Germany’s problem is not so much that it is generally right about the need for fiscal discipline but that it has to learn how to be right: this is the most difficult issue to manage from a political standpoint.
This EPIN (European Policy Institutes Network) paper brings together contributions from a cross-section of EU member states and the Gallup World Poll survey on the question of how Germany is being viewed at this time of economic and political crisis.
The conclusions, subtitled: The Narcissism of Small Differences is a refreshingly candid and insightful analysis of current European relations, noting that Germany’s current weight reflects only the conjuncture of extraordinary domestic and international economic factors. How Germany and the other member states behave towards one another now will have implications for all long after this moment has passed.
The editors of this report are Almut Möller, Head of the Alfred von Oppenheim Centre for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, and Roderick Parkes, who was Head of the Brussels office of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) from 2009 until mid-2012 and from July will be with the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) in Warsaw.