The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs 2_2013 - dr Marcin Zaborowski, dr Kacper Rękawek - ebook

The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs 2_2013 ebook

dr Marcin Zaborowski, dr Kacper Rękawek

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Ryszarda Formuszewicz

Waiting for Germany’s European Choices

The election of the 18th German Bundestag has attracted more international interest than ever. Virtually no previous German parliamentary election has been watched in Europe like this one.

Ulrike Guérot

Merkel’s European and Foreign Policy Legacy on the Eve of the German Elections: European Hegemon or Global Player?

It is not easy to judge German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s European and foreign policy, as the picture is varied after nearly eight years in power. Outside of Germany, Merkel has been consistently and repeatedly blamed for a “too little too late” attitude during the euro crisis and for her tough course of austerity, especially by the Anglo-Saxon press and in Southern European countries. In Germany, however, a large number of people, 70%, approve of her crisis management and admire her for guiding Germany with a tranquil hand quite well through the crisis.

Stefan Meister

Germany’s Russia Policy under Angela Merkel: A Balance Sheet

Germany’s Russia policy is in flux. In the past, Germany has always been an advocate of Russian interests in the European Union and a strategic partner in energy and economic cooperation. Over the last few years, though, we have observed increasing misunderstandings in bilateral relations, with both sides speaking about the same topics but having different priorities and interests.

Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer

From One Electoral Campaign to Another: Franco-German Relations in Turbulent Times

Due not only to its importance but also to the place it leaves to symbolic politics, the Franco-German relationship is often described through emotions and in a Manichaean way, alternating between a description of two close friends and a nearly divorced couple. What is the current state of the Franco-German relationship regarding its old history and what are the new factors determining it? To what extent has the window of opportunity constituted by the Élysée Treaty been affected by the national and European contexts? What are its perspectives?

Daniela Schwarzer

Germany’s Role and Strategy in the Euro Area—Determining Factors and Scenarios

Three years into the new debate on Germany in Europe, many questions remain to be settled. This article seeks to contribute to this ongoing reflection by first discussing Germany’s approaches to the management of the sovereign debt crisis and to governance reform in the euro area in order to highlight the underlying strategy, its preferences and the driving forces behind them. Second, it seeks to demystify the debate on Germany’s hegemonic strength in Europe by investigating its evolving power base. Finally, the article gives an outlook on possible upcoming challenges that German and European leaders will be facing with regard to European integration.

Marek A. Cichocki

German Policies Vis-a-Vis Baltic Sea Region Challenges

The policies pursued by Berlin have been increasingly focused on the Baltic Sea region, particularly in recent years. The reasons underlying such a state of affairs include the obvious interests of the Baltic coast, northern Länder of the Federal Republic—Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg and Hamburg—whose role and importance in the formation of pan-German policies have been clearly growing since the reunification of Germany. This has been clearly demonstrated by the involvement of the federal government to the benefit of the shipyard industry, development of port and transport infrastructure, as well as a comprehensive approach to social and economic development of the German coast along the Baltic.

Patrycja Sokołowska

Germany’s Foreign and Security Policy in the Western Balkans under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Leadership: Current Situation and Prospects

One is forced to wonder about Germany’s current motives and its future involvement in the Western Balkan under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership. In this context, the article aims to analyse the instruments of German involvement in the region under the government of the Grand Coalition of CDU/CSU-SPD and the CDU/CSU-FDP coalition of 2005–2013.


Ola Cichowlas

In Russia, It Is Deja-vu All Over Again: How Russians Fell Back in Love with the KGB and Stalin


Wojciech Lorenz

Robert Kupiecki: Siła i solidarność. Strategia NATO 1949–1989 (Strength and Solidarity: NATO Strategy 1949–1989)

Alejandra Álvarez, Kinga Brudzińska

Gustavo A. Flores-Macías: After Neoliberalism? The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America


PISM Director Marcin Zaborowski Interviews Lee A. Feinstein, former U.S. Ambassador to Poland

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Liczba stron: 257

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© Co­py­ri­ght by Pol­ski In­sty­tut Spraw Mię­dzy­na­ro­do­wych, War­sza­wa 2013

Edi­tor-in-chief: Mar­cin Za­bo­row­ski

Ma­na­ging edi­tor: Kac­per Rę­ka­wek

Copy edi­tor: Brien Bar­nett

Pro­ofre­ading: Ka­ta­rzy­na Sta­niew­ska

Co­ver de­sign: Mal­wi­na Kühn

Ty­pe­set: Do­ro­ta Do­łę­gow­ska


Ry­szar­da For­mu­sze­wicz–ana­lyst at the Po­lish In­sti­tu­te of In­ter­na­tio­nal Af­fa­irs

Ulri­ke Gu­érot–re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve for Ger­ma­ny and Se­nior Po­li­cy Fel­low at the Eu­ro­pe­an Co­un­cil for

Fo­re­ign Re­la­tions

Ste­fan Me­ister–pro­gram­me of­fi­cer at the Cen­ter for Cen­tral and Eastern Eu­ro­pe, Ger­man Co­un­cil of Fo­re­ign Re­la­tions (DGAP)

Yann-Sven Rit­tel­mey­er–re­se­arch fel­low at In­sti­tut fra­nça­is des re­la­tions in­ter­na­tio­na­les (IFRI) Da­nie­la Schwa­rzer–Fritz Thys­sen Fel­low, Pro­gram on Trans­atlan­tic Re­la­tions; Head of Di­vi­sion, EU In­te­gra­tion, Ger­man In­sti­tu­te for In­ter­na­tio­nal and Se­cu­ri­ty Af­fa­irs (SWP), Ber­lin Ma­rek A. Ci­choc­ki–re­se­arch di­rec­tor at Na­to­lin Eu­ro­pe­an Cen­tre and edi­tor-in-chief of the pe­rio­di­cal “New Eu­ro­pe. Na­to­lin Re­view”

Pa­try­cja So­ko­łow­ska–ad­vi­ser to the Se­cre­ta­ry of Sta­te at the Of­fi­ce of the Ple­ni­po­ten­tia­ry of the Pri­me Mi­ni­ster for In­ter­na­tio­nal Dia­lo­gue, Chan­cel­le­ry of the Pri­me Mi­ni­ster

Pu­bli­sher: Pol­ski In­sty­tut Spraw Mię­dzy­na­ro­do­wych (The Po­lish In­sti­tu­te of In­ter­na­tio­nal Af­fa­irs) ul. Wa­rec­ka 1a, 00-950 War­sza­wa; tel. +48 22 556 80 00; fax +48 22 556 80 99; e-mail: [email protected]

ISSN 1230-4999

The views expres­sed in The Po­lish Qu­ar­ter­ly of In­ter­na­tio­nal Af­fa­irs are so­le­ly tho­se of the au­thors.

