German European Policy: Between Pragmatism and Europeanisation

  • Vladimír Handl
  • Tomáš Nigrin
Keywords: Germany, European Union, Europeanisation, CDU-CSU, SPD, grand coalition, leadership, European Constitutional Treaty


German European policy has undergone a substantial change since the mid 1990s. It has often been labelled as "normalisation", "pragmatisation", or even as "de-Europeanisation". The article argues that while there has been little change in the programme of the Angela Merkel government compared to the former SPD-Green coalition, shifts in the institutional set-up, "Brusselisation" of the top ranks of the state administration and improvement in the economic performance of Germany may prove politically significant. So far, the change in the style of the German policy has been the most visible: while pragmatic regulative polices continue, Berlin focuses its constitutive politics more on strategic issues viewing this phase of the EU development as critical. In the run-up to the German EU presidency Berlin's policy has become more EU-partisan focusing on the EU Constitution Treaty in particular, as well as, seeking and offering more leadership in EU affairs than before.

Author Biographies

Vladimír Handl



Tomáš Nigrin



Research Articles