Reconciled with all its neighbors, Germany, happy now after the end of the Cold War, is not a front line State, but it has become insignificant diplomatically speaking. Influence in terms of foreign policy depends on economic power. The continuous crisis faced by the country has made it go through a situation that could be described as follows: “The Germany that has been left with a red-green coalition is a power in the twilight with growing ambitions”.
The negative attitude of Gerhard Schröder regarding the Iraqi conflict was the appearance of independence towards the United States. In fact, the sole world power has made decisions later without Germany and our voice is only heard when it is expressed together with the other European countries. Mrs. Merkel, here there is a list of advice, to set out a route map for our new foreign policy:
 Rely on the EU and the rest of the international organizations to strengthen Germany’s position and its national interests. As for stability in the East or access to international markets, we can only win together with our European partners. We could play a central role by mediating in the crisis between Britain and France over Europe. This could be the role in December. This is also valid for NATO, especially regarding a possible confrontation with Iran. Here we could also take advantage from our central role between Europe and the United States.
 Equidistance between France and the United States is the State Reason for Germany. Here we should also play a mediating role and not, as before, side with France and turn ourselves against other associates.
 Our relationship with Warsaw is as important, or more important than our relationship with Paris. With Gerhard Schröder Poland could have the impression of being sacrificed again for Germany to benefit from Russia’s friendship. This must change... starting by decorating his office, where there is a picture of Catherine the Great of Russia, a leader who tore Poland into pieces at least three times until it disappeared.
 Take Germany’s ambitions to the level of our political and financial capacity. We failed to enter the UN Security Council because Berlin did not present its candidature as a contribution of ideas but with the slogan of “who pays more, decides more”. Our troops are subsidized and committed in excess. Today, there are 6,500 ground troops, in regions where their strategic interest for our country’s security is more than doubtful, for example, Northern Afghanistan.
 Decide the foreign policy from your office, without submitting it to your Foreign Minister, but without deceiving him either. Your predecessor was not able to do that, and the risks are also big for you. The pragmatic Franz-Walter Steinmeier might be tempted to continue, under the pressure from the SPD maintained by his ministry, enforcing the political orientations of his predecessor, for example regarding our attitude towards Russia or our breaking-off with the United States. In his electoral program and the minutes of the coalition agreement, his orientations are vague and lack concrete proposals. Soon, you will be able to see that once they are confronted by reality, such inconsistent formulas will not be enough.

Welt an Sonntag (Germany)

Memo an Angela Merkel: Für eine neue Außenpolitik”, by Peter Müller, Welt Am Sonntag, October 30, 2005.