The Po­lish Qu­ar­ter­ly of In­ter­na­tio­nal Af­fa­irs is re­gu­lar­ly pre­sen­ted in the ca­ta­lo­gue of In­ter­na­tio­nal Cur­rent Awa­re­ness Se­rvi­ces, in Ulrich’s In­ter­na­tio­nal Pe­rio­di­cal Di­rec­to­ry, and in In­ter­na­tio­nal Po­li­ti­cal Scien­ce Abs­tracts/Do­cu­men­ta­tion Po­li­ti­que In­ter­na­tio­na­le. Se­lec­ted ar­tic­les are in­c­lu­ded in the In­ter­na­tio­nal Bi­blio­gra­phy of the So­cial Scien­ces.

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RYSZARDA FORMUSZEWICZWaiting for Germany’s European Choices

I want Ger­ma­ny to as­su­me its le­ader­ship role in Eu­ro­pe.

I want Ger­ma­ny to con­tri­bu­te to the uni­ty of Eu­ro­pe and not its di­vi­sion.

An­ge­la Mer­kel in her spe­ech “Quo Va­dis, Ger­ma­ny?” on the An­ni­ver­sa­ry of Reu­ni­fi­ca­tion in 20031

A de­ca­de ago, when Ger­ma­ny was the “sick man of Eu­ro­pe,” an am­bi­tio­us op­po­si­tion le­ader gave one of her most im­por­tant spe­eches, asking in lo­fty to­nes “Quo va­dis, Ger­ma­ny?” Du­ring the euro cri­sis, this qu­estion has been di­rec­ted back to An­ge­la Mer­kel from all across Eu­ro­pe. In the in­te­rve­ning years, Ger­ma­ny has been ra­ised to the po­si­tion of top EU eco­no­my and a po­li­ti­cal po­wer­ho­use, so the de­fi­ni­tion of Ger­ma­ny’s role in Eu­ro­pe has aga­in be­co­me cru­cial.

The eu­ro­zo­ne tur­mo­il has left its mark on Mer­kel’s se­cond term as chan­cel­lor and her first as head of a black-yel­low go­vern­ment. Yet it was not the first time for Mer­kel at the helm of a Eu­ro­pe strug­gling with a cri­sis. When Ger­ma­ny held the ro­ta­ting EU pre­si­den­cy in 2007 du­ring her first term, this time with a grand co­ali­tion, Mer­kel struck a deal over­co­ming the bloc’s re­form de­adlock and pa­ving the way for the Lis­bon Tre­aty. On that oc­ca­sion, Ger­man le­ader­ship was ba­sed on a for­mal Eu­ro­pe­an man­da­te and it ear­ned a bro­adly po­si­ti­ve ver­dict. The si­tu­ation in 2013 co­uld har­dly be more dif­fe­rent – tur­bu­len­ce in the eu­ro­zo­ne has expo­sed con­tra­dic­tions in the Ger­man at­ti­tu­de to­wards the Eu­ro­pe­an Union and the fu­tu­re of Eu­ro­pe­an in­te­gra­tion. The pres­su­re from part­ners expec­ting a com­mit­ment to jo­int ac­tion and so­li­da­ri­ty has cla­shed with Ger­ma­ny’s eco­no­mic in­te­re­sts. As a re­sult, the jo­int Eu­ro­pe­an stra­te­gy to over­co­me the cri­sis is be­ing for­ged only with much he­si­ta­tion and nu­me­ro­us de­lays. The con­stant wait for Ger­ma­ny’s next move has be­co­me the le­it­mo­tif of Eu­ro­pe’s at­tempts to over­co­me its cur­rent dif­fi­cul­ties.

Aga­inst this back­drop, the elec­tion of the 18th Ger­man Bun­de­stag has at­trac­ted more in­ter­na­tio­nal in­te­rest than ever. Vir­tu­al­ly no pre­vio­us Ger­man par­lia­men­ta­ry elec­tion has been wat­ched in Eu­ro­pe like this one. The Ger­man elec­to­ra­te’s cho­ices abo­ut Eu­ro­pe as well as the ef­fects of Eu­ro­pe­an in­flu­en­ces on the co­un­try’s po­li­ti­cal pro­ces­ses are most cle­ar­ly evi­den­ced in the sel­fim­po­sed qu­iet of the once omni­pre­sent di­scus­sion on the ma­na­ge­ment of the cri­sis and its im­pact on the eco­no­mic con­di­tion of the eu­ro­zo­ne and its pro­spects. Whi­le wa­iting for the Ger­man vo­ters’ de­ci­sion, va­rio­us expec­ta­tions have been ra­ised and po­li­ti­cal cal­cu­la­tions made. The­se are ba­sed on the as­sump­tion that once the elec­tions are held, the go­vern­ment in Ber­lin will be free to take new steps to re­so­lve the cri­sis. Qu­estion marks ho­ver over the co­un­try’s stra­te­gic in­ten­tions as to the fu­tu­re of the Eu­ro­pe­an Union and the re­so­lu­tion of the euro cri­sis. Pun­dits ask how the com­po­si­tion of the fu­tu­re co­ali­tion will in­flu­en­ce fur­ther steps to­wards Eu­ro­pe­an in­te­gra­tion and so­li­da­ri­ty.

Ne­ver­the­less, tho­se who expec­ted a deep elec­to­ral de­ba­te on the le­ading role of Ger­ma­ny may feel di­sap­po­in­ted. Ad­mit­te­dly, the Fe­de­ral Go­vern­ment has made some ef­forts to im­pro­ve the di­mi­ni­shed re­pu­ta­tion both at home and abro­ad. Mer­kel ho­sted a high-le­vel con­fe­ren­ce in Ber­lin de­vo­ted to the re­duc­tion of youth unem­ploy­ment, an is­sue par­ti­cu­lar­ly im­por­tant to So­uthern Eu­ro­pe whe­re the high rate of young pe­ople wi­tho­ut work is ascri­bed to an au­ste­ri­ty co­ur­se im­po­sed by Ger­ma­ny. Ger­man Fi­nan­ce Mi­ni­ster Wol­fgang Schäu­ble went to Gre­ece, whe­re he is so­me­thing of a hate fi­gu­re, to “express Ger­man con­fi­den­ce and sup­port” for the cri­sis-hit co­un­try. Ge­ne­ral­ly tho­ugh, Eu­ro­pe has not be­co­me a pro­mi­nent to­pic of the cam­pa­ign.

