The workshop was moderated by Josef Janning and Almut Möller, Senior Policy Fellows, and Heads of ECFR Berlin.
On the 30th of May ECFR Berlin, the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Stiftung Mercator convened a workshop on what has controversially been framed “the new German question”. Experts from different member states addressed both objective and normative aspects of Germany’s leadership within the EU.
A diversity of opinions was lay to bare, when debating the following questions: How could we characterize German leadership, and where does it derive from? Is Germany’s leadership is a gift or a curse? Is it constructing policy through, or for Europe? Could it be that other member states are too naive? Does German leadership actually equal hegemonic unilateralism and does it ultimately give rise to a new German question? Or is it only indicative of the Union’s weakness and is its leading role not only accepted, but rather expected?
Subsequently, the experts reflected on the desired form, aims and partners of future German leadership. What kind of leader should Germany be? And where should it lead the EU to? How and with whom could this country in the geopolical heart of Europe share the responsibility for the centre of Europe? And, what would happen if Germany would start to resemble ’normal’ member states?