Frank Hartmann, Head of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America, German Chancellery
Angela Stanzel, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
The Chinese proposal for a new international financial institution, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), has drawn the interest of European states. With the purpose of supporting infrastructure construction in the Asia-Pacific region, the institution is meant to launch in 2016. In the development of this parallel structure to institutions like the IMF or World Bank, 14 EU Countries, including Germany, do not want to lose their chance of economical and political influence and announced their interest in a membership.
Due to disunity of the relevant Ministries (Finance, Foreign and Development) the German government was hoping for more forceful joined decision making of all EU member states. Yet, as Hartmann argued, due too little political guidance from European authorities this has failed and decisions will remain intergovernmental.
To find answers to questions like why does Germany join, under what conditions and what can we expect from the membership, did the Office Berlin organise a Black Coffee Morning ‘What does AIIB mean for Germany?’ with Frank Hartmann, Head of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America department of the chancellery and moderated by Angela Stanzel, ECFR Policy Fellow for Asia and China Programme.
The high interest of European states to join took China by surprise and forces it to take request for modification into consideration. Whether this will happen depends on the political will and only praxis will show.