Does Germany have too much power? The answer depends to a large extent on where you pose the question. If you were to ask people on the street in Athens many would probably nod their heads in agreement. In Berlin, however, the response would be quite the opposite.

Europe is, as always, divided. In many southern European countries, Germany is once again seen as the most dominant force on the continent, imposing austerity on weaker states. In some countries, breathless comparisons to Nazi Germany are considered legitimate. Angela Merkel is shown on magazine covers sporting a Hitler ‘tache, panzers are shown on the road to Athens. The Germans are once again viewed as the dominant force in Europe.

In Germany, meanwhile, there are public grumbles that the country is being taken for granted by other Europeans. Germany is Europe’s “magic money tree”, whose sole purpose is to transfer billions of taxpayer euros to poorer, indebted states; yet at the same time the German people have given all their rights of self-determination to Brussels.

The truth, of course, is more nuanced. Who really holds the power in Europe? The fact is, no country can make decisions in the EU alone. The EU consists of several institutions, all of which are closely linked. The best-known of these are the European Council, the EU Parliament, and the EU Commission. New EU legislation emerges after a process involving all of these institutions. And, of course, European citizens ultimately vote both for their own governments and for Members of the European Parliament.

Yet the fact remains that Germany is the most populous and economically strongest country in the EU. Therefore, Germany sends the most members of parliament to the EU Parliament (currently 96 out of a total of 751 members). In the Council, too, Germany has the most votes (together with France, Great Britain, and Italy), namely 29. It also has a lot of influence in the Commission. According to a report from the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germans hold more key positions in the European Commission than any other European country.

Does Germany have too much power? The Schwarzkopf Foundation, as part of its “Understanding in Europe” project, has collected questions and comments from pupils from across Germany. We’ve taken these questions and put them to EU politicians and experts to get a response.

The first question: Does Germany have a privileged position within the EU?

To start with, we put this question to David McAllister, former Prime Minister of Lower Saxony and currently an MEP for Angela Merkel’s CDU party in the European Parliament. How would he answer this question?

Next up, we spoke to Fabio De Masi, who is an MEP for the radical left DIE LINKE party. What would he say?

Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world and has an enormous political and economic power in the European Union, not least because Germany is selling more and more abroad than it buys, which means a high export surplus. This is why our trading partners are in debt. Germany is therefore the only country to have the fiscal ammunition for the so-called ‘Euro rescue packages’, which were, in reality, bank rescues. Thus Germany can largely dictate policy in the Eurozone.

Next we talked to Ska Keller, the vice-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, and former Green co-candidate for European Commission President ahead of the 2014 EU Parliament elections. What does she think?

Germany is the most populous country in the EU, and this is of course something special. But I think it’s important that the government in Germany makes it clear that size is not everything. We have a special past in Germany and one should be careful that other people are also considered important. This is very, very important and unfortunately you can see that with the current federal government does not always work out.

The second student question was: Who is really in charge in the EU? Who decides?

We wanted to hear a response to this question from Fabio De Masi from DIE LINKE. What would he say?

The European Commission has the right to legislative initiative in areas where it alone is responsible. In other areas, the Commission may first be called upon by the Council of the Member States, by the European Parliament or by a European Citizens’ Initiative. In fact, the larger countries – Germany as well as France – have a de facto veto in the European Union and, therefore, rarely is anything decided against the will of their governments.

And what would David McAllister from the CDU have to say about this?

And what would Green MEP Ska Keller say?

Laws are made by the European Parliament together with the European Council, that is, the Ministers of the Member States. And before that, the Commission proposes draft legislation. Ultimately, of course, the power of European citizens underlies everything, because they choose the European Parliament. They also elect the parliament in the member states, which in turn form the governments of the member states.

Finally, we wanted to get some ideas about how the EU might become more democratic, particularly in the distribution of power between Member States. To get a response, we spoke to Astrid Lorenz, Professor of Political Science at the University of Leipzig. What would she say?

Democracy comes from the people. The citizens of the European Union must therefore first of all formulate an opinion on what they expect from the EU. […] Fairness can mean everyone has the same rights, or that everyone has the same standard of living. If fairness is the same standard of living, Europe should be redistributing on a large scale, because living conditions are still very different. This would require agreement on a distribution mechanism, which can then only be conditionally changed, and for most people this would mean an improvement, but for others, such as for example for Germans, it would mean a de facto lowering of the standard of living.

There should be a wide public debate on this subject, which is conducted across Member States’ borders. This also necessitates greater assistance from the parties, who ‘participate in the formation of the will of the people,’ as the German constitution states. European politics is not just a matter for European politicians. In Germany, a lot has happened in this respect, and various European political positions are portrayed in the media, but in many EU Member States there is no deep debate on the European Union, but rather inflamatory slogans in the run-up to elections. If a Europe-wide opinion-making process is to work, it must be better and more carefully negotiate how the will of the people in the EU should be represented.

