Despite too little and too late, why is Germany more influential than the UK in the European Union?
Imagine the Conservative party conference in the United Kingdom under the motto: For Europe. For Britain.
In Germany the the theme of the main government party, the Christian Democratic Union CDU meeting in Leipzig is: Für Europa. Für Deutschland.
CDU 2011 Leipzig
The party conference supports the EU politics of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor and leader of the CDU, DW-World reports (in German): Verunsicherte CDU folgt Merkels Europa-Kurs.
Merkel called for a breakthrough for a new Europe, based on the values of freedom, solidarity and justice, in the framework of a social market economy. The CDU offers highlights from Merkel's speech on Europe in a press release: ”Für Deutschland. Für Europa”.
After the epoch-making accomplishments of Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl, the task of the present generation is to complete the economic and monetary union (EMU) and to establish a political union, Merkel told the party delegates.
Europe has to emerge stronger from the debt crisis. This means more, not less Europe. If a country breaches the stability and growth pact (SGP), there has to be a right to intervene. All EU countries are part of the domestic politics of Europe, and they need to act responsibly. The constitutional rule of balanced budgets (Schuldenbremse) is one of the steps in this direction, according to Merkel.
With overwhelming support, the CDU party conference adopted guidelines equating a strong Europe with the good fortunes of Germany: Starkes Europa – Gute Zukunft für Deutschland (23 pages).
Far from the adoption of democracy and effective powers Europe needs, it still beats opt-outs, budget rebate, permanent obstructionism, constant criticism and general nastiness as means to win friends and influence people in Europe.