Podcast

Who Is the Real Winner in Germany?

Merkel went silent as the AfD went viral.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump  prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7.
Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON        (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets US President Donald Trump prior to the start of the first working session of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7. Leaders of the world's top economies will gather from July 7 to 8, 2017 in Germany for likely the stormiest G20 summit in years, with disagreements ranging from wars to climate change and global trade. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / IAN LANGSDON (Photo credit should read IAN LANGSDON/AFP/Getty Images)

For the first time in modern German political history, an unabashedly nationalist party will occupy seats in the Bundestag. In the campaign’s final weeks, the anti-immigrant, anti-EU Alternative for Germany (AfD) skyrocketed from mediocrity, fueled by an audacious media campaign.

Despite being marked the most “boring” election in the world just months ago, turnout was high in Sunday’s elections. Whether out of loyalty or protest, 77 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots. The results delivered a dramatic blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition, casting a shadow on her legacy and raising further questions about the future of the European Union.

On this week’s first episode of The E.R, Constanze Stelzenmüller and Hans Kundnani join deputy editor of ForeignPolicy.com Cameron Abadi to analyze election results. Merkel may have been re-elected for a fourth term, but can she call it a win? And will the results taint the legacy of the de facto leader of Europe?

Constanze Stelzenmüller, an expert on German, European, and transatlantic foreign and security policy and strategy, is the inaugural Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. Prior to working at Brookings, she was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund. She previously served as an editor for the political section of the German weekly DIE ZEIT, where she had also served as defense and international security editor and covered human rights issues and humanitarian crises. Follow her on Twitter: @ConStelz.

Hans Kundnani is a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund. He focuses on internal European economic and institutional issues, Europe’s role in the world, and on the link between the internal and external dimensions. Prior to joining GMF, Hans was the research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Cameron Abadi is deputy editor of ForeignPolicy.com. Follow him on Twitter @CameronAbadi.

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Cameron Abadi is deputy editor at Foreign Policy. He previously worked at the New Republic and Foreign Affairs and as a correspondent in Germany and Iran. His writing has appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, the New Yorker, the New Republic, and Der Spiegel.  @cameronabadi

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