Berlin (dpa) – After the storm on the Capitol in Washington, Federal Secretary of State Heiko Maas offered the US closer cooperation in the fight for democracy.
“We must not give space to the enemies of liberal democracy. This applies not only in the US, but also here in Germany and Europe, ”said the SPD politician of the German news agency. “We are ready to work with the US on a joint Marshall Plan for democracy.”
The Marshall Plan was an American economic reconstruction program for European countries after World War II. The Federal Republic of Germany in particular benefited from this.
Protests from angry Trump supporters in the capital Washington escalated Wednesday, sometimes plunging the US political center into unprecedented chaos. Maas, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had already made outgoing US President Donald Trump partly responsible for Thursday’s violence. Future President Joe Biden, who will be sworn in on January 20, spoke of an unprecedented attack on democracy.
Maas promised Biden that he could count on Germany in the fight for democracy. “Without democracy in the US, there would be no democracy in Europe,” he said. “Tackling the roots of social divisions in our countries is one of the greatest future tasks for Americans and Europeans.”
Biden recognized this, pledged American reconciliation and announced the formation of a network of democracies, Maas said. He pointed out that Germany was working in the same direction with the “Alliance for Multilateralism” he helped establish. “Because the belief in cohesion, in democracy as the most humane form of government and in the persuasiveness of science and reason can only be maintained if we work together.” There are no better, closer, more natural partners for this in the 21st century than America and Europe.
During the election campaign for the first year of his tenure, Biden announced a “Global Summit for Democracy” to counter the threat to the common values of democratic states. These should include protecting human rights, securing elections and fighting corruption.
With the “Alliance for Multilateralism” in 2019, Maas has set up a network of about 60 states that work together in different configurations on different subjects. He deliberately does not want his initiative to be seen as a fixed group of states with summits such as the G7 or G20, but rather as a loose and flexible association of countries campaigning for international cooperation and international institutions.