The Specter Haunting Europe: Will the German Center Hold?

Issue Date October 2016
Volume 27
Issue 4
Page Numbers 37-46
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The handling of the refugee crisis by the grand coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Conservatives (CDU/CSU) has been portrayed as a possible breaking point for Angela Merkel’s chancellorship. With the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) rising to 13 percent in June 2016, it seems that Germany is falling prey to the political instability seen in other European states. However, the numbers of incoming refugees dropped massively, the economic costs of integration appear manageable, and established German parties have been given time to craft strategies for reclaiming conservative voters from the AfD. From now on, strategic political communication in the run-up to the federal election in September 2017 could allow the formation of a stable and pro-European German government in the coming years.