The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Germany’s Historical Relationship with the European Union

  • Daniela Schwarzer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_3009

Abstract

This article gives an overview of Germany’s European policies since the onset of European integration in the early 1950s. It covers German perspectives and Germany’s impact on a variety of European policy areas with a special focus on the European economic order. After the Second World War, Germany was politically and economically isolated and under the external control of the Western Allies. In this historical context European integration and embeddedness helped Germany to rehabilitate itself as a political actor and to boost trade and economic growth. Inside the European framework and in close cooperation and coordination with France, Germany has exerted considerable leadership in shaping the European order and European institutions. Germany has managed to include national models, norms and policy principles in crucial European projects like the single market, including competition policy, monetary and economic union and eastern enlargement. In the course of the 1990s Germany underwent a process of ‘normalising’ its EU and foreign policy, transforming itself into a more pragmatic and self-confident power that no longer hesitates to act explicitly in its national interest, outside a multilateral setting if necessary. This process culminated in Germany’s controversial leadership role in the sovereign debt crisis in 2010.

Keywords

Economic governance Economic order European Union EU governance Euro Euro area European integration France German history Germany Leadership Single market 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniela Schwarzer
    • 1
  1. 1.