While the recent general outlook on the future of the European Union has been filled with excessive doom and gloom, it is largely misplaced, writes Non-Resident Fellow Almut Möller in a collection titled “What the EU Did Next.” There is still hope for the EU, but significant work needs to be done; turning the EU from a liability into a solution will be a difficult task yet one that needs to be tackled. This volume of essays from the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) focuses on the EU’s undervalued strengths and how these strengths can be used to revitalize parts of the EU agenda in an effort to refocus the EU for success in the future.
The results of the Brussels summit this week underline one basic somewhat contradictory fact: If the euro were to collapse, it would be because Germany was not leading the effort to save it. At the same time, if Germany does lead that effort, it will include all the criticism that goes with leadership. This is the same kind of challenge the United States has had to face for decades. If you are the only leader available, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Ask anyone in the White House what that is like.
In his essay entitled A New Equation for the Transatlantic Alliance, recently published in the Strategic Europe essay series from Carnegie Europe, Executive Director Jack Janes looks at the unprecedented rise of a deeply integrated Europe, one that is still struggling to find its course within the context of the global stage. Amidst all the current debate about the euro, it is important not to lose sight of how far Europe has come despite the many challenges ahead.
In the week’s At Issue, executive director Jack Janes explains how current tensions over the future of the euro make up another chapter of Europe’s long path to a deeper and wider Union. Today’s challenges echo those of the past, but dealing with them will require stronger arguments about the promises beyond the pitfalls.
Buffeted by European and global headwinds, many in Germany wish for their country to “exit from history” and chart a more peaceful and insular course. But as Ludger Kühnhardt, Director at the Center for European Integration Studies at Universität Bonn and a regular contributor to the Advisor, argues, Germany can only engineer a good future for its people as an engine of further European integration, as a partner of the United States and as a defender of universal human rights. This essay originally appeared in the June 14, 2011, edition of The Globalist.
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Chancellor Angela Merkel has some major challenges ahead regarding the future of the euro, writes Senior Non-Resident Fellow Dr. Ulrike Guérot of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Dr. Guérot argues that Chancellor Merkel’s options regarding reform efforts in the euro zone have been severely limited by domestic issues, and that her ability to reach a compromise with other EU countries depends on the outcome of these domestic developments. This essay originally appeared in the ECFR’s blog on February 24, 2011.
Jochen Bittner, a regular contributor to the Advisor, argues that behind all of the euro zone debate lies a simple but unpleasant truth: The monetary union came too soon. Certainly it is difficult to shift strategies in the middle of a crisis, but Bittner contends that nothing less than a ‘reset’ will help the euro zone out of this mess, something the German government is eager to tackle, even if it won’t admit so publicly. This essay originally appeared in the January 18, 2011, edition of Die Zeit and is available in German only.