The sim­ple fact is that the main po­li­ti­cal for­ces are not tru­ly in­te­re­sted in com­pe­ting over Eu­ro­pe­an is­su­es. The CDU’s fo­cus re­ma­ins on the per­so­na­li­ty of Chan­cel­lor Mer­kel, who en­joys high sup­port de­spi­te her eight years in po­wer. This po­pu­la­ri­ty owes much to her stic­king by her prin­ci­ples in de­aling with the eu­ro­zo­ne debt cri­sis, in­c­lu­ding by pres­sing in­deb­ted eu­ro­zo­ne mem­bers to car­ry out au­ste­ri­ty me­asu­res as well as re­si­sting ra­di­cal pro­po­sals such as Eu­ro­bonds. Ho­we­ver, cam­pa­igning on tho­se same Eu­ro­pe­an is­su­es co­uld hi­gh­li­ght the dif­fe­ren­ces in opi­nion wi­thin the ru­ling co­ali­tion and re­mind vo­ters of so-cal­led red li­nes that were la­ter cros­sed. The li­be­ral co­ali­tion part­ner, FDP, ga­ined lit­tle by in­stru­men­ta­li­sing Eu­ro­pe­an is­su­es in the elec­tion cam­pa­ign in Ber­lin in Sep­tem­ber 2011. Fur­ther­mo­re, the two go­ver­ning par­ties want to avo­id a di­scus­sion of the real co­sts of the cri­sis.

Me­an­whi­le, the SPD is re­luc­tant to pre­sent a cle­ar and co­nvin­cing al­ter­na­ti­ve to the go­vern­ment’s stra­te­gy. The So­cial De­mo­crats can­not pro­per­ly di­stan­ce them­se­lves from the go­vern­ment’s co­ur­se on cri­sis ma­na­ge­ment wi­tho­ut ri­sking the­ir own cre­di­bi­li­ty. The SPD, after all, has gi­ven Mer­kel for­mal ap­pro­val for all of the re­la­ted me­asu­res vo­ted in the Bun­de­stag to date. Cam­pa­igning on do­me­stic to­pics (so­cial ju­sti­ce, tax, so­cial se­cu­ri­ty, cri­ti­cism of co­stly elec­to­ral pro­mi­ses made by the CDU) or using the re­ve­la­tions abo­ut bug­ging by the NSA, the Ame­ri­can spy agen­cy, are more pro­mi­sing tac­tics par­tly be­cau­se of the elec­to­ra­te’s as­ses­sment of the par­ties’ exper­ti­se in de­aling with the euro cri­sis. Of all re­spon­dents in a re­cent poll, 45% at­tri­bu­te the best com­pe­ten­ce in this area to the Chri­stian De­mo­crats and the chan­cel­lor, whi­le only 14% cite the SPD, de­spi­te the pro­fes­sio­nal pro­fi­le and expe­rien­ce of the main can­di­da­te, Peer Ste­in­brück.2

The de­ci­si­ve re­ason for mi­ni­mi­sing the Eu­ro­pe­an com­po­nent du­ring the elec­to­ral cam­pa­ign, ho­we­ver, is pro­ba­bly the new­ly-fo­un­ded anti-euro par­ty cal­led, pro­vo­ca­ti­ve­ly, Al­ter­na­ti­ves for Ger­ma­ny (AfD) – a cle­ar al­lu­sion to the “the­re-is-no-al­ter­na­ti­ve” ju­sti­fi­ca­tion of the go­vern­ment’s cri­sis ma­na­ge­ment. In its unu­su­al­ly short elec­tion ma­ni­fe­sto, this new­co­mer to the Ger­man po­li­ti­cal sce­ne ad­vo­ca­tes an or­der­ly dis­so­lu­tion of the eu­ro­zo­ne. The par­ty’s fo­un­ding me­eting was held in mid-April in Ber­lin and en­joy­ed si­gni­fi­cant pu­blic at­ten­tion and wide me­dia co­ve­ra­ge, which la­sted for a whi­le but has now vi­si­bly de­cre­ased. The re­la­ti­ve pu­bli­ci­ty suc­cess at the start came be­cau­se of two im­por­tant am­pli­fiers: the Cy­prus ba­ilo­ut and the pu­bli­ca­tion after­wards of an ECB su­rvey on the we­alth of Eu­ro­pe­an ho­use­holds, which sho­wed Ger­man ho­use­holds were amongst the po­orest. Both is­su­es pro­vi­ded fuel for he­ated di­scus­sions abo­ut bur­den-sha­ring du­ring the euro cri­sis and play­ed into the hands of the AfD. In the me­an­ti­me tho­ugh, the no­vel­ty-ap­pe­al has de­ple­ted and the anti-Eu­ro­pe­an sen­ti­ment in the Ger­man so­cie­ty has pro­ved to be in­suf­fi­cient. Ha­ving lost mo­men­tum, the new par­ty ho­vers at aro­und 2-3%, far be­low the 5% thre­shold for the Bun­de­stag. The con­ta­in­ment tac­tic ad­op­ted by the ma­in­stre­am par­ties – wor­ried abo­ut the swing vo­ter risk–se­ems to have wor­ked well.

Eu­ro­pe in Elec­tion Ma­ni­fe­stos

The po­li­ti­cal ma­ni­fe­stos of the Ger­man par­ties of­fe­red no sur­pri­ses as far as Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy is con­cer­ned. They keep to fa­mi­liar pa­ths and re­con­firm pre­sent stan­ces. Yet, even if the main par­ties to­ned down the­ir tre­at­ment of Eu­ro­pe­an is­su­es, that does not mean that the op­por­tu­ni­ty to uphold the­ir own pro-Eu­ro­pe­an ima­ge was wa­sted, in par­ti­cu­lar by la­bel­ling them­se­lves as “Eu­ro­pe­an par­ties.” The CDU and CSU put a com­mit­ment to Eu­ro­pe and the euro at the be­gin­ning of the­ir ma­ni­fe­sto.3 The pro­gram­me for Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy, ho­we­ver, de­li­vers no­thing more than con­fir­ma­tion of cur­rent po­li­cy. What is re­co­gni­sa­ble is the re­luc­tan­ce to red li­nes–evi­den­ce of les­sons le­arnt after many were pre­vio­usly an­no­un­ced then sub­se­qu­en­tly aban­do­ned. That said, an excep­tion is made in the case of Eu­ro­bonds and also in the re­jec­tion of a com­mon Eu­ro­pe­an ban­king de­po­sit gu­aran­tee sche­me as part of a ban­king union. The two par­ties say that su­per­vi­sion by the Eu­ro­pe­an Cen­tral Bank sho­uld be li­mi­ted to lar­ge, sys­te­mi­cal­ly-im­por­tant banks, and de­mand that in­di­vi­du­al Mem­ber Sta­tes and the Eu­ro­pe­an Com­mis­sion must agree on a pact on com­pe­ti­ti­ve­ness. A more de­ta­iled con­cept of Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy, in par­ti­cu­lar as to the vi­sion of a fu­tu­re po­li­ti­cal union, will be pre­sen­ted by the CDU and CSU la­ter in the run-up to the elec­tion to the Eu­ro­pe­an Par­lia­ment.

