Hers is a government for undemanding times, with none of the ambition needed to face the giant challenges of today
If Germany is the heart of Europe, then it is currently the slow-beating heart of a well-fed businessman resting on his office couch after an ample lunch. For Europe’s sake, and for Germany’s own, that heart needs to beat a little faster.
It’s not that German elites don’t intellectually recognise the problems gathering all around them. Berlin, which is beginning to rival London as a thinktank hub, is pullulating with clever people who can tell you exactly why, faced with the challenges of Brexit, populism, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, climate change and AI – to name but a few – Europe needs more strategic autonomy, digital innovation and sustainable growth. What is missing is a sense of urgency and the ability to translate these abstract goals into dynamic policies that German voters will actually support. For now, Germany is effectively willing the ends but not the means.