The European Union (EU) is one of the most powerful entities in the political arena of the world. Since its inception, this institution has aimed at making European countries empowered economically and politically while making their citizens financially and socially secure (European Union, n. d.). Germany joined the EU in 1958, ten years after the organization’s establishment, and the country soon became one of the leading nations among other states. At the same time, this leadership can be seen as a factor jeopardizing the prospects of the EU, as Germany’s political culture and agenda have had quite negative effects on the development of the European Union.
Germany is one of the leaders among EU member states in terms of economic potential and social standards for the country’s citizens. The country is one of the most influential nations with the highest financial contribution reaching almost 32 billion euros (European Commission, n.d.). At that, the country receives over 12 billion euros from the EU, which is less than such countries as France or Spain get (European Commission, n.d.). It is noteworthy that the input of these members is twice as small as the contribution of Germany. This economic standing of the country ensures its increased political weight. Germany is famous for its considerable influence on other members and its ability to affect EU decisions.
During times of economic growth and development, the EU benefited from the position adopted by Germany. The country’s “technocracy and the politics of the exception” proved to be favorable in the middle and the second half of the twentieth century (Auer, 2019, p. 1). The EU and Germany grew economically and gained significant power in the global arena, becoming important partners to the USA, Canada, and Australia. It has also developed close economic ties with BRICS countries and various developing countries.
However, the dark side of such a position and political perspective became apparent in the 2000-2010s when new challenges emerged. Germany influenced the decisions made by the EU, and compromising became the major trait of EU politics. The economic issues and migrant crisis became the most serious issues countries, and the entire EU had to address. Germany became one of the central donors and the country that received a substantial number of refugees (Auer, 2019). Germany also insisted on accepting the refugees and focusing on compromising the EU-Russia-Ukraine relations. These choices had quite a negative effect on the EU as an increasing dissatisfaction with the organization is being expressed by its member states.
As far as Germany’s attitude towards the EU is concerned, the country views this organization as an important entity that should remain in the background of the European political landscape. German politicians claim that the EU has enabled Europe to be a powerful player in the international arena, which is beneficial for its member states (Auer, 2019). Clearly, there are voices criticizing the EU and German participation in this institution, but these groups’ influence remains limited.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that Germany is one of the leading nations among EU member states. The country has a considerable economic and political weight in this international entity, often shaping its politics. Although the organization is still powerful in the global arena, it faces numerous challenges that seem to have no easy solution. Germany, with its pragmatism and compromising, has aggravated the problems to be addressed. Growing dissatisfaction with Germany’s influence among EU members, as well as nations’ concerns related to the vitality of the European Union, undermines the stability of this organization. At that, the new government in Germany and the changing political and social perspectives may be instrumental in reviving EU development.
Auer, S. (2019). Merkel’s Germany and the European Union: Between emergency and the rule of rules. Government and Opposition, 56(1), 1-19. Web.
European Commission. (n.d.). EU spending and revenue. Web.
European Union. (n.d.). History of the European Union 1945-59. Web.