Germany - The European Union and the G8 Presidencies: Leading the Leaderless

European leadership is either in transition or confusion, not a promising moment for Germany – which luckily escapes on both counts – to take over at the helm of the European Union and the G8 group of leading economies.

The World Today Updated 12 November 2020 Published 1 December 2006 4 minute READ

William Paterson

Director, Institute of German Studies, University of Birmingham

The first year of the grand left-right coalition in Germany has been one of contrasts. Success on the international stage has been accompanied by very slow progress on reform at home. The presidencies of the European Union and the group of eight leading economies (G8) present a major opportunity to build on that foreign policy reputation. But this will also be a considerable challenge given the present pattern of international leadership where an increasingly empowered Russian President Vladimir Putin presents a stark contrast to a western leadership which, except for Germany, is in disarray.

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