The path that Germany will pursue in the twenty-first century – toward a “European Germany” or a “German Europe” – has been the fundamental, historical question at the heart of German foreign policy for two centuries. And it was answered during that long night in Brussels, with German Europe prevailing over European Germany.
This was a fateful decision for both Germany and Europe. One wonders whether Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble knew what they were doing.
Schäuble’s position has thrown into sharp relief the fundamental question of the relationship between Europe’s south and north, his approach threatens to stretch the eurozone to the breaking point. The belief that the euro can be used to bring about the economic “re-education” of Europe’s south will prove a dangerous fallacy – and not just in Greece. As the French and Italians well know, such a view jeopardizes the entire European project, which has been built on diversity and solidarity.
During the long night of negotiations over Greece on July 12-13, something fundamental to the European Union cracked. Since then, Europeans have been living in a different kind of EU.
Vir: Joschka Fischer, Project Syndicate