Does Germany have too much power in the EU, or too little? Is Germany dominant because of its large population and the strength of its economy? Or is Germany just one of 28 (soon to be 27) countries, all of which have equal rights? Do you think the distribution of power in the EU is fair? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

This debate was published in cooperation with the Schwarzkopf Stiftung and their project “Understanding Europe”. Disclaimer
ECPA
IMAGE CREDITS: (c) / BigStockPhoto- Jorisvo


185 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • Uli Czeranka

      the problem is, that we like to keep it

    • Mike Chambers

      Perhaps Pres. Macron of France can help.

  1. Christofer Catilan

    Germany has abso-blooming-lutely too much power. And it largely depends on the other member countries’ reckless expenditure politics which has weakened their influence. Poor men do not rule the world nor EU.

    • Rémi Martin

      The treatys are going in this way… Germoney needs poor workers to pay his old peoples, nothing else!

    • José Bessa da Silva

      Well, if you want your country to be a colony so be it. Do not count with mine.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Matteo Magnus Magni

      Interesting that EU fanatics still believe in Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.

      Clearly you have learnt nothing from your history & are destined to repeat it.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Matteo Magnus Magni

      And what if the peoples do not want your one government, will you use your little EU army & teach them a lesson ?

      The EU is madness, pure madness.

    • Graham Hinkin

      Matteo Magnus Magni it was from its conception the Federal European Union, countries split into regions, one flag, one people, one currency, one parliament, no culture, no vote , no democracy. New World Order. One world government.

    • Matteo Magnus Magni

      no the Welfare,Environment and health Modle of germany for EU only this

    • Paul X

      “no the Welfare,Environment and health Modle of germany for EU only this”

      Unfortunately for your plan the Euro-fanatics do not allow “cherry picking”….if you want the 5% benefit the EU brings you have to accept the 95% of drawbacks (though admittedly, for certain countries, you can reverse these percentages)

    • Rémi Martin

      Goog luck to convince your 26 neighbors!

  2. Lonzo Bildelberg

    the problem is that other nations in the union are pretty idle, hopefully things will change with macron, but the EU works best when the Italian-French-German triad is on the front and pushing onward. With Sarkozy Hollande and twenty years of berlusconi we completely lost that and left the spot for germany,and germany fucked things up since when they forgot all the debts they saw cancelled in the last century, and promoted the austerity suicide

    • Aiichiro Yamamoto

      Contain Germany. Wasn’t it the reason to form the EU? Then keep on doing it, Europeans.

  3. Christos Mouzeviris

    Too much. But then again it is the only country that is still 100% committed in European integration and does work on it. It is unfair to others that it dominates the rest of the continent, imposing its interests on other nations, but if these nations had a backbone and leadership they would form a block to counterpart Germany’s dominance in Europe. Britain opted to get out, France is not asserting itself, the Eastern European nations are slipping back into authoritarianism, the south is too corrupt to show leadership so they can’t really blame Germany for taking the reigns. If they don’t like it, they could get more committed and promote their interests better.

    • Joshua Burton

      True!

  4. eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Of general unity the unity better for peace and trade and stability than disunity the increase of autonomy within the union is a better bet for all involved in a separatist conflict almost absolute disunity

  5. Dobromir Panchev

    German economy is like a monster that needs more and more skilled workers from EU countries and even from outside EU (they invited the migrants, all other countries opposed), and more and more markets to sell their goods and services (they need the EU enlargement despite all internal issues we did not solve) to keep its growth.

    • Dave Morrow

      All western countries will need more immigrants it comes from a combination of an increasing Life expectancy and falling Birthrate , even the UK now has more over 60s than under 16s, Germany and Sweden are facing the problem head-on , the UK is burying its head in the sand.

    • Paul X

      @Dave Morrow

      Incorrect, what the UK needs is more skilled immigrants who will get jobs that pay sufficient for them to contribute Tax and National Insurance. What it does not need is hundreds of thousands of unskilled economic migrants. Far from burying it’s head in the sand, the UK is doing the logical thing and wants to control who comes in so we get the “right” type of immigrants…and if you think Germany and Sweden’s “open to anyone and everyone” policy is correct then I suggest you speak to some of the people in those countries

  6. James Hayes

    So they let a million more and now they found out that 90% of them can read or write,

