„A claim for German hegemony in Europe“


The most influential (left) German philosoper Jürgen Habermas, doyen of the European integration, is sharing my troubles with Germany and its role in the current European crisis. In an interview with the british newspaper Guardian he said  „… efforts of previous generations (are) put at risk by Angela Merkel’s hardline stance on Greece.“

„I fear that the German government, including its social democratic faction, have gambled away in one night all the political capital that a better Germany had accumulated in half a century – and by ‚better‘ I mean a Germany  characterised by greater political sensitivity and a post-national mentality.“

The German government, Habermas says, has effectively carried out “an act of punishment  …  unashamedly revealing itself as Europe’s chief disciplinarian.“

I strongly recommend to read the whole transcript of the interview with Prof. Habermas in The Guardian. Similar critics he has formulated some days ago in the German „Süddeutsche Zeitung“.

Of course Habermas, author of milestone books like „Zur Verfassung Europas“ is not limiting his critics to the German Government:

„The outcome means that a helpless European Council is effectively declaring itself politically bankrupt: the de facto relegation of a member state to the status of a protectorate openly contradicts the democratic principles of the European Union.“

Europe is “stuck in a political trap” Habermas argues:

„Without a common financial and economic policy, the national economies of pseudo-sovereign member states will continue to drift apart in terms of productivity.“

„I do not see how a return to nation states that have to be run like big corporations in a global market can counter the tendency towards de-democratisation and growing social inequality – something that we also see in Great Britain, by the way. Such tendencies can only be countered, if at all, by a change in political direction, brought about by democratic majorities in a more strongly integrated “core Europe”. The currency union must gain the capacity to act at the supra-national level. In view of the chaotic political process triggered by the crisis in Greece we can no longer afford to ignore the limits of the present method of intergovernmental compromise.“

This entry was posted in Deutschland, EU, Europa, Griechenland, Internationale Politik, Krise. Bookmark the permalink.

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