The cur­rent co­ali­tion part­ner, the FDP, tho­ugh this time not cle­ar­ly the Chri­stian De­mo­crats’ pre­fer­red part­ner unli­ke in 2009, wo­uld se­cu­re the sta­bi­li­ty of the EU via sanc­tions for exces­si­ve na­tio­nal debt.4 The Li­be­ral ma­ni­fe­sto gave a cle­ar “no” to Eu­ro­bonds and to a re­demp­tion fund for old debts, whi­le the Eu­ro­pe­an Sta­bi­li­ty Me­cha­nism is tre­ated as a tem­po­ra­ry so­lu­tion. The par­ty sug­ge­sts that ru­les for sta­te in­so­lven­cy sho­uld be ela­bo­ra­ted, ad­vo­ca­tes a strict se­pa­ra­tion of the ECB’s func­tions in mo­ne­ta­ry po­li­cy and su­per­vi­sion, and is aga­inst a com­mon Eu­ro­pe­an ban­king-de­po­sit gu­aran­tee sche­me and the sin­gle-re­so­lu­tion me­cha­nism. The Li­be­rals also ma­in­ta­in the­ir op­po­si­tion to Eu­ro­pe­an ta­xes. As far as the EU’s in­sti­tu­tio­nal fra­me­work is con­cer­ned, the FPD ad­vo­ca­tes for a smal­ler but more ef­fi­cient Eu­ro­pe­an Com­mis­sion and fo­re­se­es a fe­de­ra­tion that sho­uld be le­gi­ti­mi­sed by a Eu­ro­pe-wide re­fe­ren­dum and come equ­ip­ped with two par­lia­men­ta­ry ho­uses in the form of the EP and the Co­un­cil. The Li­be­rals call for a co­urt to de­ci­de if the sub­si­dia­ri­ty prin­ci­ple has been ob­se­rved.

Com­mit­ted to a “So­cial Eu­ro­pe,” the So­cial De­mo­crats cri­ti­ci­se the go­vern­ment pro­gram­me for an au­ste­ri­ty-dri­ven co­ur­se in the cri­sis ma­na­ge­ment of the eu­ro­zo­ne that puts de­mo­cra­cy at risk.5 The par­ty ad­vo­ca­tes bo­osting growth and in­cre­asing so­cial spen­ding. Eu­ro­bonds are not men­tio­ned but the SPD sup­ports a Eu­ro­pe­an debt fund and pro­po­ses “pro­ject bonds” to fi­nan­ce com­mon Eu­ro­pe­an in­ve­st­ments. Banks wo­uld still be held at gun­po­int and sho­uld pay more in the event of fu­tu­re cri­ses. The re­so­lu­tion fund and au­tho­ri­ty sho­uld be fi­nan­ced by a bank levy, ac­cor­ding to the SPD ma­ni­fe­sto, and ECB su­per­vi­sion wo­uld be only a tem­po­ra­ry so­lu­tion–cre­ating a se­pa­ra­te in­sti­tu­tion is a bet­ter option. The So­cial De­mo­crats sup­port gre­ater har­mo­ni­sa­tion of Eu­ro­pe­an la­bo­ur, eco­no­mic, fi­nan­cial, tax and in­ve­st­ment po­li­cies. With re­fe­ren­ce to the EU’s in­sti­tu­tio­nal fra­me­work, me­an­whi­le, the SPD calls for the full par­lia­men­ta­ri­sa­tion of the EU and for Eu­ro­pe­an eco­no­mic go­vern­ment. The SPD con­si­ders, as do The Gre­ens–a po­ten­tial SPD and CDU co­ali­tion part­ner–the po­ssi­bi­li­ty to re­pa­tria­te po­wers from the EU back to the Mem­ber Sta­tes.

Cle­ar­ly pro-Eu­ro­pe­an, The Gre­ens is the only par­ty that expli­ci­tly men­tions Eu­ro­bonds as well as the debt re­demp­tion fund, which it ad­vo­ca­tes de­spi­te the cri­ti­cal stan­ce of the Ger­man elec­to­ra­te.6 One sho­uld bear in mind, ho­we­ver, that sup­port for the com­mon cur­ren­cy is hi­ghest amongst vo­ters of this par­ty. The Gre­ens want the ECB to be de­mo­cra­ti­cal­ly ac­co­un­ta­ble and they wo­uld like to see a true ban­king union. The ma­ni­fe­sto po­ints at the need for the es­ta­bli­sh­ment of an in­de­pen­dent ra­tings agen­cy as well as the in­tro­duc­tion of sta­te-in­so­lven­cy ru­les. The se­pa­ra­tion of com­mer­cial and in­ve­st­ment ban­king is de­man­ded as along­si­de a “debt bra­ke” for banks. The par­ty also ad­vo­ca­tes a “tax pact” and wants to see the Com­mis­sio­ner for Eco­no­mic and Mo­ne­ta­ry Af­fa­irs be­co­me the Eu­ro­gro­up chief. Fur­ther­mo­re, in re­la­tion to the fur­ther in­te­gra­tion pro­cess, the par­ty calls for a Eu­ro­pe­an co­nven­tion with the par­ti­ci­pa­tion of re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves of ci­vil so­cie­ty and so­cial part­ners, and for Eu­ro­pe-wide re­fe­ren­dums.

