Direkt zum Seiteninhalt springen

How the UK Became Politically Dependent on Germany

And Why Germany Should Exploit the Situation for a New Bilateralism

SWP Comment 2011/C 04, 01.02.2011, 4 Seiten Forschungsgebiete

Last week's British/Baltic/Nordic summit gave Berlin cause for reflection. Germany, keen for new means of representing its interests in the EU, has been at a loss to exploit its relations with the UK. The summit suggested it had now missed the boat. The problem is thorny: the UK simply remains too little committed to the EU for Berlin and London to pursue common projects on a strategic basis. Shared priorities for EU action - such as, at present, towards Belarus and Tunisia - emerge almost at random, and any British-German partnership tends to be largely ad hoc. Yet if this shows anything, it is that Berlin is looking at the problem from the wrong angle. The basis for any new bilateralism should not be those areas where British and German priorities fleetingly converge, but rather those where the UK is structurally dependent upon Germany's influence as an EU-insider.