On October 6th, the Atlantic Council partnered with the Bertelsmann Foundation to host a luncheon discussion on what the citizens of Germany, Europe’s financial powerhouse, want from Europe, what they think about European integration, and how they see their future within the eurozone and the EU. The panel featured Annette Heuser, Executive Director of The Bertelsmann Foundation North America; Ulrike Guérot, senior research fellow and representative for Germany at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR); Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe; and Martin Klingst, the Washington bureau chief for Die Zeit. The discussion was based on a new ECFR report co-edited by Guérot, “What Does Germany Think about Europe?”

For Europeans and Americans, Germany’s course in international politics has become hard to determine. The primacy that the EU once assumed in Germany foreign policy has gone. Berlin now coolly calculates the costs of integration and views its future in the EU unromantically. Do the Germans still believe in the idea of “ever closer union” as it was enshrined in the Treaty of Maastricht? And what of Germany’s role in NATO and the transatlantic relationship? Does German reluctance to be involved in the Libya operation signal a limit to Germany’s commitment to the alliance? 

Panelists discussed Germany’s transforming national narrative; its decision, criticized internationally but cheered domestically, to abstain from action in Libya; and increasing US interest in Europe in the wake of the euro debt crisis.

Featured Speaker

Ulrike Guérot
Senior Research Fellow and Representative for Germany
European Council on Foreign Relations 

Commentary by

Frederick Kempe
President and CEO
Atlantic Council 

Martin Klingst
Washington Bureau Chief
Die Zeit 

Moderated by

Annette Heuser
Executive Director
Bertelsmann Foundation North America

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