Re­con­si­de­ring the Va­lue of Eu­ro­pe­an In­te­gra­tion

The po­li­ti­cal chal­len­ges of euro sta­bi­li­sa­tion with an in­cre­asing need for pu­blic bac­king as well as calls for the in­tro­duc­tion of re­fe­ren­dums in Ger­ma­ny (which are now le­gal­ly li­mi­ted on the fe­de­ral le­vel to chan­ges of the con­sti­tu­tion or of sta­te ter­ri­to­ry) put the spo­tli­ght more and more on the po­pu­lar at­ti­tu­des to the “Eu­ro­pe­an pro­ject” in Ger­ma­ny. A po­si­ti­ve side ef­fect of the euro cri­sis has been in­cre­ased po­pu­lar in­te­rest in Eu­ro­pe­an is­su­es, re­flec­ted by wi­der me­dia co­ve­ra­ge in par­ti­cu­lar of hot­beds of cri­sis that have ap­pe­ared, star­ting with Gre­ece. The pu­blic’s ra­ther cri­ti­cal stan­ce at first in­flu­en­ced the re­adi­ness of Mer­kel’s go­vern­ment to en­ga­ge in cri­sis ma­na­ge­ment. Ger­man so­cie­ty has un­der­go­ne a sur­pri­sing evo­lu­tion in at­ti­tu­de abo­ut the EU in re­cent years, as pro­ven by su­rveys by the Al­lens­bach In­sti­tu­te.7 Sin­ce 2002, when 49% of re­spon­dents dec­la­red a high de­gree of trust in the EU, the mood has con­ti­nu­ously drop­ped to re­ach 24% in 2011. From that mo­ment, ho­we­ver, the num­ber of Ger­mans tru­sting the EU rose aga­in and re­ached 33% in 2013–the same as in 2007. The num­ber of tho­se who di­strust the EU in­cre­ased to 68% in 2011 but drop­ped in 2013 to 60%. This shift wi­thin Ger­man so­cie­ty can be il­lu­stra­ted even bet­ter by su­rvey re­sults con­cer­ning the for­mer Ger­man cur­ren­cy, the Deut­sch­mark. The num­ber of tho­se who wo­uld pre­fer the old cur­ren­cy has sin­ce 2002 (when it was 54% of re­spon­dents) con­stan­tly exce­eded the le­vel of sup­port for the euro. Ho­we­ver, in 2011 a tur­ning po­int was re­ached with an even split of 44% each way. In 2013, the num­ber of re­spon­dents say­ing they fa­vo­ured the euro rose to 50%, com­pa­red to the 35% no­stal­gic for the old cur­ren­cy. One co­uld fur­ther pa­ra­ph­ra­se the qu­estion asked by Mer­kel in her spe­ech in 2003: what wo­uld Ger­ma­ny be mis­sing if Eu­ro­pe had not been uni­ted? Ac­cor­ding to the Eu­ro­ba­ro­me­ter su­rvey, if asked abo­ut the most po­si­ti­ve re­sult of the Eu­ro­pe­an Union, 71% of Ger­man re­spon­dents po­int at pe­ace among the Mem­ber Sta­tes (the EU ave­ra­ge is 50%), fol­lo­wed by the free mo­ve­ment of pe­ople, go­ods and se­rvi­ces wi­thin the EU with 62% (EU ave­ra­ge, 52%) and in third, the euro with 38% (EU ave­ra­ge, 25%).8

The chan­ging so­cial at­ti­tu­de to the Eu­ro­pe­an pro­ject has been in­ter­pre­ted as a re­sult of the euro cri­sis and a new cla­ri­ty abo­ut how much is at sta­ke. Ne­ver­the­less, Ger­man pu­blic sen­ti­ment dif­fers fun­da­men­tal­ly from the rest of Eu­ro­pe. Ac­cor­ding to a Pew Re­se­arch Cen­ter su­rvey of eight Eu­ro­pe­an Union na­tions, Ger­mans feel bet­ter than other re­spon­dents abo­ut the cur­rent sta­te of the eco­no­my (by 66 po­ints over the EU me­dian), abo­ut pro­spects for the eco­no­my (by 12 po­ints), abo­ut the Eu­ro­pe­an Union (by 17 po­ints), abo­ut the im­pact of Eu­ro­pe­an in­te­gra­tion (by 28 po­ints) and fi­nal­ly abo­ut the­ir own le­ader­ship (by 48 po­ints).9 This per­cep­tion gap co­uld si­gni­fi­can­tly in­flu­en­ce the next im­por­tant vote–the elec­tion to the Eu­ro­pe­an Par­lia­ment in May 2014.

ULRIKE GUÉROTMerkel’s European and Foreign Policy Legacy on the Eve of the German Elections: European Hegemon or Global Player?10

In­tro­duc­to­ry Re­marks and Ba­sic Qu­estions

It is not easy to jud­ge Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­ge­la Mer­kel’s Eu­ro­pe­an and fo­re­ign po­li­cy, as the pic­tu­re is va­ried after ne­ar­ly eight years in po­wer. Out­si­de of Ger­ma­ny, Mer­kel has been con­si­sten­tly and re­pe­ate­dly bla­med for a “too lit­tle too late” at­ti­tu­de du­ring the euro cri­sis and for her to­ugh co­ur­se of au­ste­ri­ty, espe­cial­ly by the An­glo-Sa­xon press and in So­uthern Eu­ro­pe­an co­un­tries. In Ger­ma­ny, ho­we­ver, a lar­ge num­ber of pe­ople, 70%, ap­pro­ve of her cri­sis ma­na­ge­ment and ad­mi­re her for gu­iding Ger­ma­ny with a tra­nqu­il hand qu­ite well thro­ugh the cri­sis.11 In­te­re­stin­gly eno­ugh, in eight of all Eu­ro­pe­an co­un­tries, Mer­kel ranks first in po­pu­la­ri­ty.12 Among many Eu­ro­pe­an le­aders and co­un­tries, on the other hand, she is both fe­ared and di­sli­ked. Mer­kel her­self is (still) a my­ste­ry to many. Ger­man Eu­ro­pe­an and fo­re­ign po­li­cy is ano­ther my­ste­ry. “Is the­re any?” co­uld be the first qu­estion. If the­re is one, it is one of the chan­cel­le­ry and not of the fo­re­ign mi­ni­stry which has not been in the dri­ving seat for Ger­man Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy in re­cent years.13

