What Role for Germany
With Chancellor Angela Merkel’s negotiations over a new government dragging on, Germany’s de facto leadership role in Europe hangs in the balance. Will a coalition with the pro-EU Greens and the more skeptical Free Democrats be coherent enough to work effectively with French President Emmanuel Macron on urgently needed eurozone reforms?
- Jean Pisani-Ferry fears that Germany may continue to view all European initiatives solely through the prism of how much Germans will have to pay.
- But Dominique Moisi worries that if Merkel cannot meet Macron halfway to set the European Union’s agenda, then populist forces will instead.
- Harold James, however, sees Franco-German leadership not as a savior of the EU, but as the root cause of instability and the populism endemic in its periphery.