  7. Marco Bianchi

    The problems are simply two:
    1- There is not a real government with real powers capable of imposing certain policies and certain decisions to the whole Union and its member-states.
    2- Europe is not free. It is not free to decide its foreign policy. Europe is still forced to followed the foreign policy decided by Washington. As along as we don’t get rid of this limitation to our sovereignity, all these talks will have no value. Think carefully: Europe had no interest in destabilizing the Middle East but, despite this, we have followed the US in all its foolish wars (Or proxy wars) in the region. Europe has all the interest in keping good relationship with Russia but we have followed what the US has decided for us and we ruined all our economic relationship with Russia. Europe has all the interest in building strong ties with Iran and maybe even convince them to sell their oil and gas in Euros rather than in Dollars, but no one has the balls to make such a proposal to the Iranians! We are damaging our economies and paying a huge price just to follow the Amercian policies! Why? Because we are not free to choose our foreign policy and we can’t put into question the crude-oil-monopoly controlled by the US Dollar! We all know that by doing this we will weaken the US and boost our economies and the Union but we are not doing it and we prefer to struggle with this ever-lasting economic crisis and let our continent be invaded by migrants caused by the above-mentioned wars!

    • Paolo Ortenzi

      An incredible amount of bullshits…

    • Marco Bianchi

      Paolo: I guess it is to hard to understand for a “smar-guy” like you

    • Ivan Burrows

      .

      Do you mean ‘Europe’ of 51 Nation States or the EU of 27 Nation States ?

    • Ivan Burrows

      Marco Bianchi .

      Then please say so and leave the rest of us in ‘Europe’ in peace.

    • Marco Bianchi

      I’m not threatening anyone. I’m simply saying what I believe is the truth. Europe is not free and it will never be free as long as NATO exists. The mere fact that our countries are unwilling to conduct an autonomous foreign policy (Not to mention a foreign policy that may damage the American interests) just proves what I’m saying.
      If this hurts the feelings of someone, it is not really my problem. I haven’t insulted anyone. As I said, I simply draw conclusions from the facts.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Marco Bianchi

      NATO has kept the peace in Europe & without it another bunch of crazed Europeans with a flag & a plan to unite Europe would soon start another of their bloody European World wars..

      If it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

    • Paul X

      What has NATO got to do with the EU? European countries are in NATO as individuals , not because they are in the EU , and as such any individual country is free to leave NATO if it wants (without any divorce settlement I imagine). France left due to childish anti-US sentiment similar to yours but eventually saw sense and rejoined. Despite what the ill-informed like to preach about NATO it does not start wars but it has done a hell of a lot of peacekeeping

    • Marco Bianchi

      According to you it is fine to give up our freedom on the basis of a presumption that looks at the Europeans as a bunch of underdeveloped people, incapable of leaving peacefully with one another. I have a higher opinion of myself and the rest of our people.

  8. Ivan Burrows

    .

    You are all obedient citizens of a Greater Germany now.

    Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.

    • Rémi Martin

      Nein, ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Euro, nicht mehr! ;)

  9. Tarquin Farquhar

    LOL!

    This has to be one of the funniest questions ever posted by DE.

    Thank you for making me laugh – CHEERS!

  10. Jon Bromfield

    Germany is alot more caring and less nationalistic than Britain. Perhaps if we were the same Britain’s standard of living wouldn’t be dropping like a stone and we wouldn’t have Brexit

    • Jon Bromfield

      Ivan Burrows. Seems your abit of a hypocrite. Please correct me if I’m wrong. But wasn’t Britain built on the back of foreigners. Namely the slave trade? And didn’t we welcome immigrants here in the 60s? or am I dreaming?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Jon Bromfield
      Yeah right – tell that to the Greeks who are now back to being classified as a developing country courtesy of uncaring NOT sharing Germany.

      FYI:

      The UK is the most generous country in Europe re foreign aid.

      Despite its wealth, Scrooge-like Germany refuses to pay its way in NATO.

      Germany’s “open borders” call to the world was done more to address its demographic time-bomb than as an act of generosity – note the backsliding by Germany now re immigration.

      The EU kept reducing the amount it gave back to the UK regions over the last decade – this exacerbated UK regional inequality.

      The asymmetric attraction of the UK (there are many countries in the EU that are shall we say ‘pug-unattractive’ domiciliary destinations) meant that millions upon millions of low-calibre EU economic refugees compressed the wages of poorer UK subjects thereby accentuating UK regional inequality.

      I agree that Germans are not too nationalistic when compared with say the French people BUT the German elite are hyper-nationalistic; hence the Hitleresque mocking of ANGULAR MERKIN!

    • Auer Bru

      They still build on immigrant Power from india pakistan africa… All their colonies and burrows try to fingerpoint germany and test of the europe.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Jon Bromfield

      We still welcome migrants, the difference is Germany did it on behalf of every Nation without asking them.

