Leader and Followers

German Foriegn Policy – January 26, 2017

BERLIN (Own report) – Leading German media are demanding that the German government transform the EU into “an effective counterforce to Trump” and, thus become “the savior of the free world.” Berlin must assume “a leading function” in the EU and assure that the rest of the member states “follow.” Germany must take the “responsibility for leadership.” It is “Europe’s last powerhouse,” one journal writes, in a snub to France, which, over the past few years, was unable to contend with Germany in the power struggle, and has lost much of its influence. Non-German observers doubt that Berlin will be able to sustain its claim to leadership within the EU. In Germany’s capital, an abundance of “triumphalism and sense of mission” is felt, reported an experienced foreign policy expert. There is a widespread conviction that “Germany has a mission in Europe, to lead the others down the right path.” Berlin refers particularly to France “with contempt.” “The French have no idea and must be disciplined.” The expert sees the possibility of coalitions in opposition to Germany being formed among EU countries. The German government is launching a new appeal for a common military policy and for “sticking together against Russia and the new US administration.”