A bleak view of international relations and Germany’s place in the new world was offered by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel during his speech at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum on December 5. He spoke of how the West, liberalism and institutions like the United Nations had failed in their stated missions.

Gabriel also spoke about Germany’s strained relations with the United States under the administration of President Donald Trump.

“The US no longer sees the world as a global community, but as a fighting arena where everyone has to seek their own advantage,” Gabriel said.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Gabriel argued that German foreign policy must be more daring, and not simply follow the line from Washington.

“Germany can no longer simply react to US policy but must establish its own position…even after Trump leaves the White House, relations with the US will never be the same.”

But, Gabriel suggested, an inward-looking White House was no boon to Europe if the EU did not do enough to define its own interests.

“As the US has withdrawn from the international stage, nobody has turned to the European Union,” Gabriel argued, claiming that the bloc no longer stood for a specific set of values and accusing members of treating the EU “as if they have a second one in their hip pocket.”

“We could stand right now in front of a new nuclear arms race in Europe,” Gabriel said, unless European countries stand up for the progressive ideals they claim to represent.