Development Assistance in German Foreign Policy

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-4-63-74
B. Zaritskiy,
Moscow State Institute of International Relations, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MGIMO-University), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation.

Received 23.09.2021.

Abstract. The article discusses the conceptual approaches and policies of Germany in the field of official development assistance (ODA). The FRG is the second largest donor country in terms of the absolute amount of financial resources that the government donates as ODA. However, there is an obvious gap between the official rhetoric and the actual practices of the German ODA policy. Development assistance has been actively used by Berlin to promote its political and economic interests and to address its security policy problems. Germany’s ODA policy is built primarily on a bilateral basis, the belief being that this form of cooperation allows a better control of financial resources and enables the donor country to more effectively articulate its interests. The fate of the most needy countries is of much less concern to the German authorities. The FRG, as well as the European Union, are trying to make their own priorities a platform for building cooperation with partners. The entry of the “Alliance 90/Greens” into a governmental coalition after the 2021 parliamentary elections will further shift the focus of Germany’s ODA policy towards combating climate change. However, the “Greens” are careful to avoid discussing what energy resources should become the basis of industrial development in least developed countries. Berlin is interested in maintaining its place among the world’s largest donors. In the arsenal of Germany’s foreign policy tools, development assistance serves to counter from afar new threats and challenges – terrorism, conflicts and illegal migration. It can be adapted to strengthen the position of the donor in the markets, political and public life of the recipient countries. With Germany having a significant influence on the formation and financing of the EU coordinating mechanisms, the FRG’s ODA policy can, when necessary, rely on the latter. However, the Germany’s ODA policy is not without vulnerabilities. Berlin often looks like a mentor who knows what to do and how to do it, although the reality almost always turns out to be more complicated than the speculative recipes. The main weakness of this policy lies in that its conceptual framework has been built according to European patterns and so is largely out of touch with the real needs of developing countries. 

Keywords: official development assistance, recipient countries, technical assistance, sovereign loans, private investment, efficiency, anti-crisis measures, vaccination, climate protection


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For citation:
Zaritskii B. Development Assistance in German Foreign Policy. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 63-74.

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