      We are leaving the pointless EU & rejoining the free world, so it matters not one jot to me who owns the EU. But the people who have had their lives destroyed by Germany will not forgive you for what you have done in their name.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/merkel-hitler-poster-2012-9?IR=T

  11. Ramas Samar

    Presently Germany is Europe’s “weakest link” cause Moscow (Nord stream 1, Nords stream 2, South stream) via Germany is successfully subjugating all Europe to russian gas, which means political slavery as well. And germans perfectly perceive this, but love money more than freedom…

  12. Marco Peel

    The German people represent about 16% of EU population, the only valid indicator in a democracy. The German government should have as much influence on European policy as California has on US policy or Scotland has on UK policy. Unfortunately the EU does not represent the citizens of Europe, but the member states, all of which basically hold the Union hostage to national agendas or circumstances.

  13. Jeremy Bornstein

    The issue is West Europeans ,not all,but most do not appreciate the freedom we have. Virtue signaling and histrionics have poisoned their minds. Freer souls are in the East

  14. David Heal

    If Britain had taken up the reins that were offered in 1974, do you think that Germans would now be asking whether Britain has too much power? I dount it, and I doubt even further whether anyone in Britain would think it wrong for Britain to be ruling the roost. Well, Britain refused so someone had to do the job. Like it or lump it.

    • Stefania Portici

      ? Senza l’Inghilterra , nel senso che se l’Inghilterra e gli USA non stavano nel pianeta Terra, la UE all’80% non sarebbe esistita. Se ogni tanto gli angloamericani e anche i francesi perchè sono imperialisti come loro , provassero vergogna di quello che combinano il mondo avrebbe risolto i suoi problemi. Ci fanno vivere l’inferno. Quando basta ???

  15. Robert Kippen

    far too much .. power in the hands of the german bullies not a great future for any country in Europw

  16. Paul Vincent

    Germany is supportive of the eu whilst its working in its favour…by having access to cheap labour and its export machine bolstered b a weak euro.
    It pays lip service to the issues affecting the south…and the concerns of the east.
    They are clearly not prepared to coutenounce and fiscal transfers eleithin a true monetary & fiscal union.
    Imagine if the position was reversed…ie german industry devastated…rampant unemployment…unstable government. ….oh wait…that was the situation 70 years ago…when the marshall plan rescued Germany. ..and its debts effectively written off……shame it seems to have forgotten any lessons from history.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Paul Vincent
      The German elite are a very greedy and insensitive crowd perhaps?

  17. Oli Lau

    Either it is a project of Europeans and then all votes should have the same values. Or it is a club of nations and In this case a vote from a German citizen would be less important than one coming from Belgium.
    A German vote shouldn’t be less important than a Belgian one. They are +80 millions, Belgium is +10 millions. If Belgium has the same weight than Germany, the German citizen is less presented. it is not democratic.

    And before someone start commenting about my nationality…I’m Belgian :)

  18. Sari Bruno

    I think that they have earned what they have. We can discuss on methods and has it been good to whole EU, but I definitely prefer to be together with Germany today.

    • Néstor Be

      Too much germanophobia…

    • Rémi Martin

      But the truth, all the fortune is going to Germoney… What are they doing with the money? Buy the gold of the others?

  19. Stefania Portici

    il mondo va alla rovescia e il tutto è iniziato dalla Thatcher e Reagan…..tutti i bottoni dell’occidente poi in seguito si sono allacciati male : Israele , la Francia, la Russia , la Germania ….tutti , tutti….che ve lo dico a fare ? Tutti ! Sono le regole mondiali della globalizzazione ad essere malsane The world goes downhill and everything is started by Thatcher and Reagan ….. all the buttons of the West and later they laced badly: Israel, France, Russia, Germany …. all, everyone …. what do I tell you to do? Everyone! Global rules of globalization are unhealthy

    • Stefania Portici

      il neoliberismo ha come regola il rubare . O rubi o muori. Se stai bene è perchè sei stato più bravo degli altri a rubare . Il neoliberismo premia i ladri , è ruberia legalizzata .A me hanno insegnato che rubare è peccato , non si ruba ….e allora come si fa ? A forza di difendersi dai ladri si diventa ansiosi , si vive male, molto male . La Germania si comporta male con i Paesi europei , quello che ha fatto è brutto ma il problema è a monte è in quelle regole mondiali immorali e sbagliate. Chi le incoraggia quelle regole è un criminale

  20. Angele

    It has the power, which equals to its weight in economics of EU, to intellectual power. It contributes the largest share to EU budget, but also gets EU funding. Legally, its one of EU member states, having equal rights to others. There are not that many Germans at the European Commission, less then Belgians, Italians, Spanish….and quite many Germans looking for a job in Brussels, personally number of them asks for help in finding.

    • Néstor Be

      We’re not “colonies”; we’re just becoming part of the same nation Germany is.

    • Rémi Martin

      But I don’t want to be German, I’m French!!! It reminds the idea of a guy called Adolf in the 30-40’s who wanted to unite Europe…

    • Adie Roebuck

      Yeah sure Nestor just like the Romans made the people of their provinces think they were Roman’s when we all know they were cash cows

  21. Lawrence Baron

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    And if Britain stops paying the piper we.ll be destined to follow the piper.

