Germany votes: European dilemmas in the Federal Election / The end of Angst: Germany is ready to lead in Europe

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details May 2017
Publication Date 30/05/2017
ISBN 978-1-911544-15-9
Content Type ,

In the federal election year 2017, Germans are ready to give new European solutions a strong boost and take more risks. An ECFR Policy Brief by Almut Möller with case studies by Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Sebastian Dullien & Kadri Liik.

The European Union that Germany and its partners have built together since the early 1990s has been an environment highly conducive to German interests.

With the United Kingdom and the Trump administration calling into question the EU model of regional order, Berlin has made a strategic choice to seek to strengthen the EU. It has started to build coalitions of partners around core policies in a more 'flexible union'.

In this federal election year, trade and the German export surplus, relations with Turkey, and relations with Russia, constitute three examples that illustrate the complex interaction of domestic, European and international levels.

Keeping the public happy, strengthening the EU, and maintaining an environment conducive to German interests, requires careful policy calibration by the current and future government.

Polls reveal a hidden reservoir of public support in Germany for greater European ambitions. But Germany needs to be open to compromise on core policies, and should be prepared to take greater risks in order to secure the EU’s future.

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Related Links
ESO: Key Source: German federal election, 2017
ESO: Background information: Merkel and Macron want a new start for the EU
ECFR: Commentary, 08.06.17: The end of Angst: Germany is ready to lead in Europe
ESO: Background information: Leading from the centre: Germany’s role in Europe (ECFR: Policy Brief, July 2016)

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