Now More than Ever

Europe Needs German Leadership

22 April 2020

Neil Renic & Benjamin Tallis

To recover from COVID-19, Germany must embrace a leadership role, both within and beyond Europe.

Germany’s response to COVID-19 has been illustrative. It has set the European standard for testing, abandoned its seemingly sacrosanct balanced budget (“Black Zero”) and swiftly delivered a vast stimulus package. These latter measures highlight the economic strength of Germany but also a new-found and refreshing financial flexibility in Berlin.

Underpinning this, and in stark contrast to other nations, has been its steady political leadership, with a universally acclaimed speech by Chancellor Merkel finding the right balance between urgency and assurance.

Germany has acted swiftly, modifying its domestic approach to protect itself in the face of crisis. Now, to preserve what it values in the EU and global order, it will also need to adjust its stance on leadership abroad.

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