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Curated by Project Syndicate

Germany in Limbo

17 commentaries

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of forming a new coalition government have been dashed by the withdrawal of the Free Democrats from talks, forcing her to resurrect the grand coalition with the Social Democrats, form a minority government, or face another general election. Project Syndicate writers reflect on the challenges Germany faces and the implications for Europe of Merkel’s weakened position.

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  1. Europe’s Crisis Starts at Home
    A man waves a European Union flag Daniel Mihalescu/Getty Images

    Europe’s Crisis Starts at Home

    Dec 4, 2017 Mark Leonard thinks the divisions that threaten EU integration are even wider within member states than between them.

  2. The Populist Tail Wagging the German Dog
    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    The Populist Tail Wagging the German Dog

    Nov 30, 2017 Sławomir Sierakowski attributes Germany's intransigence on EU reform to its economic interests in the Visegrad Group.

  3. A New Grand Coalition for Germany – and Europe
    Germany Parliament Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

    A New Grand Coalition for Germany – and Europe

    Nov 28, 2017 Jeffrey D. Sachs thinks the stakes are too high – in Europe and globally – not to reprise the previous CDU/CSU-SPD government.

  4. The Twilight of Angela Merkel
    Angela Merkel after exploratory talks on forming a new government broke down Tobias Schwarz/Getty Images

    The Twilight of Angela Merkel

    Nov 21, 2017 Philippe Legrain is worried less by the prospect of the German chancellor's political demise than about a prolonged interregnum.

  5. Germany’s Götterdämmerung
     Angela Merkel departs after preliminary coalition talks collapsed Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Germany’s Götterdämmerung

    Nov 21, 2017 Hans-Werner Sinn welcomes the prospect of a minority government, especially if genuine public debate returns to the Bundestag.

  6. The Danger of a Post-German Europe
    Merkel worried Steffi Loos/getty images

    The Danger of a Post-German Europe

    Nov 20, 2017 Ana Palacio implores EU countries to work actively to re-engage the bloc's reluctant leader.

Our Pick


  1. velasco133_sUSAN WALSHPOOLAFP via Getty Images_bidenvonderleyen Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

    A Subsidy War Without Winners

    Andrés Velasco calls on policymakers to avoid petty conflicts and work together to encourage green investments.
  2. taniguchi1_Tomohiro OhsumiGetty Images_abemilitary Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

    Japan’s New Security Posture Is Abe’s Legacy

    Taniguchi Tomohiko explains how the government’s ambitious defense agenda expands on the late prime minister’s ideas.
  3. mazzucato50_Andrea BonettiGreek Prime Minister's Office via Getty Images_popefrancis Andrea Bonetti/Greek Prime Minister's Office via Getty Images

    For the Common Good

    Mariana Mazzucato outlines a new governance model for ensuring a fairer distribution of agency, risk, and reward.
  4. lopes12_PIUS UTOMI EKPEIAFP via Getty Images_fossil fuel worker PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

    Helping Middle-Income Energy Exporters Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit

    Carlos Lopes explains what it will take for resource-rich economies to diversify and develop new revenue sources.
  5. op_boccaletti3_Michele LapiniGetty Images_italyflood

    The New European Frontier

    Giulio Boccaletti

    Given this summer's climate-driven disasters, one might think that the European political system would be devising comprehensive adaptation plans. But, despite some steps in the right direction, Europeans are only just waking up to the constitutional implications of a changing physical environment.

    thinks a changing climate will force the European Union finally to embrace its political nature.
  6. james200_Sean GladwellGetty Images_worldconnection Sean Gladwell/Getty Images

    The Poverty of Anti-Capitalism

    Harold James considers recent arguments against markets, globalization, and growth, finding them to be deeply flawed.
  7. stiglitz314_ Drew AngererGetty Images_jeromepowell Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    How Not to Fight Inflation

    Joseph E. Stiglitz sees little upside and much downside to further monetary-policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve.
  8. slaughter95_Ritesh ShuklaGetty Images_modi Ritesh Shukla/Getty Images

    Who Is Part of the Free World?

    Anne-Marie Slaughter urges US President Joe Biden to abandon a phrase that is better left in the twentieth century.
  9. wagner16_ Leon NealGetty Images_nuclear fusion FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

    Realism About Techno-Optimism

    Gernot Wagner laments that public debate about climate solutions is long on political grandstanding and short on nuance.

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