Scholz’s Role in Germany’s Position in the Modern World

Since the reunification and until the modern days, Germany has encountered considerable tribulations. The country has gone through political, economical, social, and cultural changes influenced by the consequences of the World Wars (Orlow, 2018). Notably, Germany can be characterized by a tendency to “advance rapidly in some areas” but fall behind in others (Orlow, 2018, p. 413). Because Germany “is the land of perpetual elections,” the country had trouble reaching stability during the demanding period after the reunification (Orlow, 2018, p. 387). By the time Angela Merkel, a Christian Democrat, became the chancellor in 2005, the German mainstream parties began experiencing sufficient changes and challenges (Orlow, 2018). Some economic progress was due to a psychological uplift rather than monetary factors, but Germany managed to decrease the number of unemployed and increase orders for goods and services (Orlow, 2018). However, while overcoming certain financial difficulties, the country had long-standing demographic issues, especially in terms of population decline and concerns regarding the future of social security (Orlow, 2018). After becoming united once again, Germany had to solve several matters but faced complications in simultaneously handling those issues.

One of the most pressing concerns the government had to deal with was the rebuilding of Eastern Germany. In order to become one sovereign state, people from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FDR) had to dismiss their differences (Orlow, 2018). The FDR’s political regime was supported by most of its people, and pluralistic, liberal, and democratic Marxist traditions were “the dominant forces” of the society (Orlow, 2018, p. 415). The GDR was a one-party dictatorship where the Communists’ control was based on Marxist-Leninist practices (Orlow, 2018). The Communist regime in East Germany was weak, unstable, and confronted by economic difficulties and the public’s dissatisfaction (Orlow, 2018). Although Germans from both sides wished to become one nation and reunification was a peaceful process, those from the East were expected to become “Western” quickly (Orlow, 2018, p. 417). Moreover, the demographic trends across the country were extremely evident in Eastern Germany, where large territories were “denuded of people” even by 2017 (Orlow, 2018, p. 394). Overall, the restoration of the former GDR was detained due to dissimilarities in mindsets alongside political, economic, and societal issues.

While striving to merge the people, the new Germany faced certain international challenges, one of them being European integration. Despite West Germany’s unique relations with the European Union (EU), the latter did not fully support Germany’s reunification, as France and Great Britain wanted to “slow down” the process (Orlow, 2018, p. 416). Incorporated into the EU, Germany had to yield substantial rights to the European Commission and Parliament but sought its own objectives (Orlow, 2018). The state pursued an intricate foreign policy, as Germany desired to strengthen the EU through a close relationship with France but also endeavored to cooperate with the US and be considerate of Russia (Orlow, 2018). Notably, some individuals opposed Germany’s involvement with the EU when the government proposed encouraging skilled labor from other European countries to resolve the nation’s demographic difficulties (Orlow, 2018). In particular, many people did not want to be “overrun by foreigners” (Orlow, 2018, p. 394). Participation in the EU hindered Germany’s economy after the 2008 recession because the Union’s other members were recovering at a considerably slower rate (Orlow, 2018). Consequently, the EU presented both advantages and disadvantages to Germany’s development.

Additional problems within the new Germany arose from the refugee crisis. When in 2015, millions of people “hoped to reach the safety of Europe” due to violence in their homelands, Merkel was the first one to try to address the refugee issue (Orlow, 2018, p. 403). Unlike the majority of the EU, Germany was willing to accept anyone seeking asylum, and initially, the citizens were ready to assist (Orlow, 2018). However, the refugees were expected to learn German and acquire skills to begin working, but the country did not have the funds to teach a million escapees (Orlow, 2018). Moreover, providing shelter to the immigrants increased the risk of terrorism, and in 2017, four men from ISIS entered Germany as refugees from Syria (Orlow, 2018). Accordingly, many groups emerged across Europe, including Germany, and demanded “an end to Muslim immigration” because such people “could not be truly integrated into European society” (Orlow, 2018, p. 405). Germany’s good intentions to help those in need of protection led to jeopardizing the state’s security and relationships with its neighbours.

Germany has been one of the political regions that are constantly viewed differently by the globe. Orlow (2018) claims that for many observers after 1945, from a nation that valued the military, Germany turned into “a country of pacifists” (p. 415). After Mekel’s prolonged tenure and downfall due to the refugee crisis, Olaf Scholz became the next chancellor in 2021 (Moulson, 2021). The world saw the promise of changes in the new administration of Germany (Moulson, 2021). In particular, Scholz pledged to participate in efforts against climate change, modernize the country, and implement more liberal social policies (Moulson, 2021). The chancellor said that the state will support the EU and facilitate the trans-Atlantic alliance (Moulson, 2021). Nonetheless, Germany and especially its government seem to be critiqued by other countries in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (More, 2022). Because of Germany’s weight in the EU, the country’s opposition to Russia’s invasion is critical to Ukraine, but Scholz does not express his position due to Ukraine’s refusal to invite the German president (More, 2022). Consequently, the chancellor’s promises to advance the country may be at risk now.


More, R. (2022). Germany’s Scholz says Ukraine must help mend ties after president visit debacle. Reuters. Web.

Moulson, G. (2021). Scholz replaces Merkel as German chancellor, opening new era. AP News. Web.

Orlow, D. (2018). A history of modern Germany: 1871 to present (8th ed.). Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

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