Germany leads the EU?

It holds the most influence, but does the EU follow Germany's lead?


Lead Europe? Berlin can't even lead Germany

It was only recently that Germany seemed like a rock of stability in an otherwise unpredictable world, a country to which other EU members turned desperately for leadership and direction.

Today, things couldn’t be more different. With attempts to form a government in their fourth month, following an unexpectedly poor election performance by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, it’s in Berlin that things are looking desperate. Never mind trying to lead Europe. It’s not clear that Berlin can even lead Germany.

The prevailing sense in the German capital is that the country needs to change course. The caretaker government headed by Merkel can muddle on, but it can’t define an agenda — neither domestically nor on the European stage.

Meanwhile, the only thing on which the winners and losers of the September 2017 election can truly agree is that “business as usual” can’t go on. Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats with whom they are negotiating don’t share a joint vision for the country — let alone the EU.

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YouGov | International survey: which is the most important country in the EU?

With Britain leaving the EU and needing to secure trade deals, the question of British importance in the eyes of the world is vital. Ministers have been touting the UK’s importance as they criss-cross the globe trying to convince nations to prioritise new trade deals with us.

If other countries see Britain as the most prominent EU nation then that would bode well for future dealings – but if not then bumpy roads could be ahead.

Now YouGov can reveal what the world thinks of British importance, with an international conducted in 26 countries over the last few months having asked people to rank which they think are the three most important EU countries.

Whichever way you cut it, Germany comes out on top.

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Brussels or Berlin: Who Leads Europe?

"The whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. " This phrase can be summarized in the term gestalt (pronounced ge-shtalt), which is borrowed from the German word for "figure, form or structure. "

Gestalt describes the European Union, which takes 28 disparate nations-some with deep problems-and creates an entity with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) on the globe. The World Bank lists it as having the largest economy on Earth, totaling around $16.7 trillion.

Think of it. Spain has 26 percent unemployment. Greece’s debt is 157 percent of its GDP. Germany is often maligned for being thrifty to a fault.

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