  22. Spiros Kontogiorgis

    Not only Germany has too much power, but it’s trying to magnify it by controlling the European Central bank…. If they want to be real leaders , they should learn the difference between a leader and a boss…

    • Néstor Be

      Germans are leaders.
      They’re trying their best even if they are afraid to lead, and so I invite them lead more.

      Wir brauchen ein stärker Deutschland!!!

    • Spiros Kontogiorgis

      If that is their best be ready for a collapse of the union… Britain is allready out…

  23. Paul Dòcherty

    Only if you believe the shit brexiters propagate, maybe if I’m workers took a leaf out of the German unions book they would still be producing cars.

    • Harris Ryan

      Germany should have zero power in the EU and should have restricted access to all military……Germany should never forget what they have done to Europe….

    • Christoph Bein

      Harris Ryan Then Britain should better not be allowed to have any military at all, considering what it has done to the World. ;)

    • Néstor Be

      There’s one phrase in German which is: “Das ist vorbei.”

    • Néstor Be

      You should learn to erase and refresh a little bit. Just a little bit.

      Forgiving and forgetting is elementary in life, much more necessary than the boring collective tale of History.

    • Rémi Martin

      No, sometimes, it helps not to do the same mistakes…

    • Néstor Be

      But the lesson is already learnt by the Germans, so the old book can be left out the way.

    • Rémi Martin

      Or burnt? It reminds me same things happened in Germany in the 30s by the Nazis, this time, it seems the idea of the europeists… EU is only 60 years old, my country is over 1500 years old and learnt from his history, culture, wars… EU should do the same thing, listen to the old countries before believing it’s the best!

    • Néstor Be

      Everybody knows that the EU is not a country.
      The EU is a common political and economical project among various countries.

    • Néstor Be

      Alexandros : I love your last pronounced holy sentence!!! <3

  24. Peter Henry Stephenson

    Germany funds anarchists burning cars in the streets each time a persona non grata enters their country. Freedom of speech is being curtailed and there has been only one party in power since the IIWW. The country’s expansionist policy has obliterated Mediterranean economies and led to the annihilation of European culture and identity by inviting huge and completely unsustainable numbers of migrants The place is devoid of democracy, pluralism and accountability of the government to it’s people, is a bullying mercantalist and has no place in the EU.

    • Dave Morrow

      Rubbish Most German Governments since WW2 including the present one have been coalition governments.

    • Peter Henry Stephenson

      Yeah, with CDU always being the dominating party in the “coalitions” (meaning CDU were in power and a load of opportunistic money lookers joined in, occasionally swaping seats, great democracy)

    • Rémi Martin

      Don’t worry, Uncle Sam is there over 70 years!

  25. Philip Spentzuris

    Way too much and they wield the sceptre!! Really not a healthy situation!! Clearly different rules apply in this animal farm where all animals are supposed to be equal, but some are more equal than others!!!!

  26. Philip Spentzuris

    Way too much and they wield the sceptre!! Really not a healthy situation!! Clearly different rules apply in this animal farm where all animals are supposed to be equal, but some are more equal than others!!!!

  27. Philip Spentzuris

    Way too much and they wield the sceptre!! Really not a healthy situation!! Clearly different rules apply in this animal farm where all animals are supposed to be equal, but some are more equal than others!!!!

  28. Samu Tandorf

    The member states as they currently exist should be dissolved The regions of the EU should get that level of power. That way there would be a significantly bigger balance of power and we would get rid of an unnecessary yet costly level of burocracy.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Samu, typical a German “Ober Macher” understanding of “their Reich & regions”! Correction please:

      Unfortunately, the EU has become a confusion of supra national political concepts. Generally, “EU Regions” are (still) strictly defined and referred to as any of the 27 sovereign member territories- “Hoheitsgebiet” –“Herrschaftsbereich” and “territorially” independent! Everyone today is however interdependent & cooperates on many levels with each other!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_regions_of_Germany

      Please do not believe in the political fallacy of considering Europe as Regions of Germany= EU- already!

      Test: any sovereign state has to be, is & remain recognized by the UN General Assembly. The EU is not.
      All 27 nations (still) are. All remain politically equal- although are not equally strong economically. If Germany wants to play “Marshall plan”- no problem, go ahead!

      Hint: Germans & Europhiles please understand: Germans are welcome to do (rule) whatever they wish in Germany.

      Surely, Europeans will never agree to be “territorial-ly rearranged” into regions and ruled from a Suzerain in Brussels via Germany.

  29. Christoph Bein

    Too much to be an ordinary member, too little to be a leader. This has always been a dilemma.

