The 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan, the U.S. law put in place after World War II to help rebuild Western European economies, comes at a time when relations between the U.S. and Germany are strained. Sudha David-Wilp, Deputy Director of the German Marshall Fund, gives her take on how Germany is using the spirit of this plan to further global cooperation in a world where the U.S. may be taking a step back.
David-Wilp explains the Marshall Plan was enacted because U.S. leaders, “had the foresight to see that in order for Europe to be peaceful, they needed a stable Germany.” The prosperity which followed this decision, David-Wilp says, is currently at risk. She notes that “the liberal international order…is under stress because of forces on both sides of the Atlantic,” listing populism, nationalism, and current world leaders as part of the problem.
Citing rhetoric like “America First” and problems within the EU itself, David-Wilp sees that transatlantic cooperation may not be the sole answer to returning Europe to its former stability. She notes, though, that Germany is well-situated to continue to tradition of international partnerships as set forth by the Marshall Plan- if it so chooses: “Germany right now is in a position to decide whether it would like to further strengthen Europe…in order to make this peace project a success.”
KCRW Berlin Visiting Talent Amanda Pridmore is a journalist participating in the German American Fulbright Commission’s Young Professional Journalist Program.