The outcome of the elections for the German Bundestag last Sunday looks bad for Germany and Europe. To begin with Europe: the brilliant and most hopeful speech of President Emmanuel Macron needs a strong and pro-European Germany for carrying out his proposals. See my next entry. Angela Merkel and her CDU/CSU lost heavily in the elections, despite the fact that the CDU/CSU remains the larger group in parliament.
The first reason is a lesson from history: Angela Merkel should not have run for the fourth time. Leaders in democracy who overstay their term, are bound to show signs of fatigue. More of the same after 12 years no longer convinces. The second one is the tendency of parties like the CDU in the center, to lean over to the populist argument, hoping so to diminish the attraction of the polulist parties. It happened in the U.K. and in the Netherlands. Result is more and smaller parties in Parliament. Nobody except Emmanuel Macron learned the lesson that populism can best be challenged by a clear European vision.The third reason became manifest when comparing the voting patterns: Germany is still deeply divided between the former East and West of the Cold War. Finally, the problem with Germany in Europe is complete lack of solidarity during the manifold crises during Merkel's tenure in office. Her leadership was of the muddling through type rather than solidarity of the strongest member with the weaker ones in the EU. See my European Unification into the Twenty First Century, Vol. IV of "Footprints of the Twentieth Century." published in third edition earlier this month.