  30. Αναγέννηση

    A Single Currency requires a Single EU DEFENSE FORCE upgrading , expanding and transforming the current European Security and Defense Policy unit of the EU into a all professional million personnel EU Defense Force , which could be the first important step to establishing a EU Economic Transfer Union within the Eurozone. . Germany needs to contribute greatly to funding a all professional million personnel EU Defense Force creating a FORTRESS EUROPE , from its 300 billion euro German economic surplus that would lift the strain off member states currently struggling to enormous external pressures that require military expenditure which could be spent for civilian purposes, .

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Dear Mr. Renaissance,

      I was curious, closed my eyes, relaxed & somehow imagined “your Renaissance concept”- which combines the single currency, a single million EU Defense Force, an EU Economic Transfer Union, a FORTRESS EUROPE- all by (Greece?) hijacking Germany’s € 300 bio economic surplus. (Germany be warned!) solely for military purposes to unburden other members & free more €uros for “civilian purposes”. Absolutely wunderbar!

      After some soul searching the closest your “Renaissance concept” came to was a kind of “Humanism” told in Sir Thomas More’s book “Utopia” (De optimo rei publicae deque nova insula Utopia) quote: “which is two hundred miles across in the middle part, where it is widest, and nowhere much narrower than this except towards the two ends, where it gradually tapers”. Shaming many others & even “Friedrich Niethammer’s” version. Try it.

  31. Ariste Arvanitides

    Germany is a Limited Liability Company without a Constitution and therefore not a NATION. Now that company is sweeping up all EE sovereignty… it is a fraud. shut them down. NOW.

  32. Achat Gallut

    I would simply say that Germany has the exact amount of power it deserves… though of course we can’t deny that Germany is too strong than the other members of the EU..

    • Rémi Martin

      That’s the reason there isn’t an EU! All the countrys have nothing in common to go the same way! You can’t unite peoples with a flag, a currency and laws they didn’t vote for! Give me just a reason why a Portugese should have the same destiny as a Lituanian? I don’t see very well…

  33. Achat Gallut

    I would simply say that Germany has the exact amount of power it deserves… though of course we can’t deny that Germany is too strong than the other members of the EU..

  34. Achat Gallut

    I would simply say that Germany has the exact amount of power it deserves… though of course we can’t deny that Germany is too strong than the other members of the EU..

  35. Dave Morrow

    Define power , Germany as a nationality is outnumbered over 7 to 1 in EU Parliament , outnumbered 27 to 1 on the Council.of Ministers , outnumbered 27 to 1 on the commission . and they didn’t have the power to stop the Cameron Government vetoing the plan to increase tariffs on the import of Cheap Chinese steel.

  36. Monique Taxhet

    Just fine as it is. Germany is a peaceful and democratic country. As long as it stays like that, no problem :-)

  37. Andreas Panopoulos

    the fact that schauble has been deciding for the future of the entire union…you are missing on a lot of info on your…debate.

  38. Tomasz Nawrot

    Mrs. Merkel invited to Europe the islamic invasion army without asking anybody for permission. It is obvious that Germany wants to start again a war in Europe.

    • Rémi Martin

      War is economical and propagandia from the medias…

  39. Hannie Johanna Vestjens Poulantza

    Germany became strong right after a terrible war they started. Das wirtschaftswunder. With financial help. Were is das wiedergutmachungsgeld for the rest of europe. Germany is way toooooo strong

  40. catherine benning

    Does Germany have too much power in the EU, or too little?

    Germany has way too much power for the benefit of the other States citizens. And look at the mess they are creating both for their own people as well as the rest of the continent.

  41. Jacopo

    Problem is, naional states’ governments still have too much power over EU institutions. The direct consequence of this fact is that the nations who have bigger population and economic power are also more influential towards eu institutions. The solution in my opinion is for national governments to cede some of their powers to centralized European Institutions.

    • EU Reform- Proactive

      Jacopo, the PROBLEM seems you misunderstand & are confused about the EU’s current powers & functions.

      The EU justifies its existence & prides itself that its “democratic POWER” is derived from all 27 National States through past “democratic processes”. Understood to be based on a “majority EU YES” vote- some time ago!

      Most National competences have already been handed over- except for a “handful”. A “make or break” EU referendum- if allowed- could fulfill your wish.

      What more is necessary to destroy the final vestiges- referred to as 27 National Parliaments- to make the EUSSR “finally” work? Surely, those who have to be ask is the undefined conglomerate of:

      1) un- informed voters, 2) informed voters and 3) various influential groups having vested interests- or 4) could the Commission just do as they wish?

