Sunday, January 16, 2011

Germany's Growing European Hegemony

. Sunday, January 16, 2011

Once you get past the silly Merkel/Sarkozy pop psychology (basically the first page), this article on the EU is pretty strong. Here's the conclusion:

With Germany ascendant and looking both inward and eastward, Britain staying out of the euro zone and France carrying less weight, the question of German leadership is now at the fore. Germany has traditionally avoided trying to lead Europe from the front; memories from World War II, though faded, have not yet gone away in the rest of the continent. Even now, anti-German feeling is rising among Greeks, Portuguese and Spaniards, who feel abandoned, even betrayed, by Berlin.

Still, Merkel is going to have to exercise more leadership if the euro is going to be saved, even if she still hides to some degree behind France. And active German leadership of the E.U. means a clearer understanding that politically difficult compromises are going to have to be made and that money will have to be spent and promised — all in the face of growing German discontent.

John Kornblum, the former American ambassador in Berlin and still a resident there, sees a model for Germany in the United States and the way it helped keep Europe together after the war, mediating disputes and finding compromises. “The Germans don’t see it yet,” he says. “But they will have to take on the role of the United States in Europe, and have the same kind of balancing role we had for such a long time.” At that point, Germany’s marriage with France won’t matter so much anymore.


Germany's Growing European Hegemony
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