One of the most often he­ard cri­ti­ci­sms is that Mer­kel is a prag­ma­tic per­son dri­ven only and exc­lu­si­ve­ly by the de­si­re to ma­in­ta­in her po­wer. In May 2010 she post­po­ned a sa­fe­ty-pac­ka­ge for Gre­ece–ri­sking the unra­vel­ling of the euro – be­cau­se of elec­tions in the Fe­de­ral Sta­te of North-Rhi­ne-We­st­pha­lia. Only a year la­ter, this time be­cau­se of elec­tions in the Fe­de­ral Sta­te of Ba­den-Würt­tem­berg, she made Ger­ma­ny abs­ta­in from jo­ining the West when it came time to vote in the Uni­ted Na­tions Se­cu­ri­ty Co­un­cil on Re­so­lu­tion 1973 on Li­bya. This de­ci­sion is pro­ba­bly the Ger­man fo­re­ign po­li­cy cho­ice in re­cent years that has trig­ge­red the most po­ssi­ble asto­ni­sh­ment, if not even an­ger in the We­stern world, espe­cial­ly the U.S.14 Ger­ma­ny had be­co­me unre­lia­ble and was in a nor­ma­ti­ve way sort of no lon­ger part of the West. Ger­ma­ny as a BRIC was the qu­estion of the mo­ment.15 New Ger­man pro­vin­cia­lism was ano­ther way to look at it.16 Whe­re­as in the who­le Cold War era, fo­re­ign po­li­cy was ba­si­cal­ly struc­tu­ring Ger­man do­me­stic po­li­cy, Ger­man do­me­stic po­li­cy has–sin­ce reu­ni­fi­ca­tion in 1989–been struc­tu­ring Ger­man fo­re­ign po­li­cy. This is in to­tal con­trast to the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s or 1980s, when qu­estions re­la­ted to The Sta­lin Note, We­st­bin­dung (an­cho­ra­ge to the West), Ely­sée-Tre­aty, the Ba­sic Tre­aty from 1972, Per­shing mis­si­le de­ploy­ment, etc., struc­tu­red and do­mi­na­ted not only elec­tions, but made chan­cel­lors fall or re­ti­re (re­mem­ber the de­fe­at of Hel­mut Schmidt in his own par­ty, when de­fen­ding the U.S. Per­shing mis­si­le de­ploy­ment in 1982?). To­day the who­le of Eu­ro­pe li­ves in the rhy­thm of Ger­man re­gio­nal elec­tions and prio­ri­ties and all eyes will be tur­ned to Ger­ma­ny in Sep­tem­ber 2013 for its ge­ne­ral elec­tions–but Ger­ma­ny se­ems no lon­ger that much di­stur­bed by what is hap­pe­ning in the out­si­de world. In short, Ger­ma­ny fe­els emp­ty of Eu­ro­pe­an or glo­bal stra­te­gy and thus, has in a way not only an unam­bi­tio­us fo­re­ign po­li­cy but also no cle­ar stra­te­gy or glo­bal Ger­man nar­ra­ti­ve or sto­ry de­tec­ta­ble nor does its ci­ti­zens. What to­day’s Ger­ma­ny stands for in the world is less cle­ar to­day than du­ring the Cold War and be­fo­re 1989. Obvio­usly, this im­pres­sion is re­invi­go­ra­ted by the glo­bal trend of in­sti­tu­tio­nal bre­ak­down or melt­down to­uching all in­ter­na­tio­nal in­sti­tu­tions, from NATO to WTO, that le­aves a huge nor­ma­ti­ve po­li­ti­cal va­cu­um in fo­re­ign po­li­cy and in­ter­na­tio­nal re­la­tions, and which is an expres­sion for the cur­rent glo­bal shift from geo­stra­te­gy to geo-eco­no­mic and the loss of pri­ma­cy of po­li­tics and stra­te­gy in fo­re­ign re­la­tions.

As a con­se­qu­en­ce, Ger­ma­ny vi­si­bly se­ems to have, to a lar­ge extent, re­pla­ced fo­re­ign po­li­cy with tra­de po­li­cy, if not tra­de alo­ne (wi­tho­ut po­li­cy). The re­la­tion­ship goes whe­re Ger­man exports goes (espe­cial­ly to Chi­na), whe­re­as be­fo­re 1989 one pa­ra­digm of Ger­man fo­re­ign po­li­cy was that the most im­por­tant tra­de part­ners sho­uld also be the best stra­te­gic al­lies and vice-ver­sa.17 Thus, the strong Ger­man eco­no­mic po­wer and we­ight in the world to­day has no cle­ar nor­ma­ti­ve bin­ding that wo­uld be re­co­gni­sa­ble to its part­ners, nor does the third lar­gest eco­no­my in the world have any uni­ver­sal go­als to which it wo­uld de­di­ca­te this eco­no­mic strength.18 The dre­am be­hind is the one of a “big Swit­zer­land,” a co­un­try that wants bu­si­ness (in­c­lu­ding an in­cre­asin­gly cri­ti­ci­sed arms bu­si­ness that ranks Ger­ma­ny the third big­gest arms expor­ter worl­dwi­de) wi­tho­ut en­ga­ge­ment, that wants to be lo­ved and ad­mi­red for its won­der­ful cars and en­gi­ne­ering ma­chi­nes, that does not harm any­bo­dy and that wo­uld love to, as the Ger­man say­ing goes, “in-Ruhe-ge­las­sen-wer­den” (“to be left in pe­ace”). No, Ger­ma­ny does not want to go­vern Eu­ro­pe, nor to rule the world. With re­spect to Eu­ro­pe, it only wo­uld love eve­ry­bo­dy to obey the ru­les; and in the world, it wo­uld love to take se­cond pla­ce, best in each do­ma­in but wi­tho­ut be­ing ul­ti­ma­te­ly re­spon­si­ble. The real pro­blem to­day is that Ger­ma­ny is too big and too im­por­tant for such a “Swiss dre­am.” The co­un­try’s eli­te are slow­ly co­ming to grasp its core dif­fi­cul­ty: Ger­ma­ny has a pro­blem with po­wer as it has been tau­ght for five po­stwar de­ca­des that it bet­ter re­fra­in from po­wer, stra­te­gy, and abo­ve all, use of its mi­li­ta­ry. Ger­ma­ny is to­day thus de­aling with a he­ge­mo­ny pro­blem in Eu­ro­pe, pro­du­ced by the euro cri­sis, and its in­cre­asing im­por­tan­ce that it did not ask for and that co­mes to its own sur­pri­se–and which it can­not han­dle. Ne­ither its eli­tes nor its ci­ti­zens are ac­cu­sto­med to this new fo­cus on Ger­ma­ny; they both need to get acqu­ain­ted. The­re is an obvio­us lack of a stra­te­gic com­mu­ni­ty in Ger­ma­ny that wo­uld com­bi­ne the eco­no­mic we­ight of the co­un­try to­ge­ther with a glo­bal vi­sion.