      Either MORE EU (“TOTAL POWER”)- or its “TOTAL LOSS”- as consequence if rejected could be the Litmus test. To “cede all ” or “remove all” needs 27 fresh referendums (which will NEVER be allowed anyhow)- on a “Winner takes or loses ALL”- basis. The question could be:

      Do you wish to create a unitary Federal EU State (FES or USE)? Wish to abolish and transfer all remaining National functions & sovereignty- to the FES or USE seated in Brussels, Strasbourg or Berlin. Acknowledge finally to abolish your National Parliament , your former Nationhood & your Universal Right to self determination by informing the UN General Assembly? (YES/NO)

  42. Michael Holz

    In the current intergovernmental approach, it has too much power. As long as the EU is based on contracts between nation states, the state with the heaviest economy will be able to put through its interest.

    If the EU would adopt a federal structure, the smaller states could not be toppled so easily, though Germany would still be quite influencial since it has the biggest population and thus the most delegates in the parliament. But the important difference that prevents one nation from dominating another within the EU lies in the underlying structure, meaning that there is a difference if the EU is based on a contract or based on a constitution.

    • Ivan Burrows

      .

      Would that be the European constitution the French rejected but was then renamed the Lisbon treaty to bypass the democratic process ?

    • Michael Holz

      That would be a the European constitution that is democratically decided at a European convention, a process that could take several years. That includes a reform of the EU institutions with the goal to create a democratic, federal state that has increased democratic legitimacy compared to today’s institutions.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Michael Holz

      ‘ federal state that has increased democratic legitimacy compared to today’s institutions.’ even though when asked the people of those States reject it ?

      You have a very warped interpretation of democracy.

    • Michael Holz

      What are you talking about? A federal state can only come into existence if the citizens of the future member states agree. That has not happened yet and that is why there is no federal European state.

      People will always reject what they do not understand. That is why first, the political will must be created in the member states to form such a federation and that requires a long time of dedication and clear information so that the people know what the referendum is about. Those people who agree can start a federal state, those who do not agree will not be part of it and might join at a later stage. I do not see anything that would violate basic democratic values.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Michael Holz

      ‘People will always reject what they do not understand’ ? thank god we have people like you to teach us. The French knew exactly what it meant which is why they rejected it.

      The only question for EU federalists is:

      Will you ask the 440 million people in the EU if they want to live in a federalist EU or will you use the standard EU model of lies, intimidation and back-room deals and force it onto them ?

      http://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-elections-2014/news/it-s-official-last-eu-election-had-lowest-ever-turnout/

    • Michael Holz

      I do not teach, I do inform about other possibilities and points of view.
      There is a reason why trust in the EU is low and it is low for good reasons:

      The political processes are complicated and intransparent. The de facto power is with the European Council which is comprised of national politicians and leads to conflict of interest.
      I feel that your behaviour is a bit paradoxical, as you seem to be disappointed by how the current EU works, yet you do not make any attempt to reform it or call for constructive improvement.

      Regarding the adoption of a European constitution:

      “Will you ask the 440 million people in the EU if they want to live in a federalist EU ”

      Yes exactly that. As I said before, the population of each state should decide if their state shall be member of the federation or not. The process of that decision happens ideally through a direct referendum, but is ultimately bound by the constitutional requirements of the respective member state. But this process is open and does not stop after the creation of a federal EU. There is no reason why member states, who do not agree during the foundation period should not join at a later states if they see it beneficial. As long as there is a hand-full of states that kick-start the federation, things will develop. And then, the motto must be lead by example. Only if one actually shows that the new system works better for the citizens, trust in the institutions will increase.

    • José Bessa da Silva

      The only improvement you could ever do to the EU would be to revert it to the single market, all the rest is the reason why we are where we are now. While you claim a federal state can only come with the consent of the people, reality shows otherwise. The federalization process has started in the 90’s with Maastricht and it has been made exactly by avoiding popular vote. A Federation also means loss of sovereignty and that implies a load of consequences you’re not telling. For instance, in a federation you will have to adopt a working language everywhere, today, with the UK gone, the most likely languages to assume that position are either French or German. How do you think people in Portugal or Spain will take that? Portuguese and Castilian are far more globalized and have far more native speakers than French or German. Do you think we will accept it without it being imposed on us? A federal EU does not hold the uniformity of a federal US. That is why european federalists will always do anything to avoid people’s will. And let us not forget that even being much more uniform, the consolidation of the US federal state took a war.

    • Coralee De Fréine

      Michael Holz The Lisbon Treaty is the EU constitution, and the Irish rejected it and were forced to vote again. Another treaty we rejected was the Treaty of Nice and again we were forced to vote again.
      The EU force the Irish to keep voting until they get the answer the want. I absolutely do not want a federalised EU. Ireland fought for 700 years for our right to self determination and we cherish our sovereignty. Why in God’s name would we want to give that up to become just a province in a superstate? Horrible thought.
      The EU as it stands has already taken far too much of our sovereignty, no more. #NoSuperState #NoEUARmy.

  43. Ralf Grahn

    The EU has too little power to serve its citizens well (and needs to become a democratic republic to exercise these powers legitimatley).

