Tuesday, September 3, 2013
On Europe, Germany is having its cake and eating it
September 3, 2013
Man kann nicht auf zwei Hochzeiten tanzen. That’s German and it means ”You can’t dance at two weddings” – the Prussian proverbial version of having one’s cake and eating it.
In Europe, that’s exactly what Germans want to do. Like most other nationalities in the EU, Germans are internally conflicted. For obvious reasons, Germans tend to be “pro-European” in temperament, and will give you the occasional pro-EU speech to back it up.
However, when it comes to down to actual policy, German support for “more Europe” is heavily caveated. You often hear loose talk in Berlin about the need to move towards a “political union” or a “federal Europe”. This confuses external observers, particularly UK ones, as they actually think the Germans mean it.