Why Germany Will Not Run the EU with Daniela Schwarzer
On Thursday, April 8, Daniela Schwarzer, Fritz Thyssen Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center and Head of Research Division on EU Integration at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, gave a lunchtime talk provocatively titled “Why Germany Will Not Run the EU?” In her remarks, Schwarzer offered an assessment of Germany’s role in Europe and the seeming contradiction between German power and leadership in its management of the crisis in the Eurozone. Her argument, in a nutshell, was that German economic hegemony has not translated into political supremacy. On the contrary, since the onset of the crisis, Germany has been losing influence both at home and abroad.
Schwarzer began by addressing the urgency surrounding the question of Germany’s hegemonic position in Europe in the context of the current situation in Europe, namely, the sovereign debt and banking crisis. Following a review of German policy decisions and their impact on both responses to the crisis and the future shape of the Eurozone, Schwarzer offered an explanation for why Germany became such a dominant player in Europe. After enumerating Germany’s sources of strength, she raised the question whether they might be fading away, arguing that they are, both internally, in Germany, and also, in the overall context of the EU.