What foreign policy course can the world expect from Germany's new government? In the view of many, the election campaign was uninspiring and dominated by parochial concerns. The big issues such as Europe's economic troubles or the long-overdue reforms of the EU played hardly any role. So will the new 'Grand Coalition' under Angela Merkel take on the major challenges facing the world?
It has taken almost three months, but at last Germany has a new government. Angela Merkel remains as Chancellor. But her new coalition partners, the Social Democrats, will be looking to introduce their own policy ideas.
At home there is plenty to be getting on with: the faltering transformation of Germany's energy sector, an ageing population and the much-needed modernisation of the physical infrastructure and the education system.
But what will the new government's foreign policy look like?
Will the Social Democrats make the case for an easing of the austerity demanded from southern European nations?
Can the new (and former) Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier help to strengthen relations with the United States and enhance Germany's role in the world?
What will the appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as Defense Minister mean for Germany's military involvement in international conflicts?
Will Angela Merkel work towards developing the European Union and deepening its democratic legitimacy, or will she focus on domestic issues?
Tell us what you think: Germany: New Government, New Direction?
Melissa Eddy- is the Berlin Correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times. Prior to joining the IHT, she had been covering Germany since 2000, first as a General Correspondent for The Associated Press in Frankfurt, then as a Berlin Correspondent for AP. During that time she tracked the rise of Angela Merkel to the chancellery, followed the euphoria in the streets during the 2006 World Cup and the crisis in the euro zone since its earliest days.
Laura Lucchini – After studying communication sciences at university in Milan and Madrid, she completed a master’s degree in journalism in Buenos Aires. Today, she is a freelance journalist for the Argentinean newspaper “La Nación” and the Italian “Linkiesta”.
Anthony Paterson- He began his career as a journalist in London and has worked as a foreign correspondent from, Paris, Bonn, Warsaw, Vienna and Berlin. He covered the rise of the Solidarity trade union in Poland for the American news agency UPI and the fall of the Berlin Wall for the BBC. He is now Berlin correspondent for the London daily newspaper, The Independent and for the Sunday newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph.