Cover Osteuropa 9/2009

In Osteuropa 9/2009

In Search of Lost Competence
Russia Policy in the German Bundestag

Gemma Pörzgen

Deutsche Fassung


Germany maintains close relations with Russia. But in the Bundestag, which plays an important role in foreign policy, there is a growing lack of competent personnel. A number of distinguished foreign policymakers are retiring at the end of this legislative term. Successors are nowhere to be seen. Although there is constant talk of internationalisation and globalisation, the parliamentary groups are having problems in recruiting foreign policy personnel. There are structural reasons for this. The parties’ selection process favours domestic policymakers. Foreign policy is an unattractive career path. It is a long-term commitment and demands much time and effort. But individual representatives have shown that even in Russia policy the leeway for action is greater than is usually thought.

(Osteuropa 9/2009, pp. 3–26)