Several prominent German foreign policy experts on Thursday urged the incoming German government not to turn away from the United States despite U.S. President Donald Trump's unilateral "America First" stance.
The group of leading experts published a manifesto in the weekly Die Zeit saying the "success and security of Germany and Europe is based on the system" of a liberal, international order and multilateral institutions, which Trump is fundamentally questioning with his "power-based, nationalist politics."
They wrote that because of America's current course, Germany - which recently held national elections and is still in the process of forming a new government - and the European Union have more responsibility than ever to preserve and strengthen the international system, which in the long term has to include the U.S.
The experts, who include Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff from the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Daniela Schwarzer from the German Council on Foreign Relations, warn that Germany should not turn away from the U.S. by focusing on a "German-French small Europe," getting closer to Russia or reacting with German nationalism to America's nationalism.
A German "Sonderweg," meaning Germany trying to forge a middle course on its own between the West and the East, would only strengthen extremists on the far right and left in Germany and threaten the European peace order, they warn.
The manifesto, titled "In spite of it all: America," suggests that Trump and his policies will mostly cease to exist once he is no longer president of the U.S.
In the meantime, Germany and Europe have to continue working closely together with the U.S. on other levels than that of the presidency - including the current administration, individual states, civilian society and the business world - and plan for an America after Trump, they say.