German elections: Chancellor candidates debate global security and foreign policy | News | DW

The three candidates for German Chancellor, Annalena Baerbock from the Greens, Armin Laschet from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Olaf Scholz from the Social Democrats (SPD) took part in a debate on Saturday.

The event, titled “Beyond the absence of the West: the role of Germany in the world”, three months before the German federal elections on September 26.

The debate, co-hosted by public broadcaster ARD and the Munich Security Conference, focused on the candidates’ visions for Germany’s future foreign and security policy.

Who are the candidates?

Armin Laschet (CDU): Elected at the head of the party at the beginning of the year, Laschet is Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The CDU candidate should pursue a trajectory very close to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Annalena Baerbock (Greens): A lawyer by training, Baerbock has been a member of the Bundestag and federal co-chair of the Green Party since 2018. The Greens support environmental protection and social justice.

Olaf Scholz (SPD): Also a lawyer by training, Scholz has held various government positions, including that of Minister of Finance. The SPD aligns with workers and social protections for vulnerable people.

The focus of Saturday’s debate, “Beyond the Absence of the West”, is an extension of the theme of “The absence of the West”, which was the title given to the last in-person event that the conference preeminent security staged in Munich just before the pandemic. At that time, the word was intended to encapsulate the notion of a West detached from its historically unifying principles and values.

The debate was moderated by the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, and Tina Hassel, head of ARD’s capital studio.

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