Unter dem Titel The New German Question schreibt Timothy Garton Ash viel Kluges über Deutschlands Rolle in der Welt. Eine sehr lesenswerte Analyse!
To understand why Germany is so reluctant to lead, you have to realize that the European monetary union forged during and after German unification was not a German project to dominate Europe but a European project to constrain Germany. To the German question of 1989—what should we do about a rapidly uniting Germany?—the answer given by François Mitterrand of France and Giulio Andreotti of Italy was: bind it even more tightly into Europe, through a monetary union. Yes, plans for a single currency to complement the single market were already to hand, Chancellor Helmut Kohl was for it in principle, and there were economic arguments for introducing it. But the timetable then hastily agreed for the monetary union we have today, and some of its fundamental design flaws, resulted from the politics around German unification.
Germany had not sought this leadership role in Europe. After 1990, most Germans would have been quite happy to master the challenges of national unification and otherwise go on being rich and free, in a kind of Greater Switzerland, with high-quality exports and plenty of sunny holidays on the Mediterranean. Instead, the monetary union intended by Mitterrand to keep France in the driver’s seat of Europe, and Germany in the passenger seat, ended up doing the precise opposite. It put Germany in the driver’s seat as never before.