“We Europeans have to look out for ourselves more”: Interview with FM Maas, new-york-un.diplo.de

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas talks to the “Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung” about the new world order, transatlantic relations, Iran, refugee policy, as well as German-Turkish relations.

Minister, there are more and more crises and wars. Traditional alliances are being challenged. How dangerous is that?

There are no certainties any more. So much is going on. Decades-old partnerships have become fragile and proven agreements are being called into question. That presents very special challenges for foreign policy.

Wouldn’t that be the time for the UN to play a proactive role?

The key to resolving political conflicts lies with the United Nations, and the UN Security Council in particular. Many conflicts can only be resolved effectively there. That’s not easy, especially at a time when multilateralism is under great pressure because many people, particularly populists, are proclaiming a return to the nation-state. What’s more, at the very time when they are needed so urgently, the United Nations and the European Union are preoccupied to a certain extent with their own problems. […]

Shouldn’t Europe finally take on more responsibility itself?

Yes, in future we Europeans will have to look out for ourselves more. We’re working on it. The European Union has to finally get itself ready for a common foreign policy. The principle of unanimity in line with which the European Union makes its foreign policy decisions renders us incapable of taking action on many issues. We’re in the process of transforming the European Union into a genuine security and defence union. We remain convinced that we need more and not less Europe at this time. Läs intervjun