current, relationship with Turkey (the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, does not encourage this relationship).
At present, there is a number one priority in the domestic sphere – the issue of immigration. New radical political political parties have been gaining strength owing to this issue since World War II., even though, they are concerned only with this single issue. Germany seeks to reduce the scepticism of society and seeks to solve the current problem through cooperation with Turkey. In the 1950s and onwards, terrorism was not an issue. Now, terrorism is a huge source of concern and fear. In Germany, the are about 400-600 radical Islamic individuals to be considered as potential terrorist threats.
From 2001, Germany made a commitment to completely turning off nuclear power in the future. They have focused on electrical processes, which have increased by 23% in the past few years. They are seeking to establish a very cheap form of energy, but prior to this, they need to create a new infrastructure, a more flexible system and focus on future trends. Why have they made the switch to electricity? Mainly because Germany is trying to cease mining coal and focus on gas and electricity to promote a healthier environment. There has been progress on this goal, but it is very slow. Nevertheless, we can assume that in the future Germany will move towards the achievement of the following goals: mobility, electric cars and storage. From the economic point of view, they will produce incremental rather than radical innovations, because it is known that Germany, like Japan, focuses primary on CME strategy, to create an optimal renewable flexibility environment.
The European Union needs 17,5 million labour workers to improve the market, and it is for this reason that Germany focuses on Turks, Romanians and Russian workers. However, the current situation is that they have more than one million immigrants in their country. Germany needs to reduce this through registrations, valid passports and fingerprints, to deal more effectively with immigration. Moreover, Germany has been fortunate not to have suffered a terrorist attack as yet, considering the low condition of their domestic security policy.
The Ambassador explained to us the reason why Russian is not willing to become a member of the European Union, and it is a simple one. The Russian Federation wants to be sovereign state and is keen to avoid becoming the next example of what happened in Ukraine or in Georgia. Certainly, if we want to find solutions in foreign affair, it would be impossible to do without the help of Russia, as we see with the current conflict in Syria.
Finally, the situation after the Panama papers (leaked information about offshore companies) is deteriorating, in light of the referendum on the European Union. This could set off a domino effect within states, as we can see with what is happening in the United Kingdom’s future referendum concerning whether to stay in or leave the European Union. Furthermore, some states such as Slovakia maintain that they need to improve their security – but against whom? This could trigger the next “domino effect”, which would present a threat to future European integration. The Federal Republic of Germany seeks to push EU integration forward. Germany tries to bolster France, because they want to have strong states alongside them and the main goal is to unify the European Union.
HE Mr Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven told us that his favourite beers are Czech ones, having also been Ambassador in Russian and France. Prague is his favourite location, because it is similar to Germany regarding telecommunications between people. The overall level of the Czech community is very favourable, and Czech-German relations are on an excellent path. They can reach agreement “by two minutes”, regarding strategic dialogue, economic, labour and educational issues.