Digital Diplomacy in the land of poets and thinkers


A look at the German Federal Foreign Office’s Twitter account

Germany is stunned by UK’s decision to leave the EU

Germany — the land of poets and thinkers. Today, one would more likely say the land of the automobile and the apparatus.

This statement, which is quite often heard in Germany, most likely refers to Germany’s role during the age of the enlightenment in the 18th century. It is quite known that Germany had produced some of the most distinguished musicians, poets, and philosophers of that time. To name a few, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Strauß, Johann Wolfang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Immanuel Kant, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Sticking to Lessing: When he wrote his play “Nathan the Wise (1783)”, a plea for religious tolerance, who would have thought that it would one day be used as a medium for digital diplomacy?

Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (left) and foreign minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani (right)

The above Tweet, from the German Federal Foreign Office (@GermanyDiplo), shows the German foreign minister presenting the first edition of Lessing’s play to the foreign minister of Qatar. The caption of this tweet is a powerful one indeed: “Matters of religion shouldn’t divide the people”.

A tweet as the one above, illustrates what Digital Diplomacy is all about: solving foreign policy problems with the use of the Internet.

With international and global conflicts increasing, German foreign policy is being challenged to convey important messages in 140 characters. In the following, I have included a few tweets from the German Federal Office. I hope these tweets will illustrate the best of German diplomacy.