8/24/2016 Radio Show: Dr. Volker Anding, Former German Ambassador

Brexit, European Union, Foreign Policy, Germany, History, International Dialogues Radio, Israel, NATO, Refugee Crisis, Regfugee Crisis

Cynthia Dillon & Velma Ann Ruth

On wsradio.com:

 

Segment 1

 

Perspectives. International Affairs. Dr. Volker Anding, Former German Ambassador

Volker Anding, PhD is a former German Ambassador to Uruguay and Panama, Deputy Ambassador to Senegal, former General Consul to the United States in  Miami, San Francisco, Detroit, and former Member of the  German Mission to NATO. Dr. Anding served in the Bundeswehr, as   Lieutenant of the Reserve in the German Air Force. In 1997 Dr. Anding became a Member of the Royal College of Defense Studies in London. He has a PhD in Law, studied at the Universities of Marburg and Freiburg in Germany, and served in the Legal Department at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Dr. Anding is currently a Trustee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of the Consular Corp for Miami,  and is closely involved with Florida International University and University of Miami, American Jewish Committee of Miami, and Baptist Health. Dr. Anding is also a founding member and leading directorate of the newly established World Affairs Council of Greater Miami… 

Dr. Anding reflects on his involvement in the creation of a  new chapter of the non-partisan organization   World Affairs Council in Miami, Fl. (World Affairs Council of  Greater Miami)  its mission, and the appointment of Dr. Susan Purcell, as President. He also speaks of his background in diplomacy, representing Germany in Latin America… and comments on the strong commercial ties between his country and the region  (a market of 590 million people…with great natural resources… minerals, raw materials, iron, soy, sugar, bio-fuels etc.,-See Research Briefing 2015, Deutsche Bank) noting the largest German Chamber of Commerce is  in Sao Paolo, Brazil, (considered the largest “industrial” city outside of Germany with… 1200 German companies represented) Dr. Anding  speaks of the importance of Latin America for the US, pointing to  President Obama’s trip to Argentina and the  much debated NAFTA Agreement with Mexico, Canada… He also speaks of his country’s strong relations with Asia, Russia, the EU and NATO… adding he was   part of the German Mission (1976 – 1979) in “ NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group…,”  and clarifying…:“from today’s perspective it may sound absurd…but at the time  it was  the height of the cold war…” Dr. Anding stresses the importance of NATO  and its “stabilizing effect in Europe…”  urging…  Canada, the US to remain…

 

 

Segment 2

Brexit.  European Dis-Union?  Dr. Volker Anding

Dr. Anding   comments on the UK’s vote to exit from the EU calling it “ironic, because,  since  the 60’s -70’s, the UK wanted Membership in the Union… and was  twice refused… on account of France’s position… (See: General Charles De Gaulle’s “non” to Britain…)  Dr. Anding notes that the   new UK Prime Minister  Theresa May has indicated that  “the [Brexit] vote stands”   but as Dr. Anding explains. “it will take 2 to 3 years for the full exit procedure… “(See: Brexit success depends on curbing immigration)  He also points to the “continuous vitality” of the EU citing the recent meeting  (in preparation for a   EU Summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, with all 27 EU representatives  sans  UK’s PM) between the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande and Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Dr. Anding explains the origins of the European  Union, “the common cooperation, the economic efforts, the need to stabilize the region after the [devastation] of  WWII…”  He also comments on his experience working in the Chancellor’s, Office under former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, from 1986-1989… He speaks of  the collapse of the Berlin Wall…recalling those  “exciting times…,” especially when   thousands of East German refugees were notified of their “release” by  West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher….  , in the German Embassy, Prague.  When asked  to comment about Brussels  today, as the center of power in Europe, and  described as a “mega bureaucracy…intent on institutionalizing everything…patronizing…” (See: Der Spiegel Article) Dr. Anding points to its size, “not larger than Munich, with 1.2 million people…) with a tendency to “over-regulate..,”  but noting… “when an agricultural product, for example, enters a EU Member state, it has “passed inspection” for all states in the common market…” See: Schengen Agreement)  As Dr, Anding concludes, the benefits  of a European Union is translated in its   common currency, the Euro (in 19 out of 28 countries…)… with a “stable exchange rate…” reflecting a “strong symbol of unity..”

 

 

Segment 3

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Refugee crisis. International Affairs. Dr. Volker Anding

 

Dr. Volker Anding speaks of the European migrant crisis and its political ramifications… (For information see Migrant Crisis 2015, and  More)   Dr. Anding explains “Germany accepted 1 million Syrian refugees in 2015 and ca. 90,000 in January, 2016…and notes the increasing  problems in security, the possible terrorist infiltration (especially after the Paris Attacks, November 2015) and the urgent need for “exchange of information” between agencies/countries.”   Dr. Anding comments on the reasons behind Chancellor Merkel’s largesse in welcoming refugees, citing Germany’s history in the 30’s -40’s with Nazism…, and the responsibility as a nation…”  He speaks of the current very “liberal asylum laws, available to political refugees for humanitarian reasons… (See German policy re: Asylum laws)  and the problems in assimilation by the refugees in a country  the size of the states of Washington and Oregon combined, with 80 million inhabitants… As he explains, since Angela Merkel’s welcoming of  the  refugees in 2015  (See Article) her popularity  in Germany has “plummeted…” and  with  elections in 2017  around the corner,  the Chancellor (since 2005) has yet to confirm  if  she will run again….(Will she or won’t she?)  Dr. Anding gives background information on Chancellor Merkel, her family, her education and her career… as a politician…noting she was recognized, not once but several times, by magazines, Time, Forbes etc. as the most powerful woman in the world, …the “de facto leader of the EU.”

 

 

Segment 4

Israel and Germany . International Affairs. Dr. Volker Anding

Dr. Anding speaks of the importance of  the “German – Israeli relations… Israel’s raison d’etre   and Germany’s strong historical  responsibility for the stability and existence of the State of Israel.” Dr. Anding mentions Chancellor Merkel’s four trips to Israel  and the joint (German-Israeli) Cabinet meetings in  Jerusalem, emphasizing the exchange of cultural, educational, economic, military, intelligence information, between the two  nations…”  ( super powers!)…. Dr. Anding comments on the Jews in Germany, pointing to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, “celebrating two millennia of German-Jewish History…”  He also speaks of the problems of anti-semitism today in Europe, for example in France, …due to a “new element…,” the influx of radical Islamists….