This is pre­ci­se­ly why Ger­man fo­re­ign po­li­cy to­day se­ems at best ran­dom and in se­arch of a stra­te­gy. The­re are arms sa­les (Sau­di Ara­bia)19 but no mi­li­ta­ry en­ga­ge­ment (Li­bya, Mali). The­re is Ger­man par­ti­ci­pa­tion in the EU mis­sion to fi­ght pi­ra­cy near the Horn of Afri­ca (EU­CAP Ne­stor)20 and pro­tec­ting tra­de ships, but in 2010 Ger­man Pre­si­dent Horst Köh­ler had to re­ti­re be­cau­se he said that it was in the in­te­rest of Ger­ma­ny to de­fend tra­de ro­utes in the Far East.21

The he­si­ta­tion to deal in a na­tu­ral way with po­wer, in­c­lu­ding mi­li­ta­ry po­wer, has obvio­us hi­sto­ri­cal re­asons. The de­ra­il­ment, the Ger­man hu­bris in its use of po­wer in the 20th cen­tu­ry and the ni­ght­ma­re this cau­sed for the en­ti­re con­ti­nent has cre­ated for five de­ca­des a “cul­tu­re of re­se­rve” (“eine Kul­tur der Zu­rüc­khal­tung”). In other words, Ger­ma­ny has been tau­ght, ma­in­ly by the U.S., to stay away from po­wer, away from the use of mi­li­ta­ry for­ces and away from le­ading. Ger­ma­ny has been tau­ght to keep stra­te­gy out of its vo­ca­bu­la­ry. The pro­blem is that many in Eu­ro­pe to­day expect le­ader­ship from Ger­ma­ny, as Po­lish Fo­re­ign Mi­ni­ster Ra­do­sław Si­kor­ski expres­sed in his po­wer­ful spe­ech in No­vem­ber 2011: “I fear Ger­man po­wer less than I am be­gin­ning to fear its in­ac­ti­vi­ty.”22 Who co­uld have ima­gi­ned half a cen­tu­ry ago this co­ming from the mo­uth of a Pole?

Ne­edless to say that what is hap­pe­ning–or has al­re­ady hap­pe­ned–du­ring the Mer­kel era is that Ger­ma­ny, un­der both the in­flu­en­ce of uni­fi­ca­tion and the in­flu­en­ce of glo­ba­li­sa­tion, has grown out of its two key fo­re­ign po­li­cy pa­ra­digms of 1949 and 1989, Yal­ta and Ma­astricht, be­cau­se the co­un­try, Eu­ro­pe and the world have chan­ged so much. After be­ing temp­ted in re­cent mon­ths and years to go glo­bal alo­ne,23 the cho­ice Ger­ma­ny fa­ces on the eve of its fe­de­ral elec­tions is either to de­fi­ni­te­ly wind it­self out of the­se in­sti­tu­tio­nal and nor­ma­ti­ve de­ter­mi­na­tions from the past and de­fi­ne a glo­bal stra­te­gy for it­self or roll back from uni­la­te­ral glo­bal am­bi­tions and re­adjust its re­la­tion­ship with Eu­ro­pe on a more se­rio­us ba­sis by opting for (small, but) de­fi­ni­te steps to­wards more eco­no­mic, fi­scal and po­li­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion, and by the same to­ken, re­con­fir­ming its re­la­tion­ship with the U.S. This wo­uld most pro­mi­nen­tly be laun­ched thro­ugh the Trans­atlan­tic Tra­de and In­ve­st­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP), which has just been an­no­un­ced,24 in or­der to re­invi­go­ra­te the West and to make it fit for a glo­ba­li­sed and mul­ti­po­lar world. This ar­tic­le will ar­gue that the lat­ter option is the one the Ger­man stra­te­gy is now ta­king. To for­mu­la­te it in a more sub­tle way: Ger­ma­ny will aga­in go vi­go­ro­usly with Eu­ro­pe and the U.S. but on its own terms and wi­tho­ut re­no­un­cing the world. The fo­re­ign and Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy of Ger­ma­ny to­day is more an add-on po­li­cy than an al­ter­na­ti­ve ap­pro­ach. It is Eu­ro­pe, the West and the World. Do the one, but do not le­ave out the other.

Ger­ma­ny and Eu­ro­pe First

1. Mer­kel’s first term 2005-2009: a gro­wing na­tion, a va­ni­shing Eu­ro­pe­an dre­am. Mer­kel’s Eu­ro­pe­an and fo­re­ign po­li­cy obvio­usly ne­eds to be di­vi­ded into two pha­ses, be­fo­re and after the euro cri­sis as it is the most im­por­tant game chan­ger to Ger­man Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy. Her two le­gi­sla­ti­ve pe­riods are thus pret­ty di­stinct. Al­tho­ugh alarms were so­un­ding for a whi­le, few pre­dic­ted the out­bre­ak of the fi­nan­cial and euro cri­ses, which dra­ma­ti­cal­ly chan­ged the Eu­ro­pe­an pro­ject and Ger­ma­ny’s role in it after 2008-2009. But even be­fo­re then, tho­ugh in a much more sub­tle way, things had chan­ged ear­lier in Ger­ma­ny than was no­ti­ced.

It is fair to ar­gue that reu­ni­fi­ca­tion–we need to go back up a se­cond to this mo­ment – chan­ged Ger­ma­ny in a la­sting way, and Mer­kel’s chan­ges in fo­re­ign po­li­cy need to be read aga­inst this back­drop. Wi­tho­ut go­ing too deep into so­cio­lo­gi­cal de­ta­ils, reu­ni­fi­ca­tion chan­ged the po­li­ti­cal eli­tes: in the le­gi­sla­ti­ve pe­riod 2009-2013, only 72 of the 620 Fe­de­ral MPs had been in par­lia­ment be­fo­re 1989. This me­ans that only a few de­pu­ties po­sses­sed the in­sti­tu­tio­nal me­mo­ry of the for­mer pre-reu­ni­fi­ca­tion Fe­de­ral Re­pu­blic. This trig­ge­red a loss of hi­sto­ri­cal me­mo­ry among tho­se who en­te­red po­li­tics after 1989 (the so cal­led “Ge­ne­ra­tion ’89”), in­c­lu­ding the loss of the for­mer fo­re­ign po­li­cy pa­ra­digms. The­se pa­ra­digms, which had ap­plied for four de­ca­des, con­si­sted of the idea that trans­atlan­tic re­la­tions and Eu­ro­pe­an re­la­tions are two si­des of the same coin. In the ear­ly years, aro­und 2000, they qu­estio­ned whe­ther they had more sym­pa­thy with the U.S. or with Rus­sia, and Ger­man ci­ti­zens pro­vi­ded a re­sult of ne­ar­ly 50:50.25

Fast for­ward to the events of 9/11 and after, which also left a mark on Ger­mans who had lost the­ir in­stinc­ti­ve ali­gn­ment with the old Ame­ri­can ally–the young ge­ne­ra­tion did not know why it had to be trans­atlan­tic and, thus, pro-Bush Ju­nior26 in the first pla­ce. Ger­ma­ny wo­uld lose its in­tu­ition abo­ut its role in part­ner­ships, al­lian­ces and in­sti­tu­tions, which had be­co­me de­ba­ta­ble. The same thing hap­pe­ned to the EU, and this lar­ge­ly be­fo­re the euro cri­sis.