    • Coralee De Fréine

      And what happens to the millions of patriotic citizens in the SOVEREIGN member states who do not want to give up our country’s sovereignty? Absolutely no way would I be giving up our sovereignty and dismantling everything our fallen Irish countrymen and women fought for. No thanks. Keep your democratic republic. I’m sticking with the Republic of Ireland. That’s the only “republic” I need.

  44. Σαντυ Μπαλμπαγάδη

    Χαχαχαχαχαχαχα Χαχαχαχαχαχαχα. (Translation. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ). Only God knows. He told to tell you……. EUOG. European Union Of Germany.Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    • Codrin Cernăuțianu

      It’s not about what you want, or what i want ! It’s about what’s right for the european people.

    • Coralee De Fréine

      Codrin Cernăuțianu So who died and made you God to decide what’s right for people in the sovereign states of Europe? It is up to the citizens of each sovereign state to decide whether they want to give up our sovereignty and everything our fallen countrymen and women fought and died for. I sincerely hope you respect our sovereign right to vote on such an idea and not just force this superstate on us.

    • Codrin Cernăuțianu

      The only way Europe can survive and keep it’s prosperity in this new age with all it’s challenges is only by creating a United States of Europe ! Otherwise the future won’t look so bright …

    • Coralee De Fréine

      Codrin Cernăuțianu What utter nonsense, there are 195 sovereign nation states in the world they are not handing over their hard won sovereignty and right to self determination to a bunch of bureaucrats in an anti-democratic institution.
      So why the heck should the sovereign nation states of Europe.

  45. Stefano Zuzzi

    If the Germany didn’t exist,
    I would have to invent it.
    Se la Germania non esisteva ancora,
    avrei dovuto inventarla.

  46. Stephen Mutebi

    Yes it has power, because it supported the currency, union of Europe by its Mark, which had big value

  47. Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    It had been ones said that Germany is to big to be just a other European county but to small to be a world power. .and it’s true. .now i think that the German public and political parties must realize that the only way for Germany and Europe to prosper is by collaborate with the other European nations as equal seens every time that Germany is trying to project her power to Europe or at east there is only trouble to come and no gain

  48. Arnout Posthumus

    A country shouldnt have too much power. If we where one union then this wouldnt be a problem and the ” too” would be a good thing. Germany like all other nations in the EU should share its wealth to create an equal balance of atleast 3-4 big countries.

  49. Tris Donovan

    Came upon this, while searching for: “how come Germany has so much power again” and “Is Germany more powerful now, than it was in WW2” And I can answer both questions myself, was mainly looking, if I’m the only one asking myself this questions.

    That said though, while Germany may not actually have too much power, it definitely has too much control! And yet at the same time, they are not really using it to help other countries that are a part of the EU, as their actions definitely show, they are only trying to benefit themselves… And would say that the fact we have an European Union in the first place, and that it is nothing like it was envisioned to be (make war unthinkable and materially impossible) Would say, just proves that point.

    As in the end, smaller countries (am a part of one with about 2 million people) were basically forced to join EU, by their/our own corrupted politicians …who on average have pays of around 6 to 7 thousand euros (officially, unofficially, don’t think even god knows how much they “get” monthly) while regular workers let’s say working in Renault company, are lucky to get 750 euros, for night shifts… And some ministers that won’t resign, despite being sentenced, for various reasons on court… By rigging the election results (which sadly nobody cares to research, nor has the guts to)

    So now instead of being a fairly strong country, like we used to be, and having jobs, like they were promising, we are forced to sell the little raw materials, that this country has, combined with our country banks (again for miniscule prices) , due to all the debt our politicians pushed us in during, and after joining the EU, to bigger countries, like Austria, Italy, and ofc Germany.

    So sorry for going on a bit of a rant, but in order to understand the point i was trying to make at the beginning, u also need to understand the situation. As Germany and other strong EU countries, are basically trying to get, (and unlike ww2, also keep) control, the only difference there seems to be, between then and now, is no country is really resisting them (apart from Britain) as the evidence is overwhelming that Germany is grabbing control, even with inviting refugees, and then force the countries, who did not want that, and were definitely not able to afford it, to take them in! Only for them to have to borrow more money, them having more control, as for having power, well after people are literally hungry enough (and am certain it will come to that) to a) riot, and fight/kill each other, like in Greece, or b) willingly give up their sovereignty, and control over entire country…

    Then Germany will have all the power, it ever wanted!

    And if i am wrong about it, and their actual goal is to help people, well in that case they are seriously going about it in heck of a weird way!

  50. Jan

    Germany has a lot of power but it really doesn’t use its power due to historical nervousness, to do things in the interest of Germany is not allowed. Concensus politics is the order in German politics. The Germans try to please everyone but end up pleasing no one. There is almost no real debate in Germany on key issues. They rely on “expert opinions” which is why they like the EU so much.

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