Complacent no more: It’s time for Germany to step up

The days in which Germany can afford to be complacent are over. Europe’s largest economy needs to finally accept that it’s too big and important to simply sit on the sidelines. It needs to invest, innovate — and above all, lead.

The days of German complacency were nice, but they’re over. They lasted nearly as long as Angela Merkel’s chancellorship and were defined by a feeling of seemingly endless economic success and a sense of pride over Germany’s role in the world. Indeed, at the World Economic Forum in Davos three years ago, Germany was designated as the “best country in the world.” In Europe, there was talk of the “German model” as something for other countries to emulate. When Donald Trump became president in the U.S., some expected Angela Merkel to take up the torch as leader of the free world. Germany’s economy seemed unshakable, as did Merkel’s role in the world.

Neither is true today. And like everyone else who has had the wool pulled from their eyes, the Germans, too, must confront the truth that they should have seen this coming. The country has become a victim of its own complacency and it has begun to reap what it was sowing all along when it opted to merely coast through an historical anomaly rather than actively shape the future…

Another problem is that Germany still doesn’t see itself as a global power with all the responsibility that comes with such stature. This, too, needs to change. Germany needs a creative drive to help it carve out a role for itself in the world, both politically and economically.

To that end, Germany must accept that it is simply too big to be like Switzerland; it can’t simply stay silent…

Read The Full Article At Spiegel Online