Almut Möller, Asli Aydintasbas, Sebastian Dullien & Kadri Liik
Published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), London 2017
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.