The “nor­ma­li­sa­tion” di­scus­sion laun­ched by Chan­cel­lor Ger­hard Schröder in 1998 af­fec­ted the way a uni­ted Ger­ma­ny tho­ught and di­scus­sed Eu­ro­pe.27 To be­co­me a “nor­mal” co­un­try in Eu­ro­pe be­ca­me the Ger­man dre­am, and it me­ant de­fen­ding the na­tio­nal in­te­rest (wha­te­ver that was). En­lar­ge­ment and the talks abo­ut the Tur­kish en­try of 2004 were the next step in Ger­mans’ alie­na­tion with the Eu­ro­pe­an pro­ject be­fo­re Mer­kel step­ped in. When she took over in Sep­tem­ber 2005, the French and Dutch had just vo­ted aga­inst the Eu­ro­pe­an con­sti­tu­tion (May 2005), and Ger­ma­ny was sort of left alo­ne with its am­bi­tions for Eu­ro­pe, if it still had any. None of this re­al­ly hap­pe­ned on pur­po­se or thro­ugh cle­ar de­ci­sions. The­re was no tur­na­ro­und in Eu­ro­pe­an po­li­cy. It was just a si­tu­ation in which no­bo­dy wo­uld hold the strings of the pro­ject and the Fran­co-Ger­man tan­dem from then star­ted to be de­fec­ti­ve.

In fact, Fran­ce star­ted aro­und 2006/7 to lag Ger­ma­ny in eco­no­mic per­for­man­ce. Ger­ma­ny was fi­nal­ly back to a 3%-de­fi­cit line in 2008, de­spi­te the co­sts of uni­fi­ca­tion, whe­re­as Fran­ce’s de­fi­cit had even in­cre­ased to some 8%.28 This eco­no­mic gap im­pac­ted the sym­me­try, and thus the po­li­ti­cal po­wer of the tan­dem for Eu­ro­pe. The tan­dem star­ted to qu­ar­rel and to com­pe­te on such things as the Me­di­ter­ra­ne­an Union, the French re­ply to the Eastern Part­ner­ship, or on French re­in­te­gra­tion into the mi­li­ta­ry struc­tu­re of NATO–Fran­ce wan­ted to out­per­form Ger­ma­ny as the most im­por­tant ju­nior ally on the Eu­ro­pe­an con­ti­nent.29

Whi­le the tra­di­tio­nal Fran­co-Ger­man con­tent­ment and Eu­ro­pe­an af­fi­lia­tions were va­ni­shing, more by de­fault than on pur­po­se, a Ger­man dre­am came true: a 3rd pla­ce fi­nish in the 2006 World Cup. It was a bre­ak­th­ro­ugh for a new, ho­we­ver in­no­cent and not po­li­ti­cal­ly dri­ven na­tio­nal fe­eling. For the first time sin­ce 1949, Ger­man flags were co­ve­ring Ger­man stre­ets and ho­uses. In 2010, the young sin­ger Lena won the Eu­ro­vi­sion Song Con­test with “Sa­tel­li­te,” re­aching a big in­ter­na­tio­nal au­dien­ce.

Thus, al­re­ady aro­und 2006 Eu­ro­pe was far away from Ger­ma­ny, po­li­ti­cal­ly as much as emo­tio­nal­ly. This hap­pe­ned much be­fo­re the in­ter­na­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ty wro­te and tho­ught that Ger­ma­ny was go­ing glo­bal alo­ne.30 Ger­ma­ny had bu­ilt a na­tio­nal iden­ti­ty on uni­fi­ca­tion as it was abo­ut to ce­le­bra­te the 20th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of the fall of the Ber­lin Wall.31 This new iden­ti­ty was an in­no­cent one. It had no po­li­ti­cal ma­ster­mind hid­den be­hind it, no po­li­ti­cal am­bi­tions, no in­tel­lec­tu­al fra­ming, let alo­ne the am­bi­tion to lead. It was just fe­el­go­od na­tio­na­lism, un­der­pin­ned by na­tio­nal cam­pa­igns such as “Land der Ide­en” (“Co­un­try of Ide­as”) or “Ich bin Deutsch­land, weil…” (“I am Ger­ma­ny, be­cau­se…”). Re­tro­spec­ti­ve­ly, the­se were ho­ney­mo­on years for Ger­ma­ny.

To be fair, Ger­ma­ny did, wi­tho­ut emo­tions or no­ise, what was very ne­ces­sa­ry for the EU to avo­id cre­eping di­sin­te­gra­tion: a few mon­ths after step­ping into po­wer, Mer­kel fi­xed the EU bud­get in De­cem­ber 2005 to the ama­ze­ment of many. She came up with a com­pro­mi­se on the Lis­bon Tre­aty in 2006 that al­lo­wed a “yes” vote in a se­cond Irish re­fe­ren­dum and a va­li­da­tion of the re­form tre­aty in 2007. It was a Eu­ro­pe­an ob­li­ga­tion, tho­ugh, and not a cure. The Lis­bon Tre­aty, de­spi­te long-awa­ited re­forms, re­ma­ined un­der­per­for­ming for years – even tho­ugh the Eu­ro­pe­an Exter­nal Ac­tion Se­rvi­ce (EEAS) had been laun­ched, a real Com­mon Se­cu­ri­ty and De­fen­ce Po­li­cy (CSDP) did not le­ave the gro­und.

Only three Eu­ro­pe­an mis­sions were laun­ched be­twe­en 2008 and 2011, in com­pa­ri­son to abo­ut 20 be­twe­en 2003 and 2008.32