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Five Theses on the State of EU Politics

The EU not only finds itself in a fiscal crisis, it is also faced with a crisis of confidence. We need a broadly based public debate on alternative proposals for the future of Europe. With this in mind, the Heinrich Böll Foundation's international conference "Europe's Common Future" explored different perspectives and policy proposals.

The Greek, French, Polish and German speakers on the panel "Germany's role in the crisis" strongly reinforced five opinions of mine:

1. Poland likes Germany much more than ever before. They count on us.

2. The French inferiority complex in EU matters is getting worse.

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Romney Unites the Brits Behind the London Olympics

"Britain is an easy date. So how did Mitt Romney mess up so badly?" asks Jonathan Freedland:

So the big surprise in the opening ceremony is not what I expected. I thought Danny Boyle would set aside three minutes for a lavish video tribute to Willard Mitt Romney, thanking the Republican presidential nominee for doing what, until Thursday, neither David Cameron, Boris Johnson or Sebastian Coe had managed to do: silencing all but the grumpiest sceptics and uniting the British people in enthusiastic determination to enjoy the London Olympics.

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Davis Hanson: Poking Germany Leads to War

French President Hollande suggests that intervention might be required in Syria, but Germany's political leaders don't like the idea, explains the Christian Science Monitor. Germany is extremely reluctant and cautious of any military intervention. Libya last year was not an exception, but the rule.

Despite all this, Victor Davis Hanson, a historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, warns in the National Review that Germany might go to war against its EU neighbors:

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NATO and the R-Words: 10 Takes on the Chicago Summit

A plethora of op-eds in the US and German media argue that the Alliance needs to be rescued, revitalized, resurrected, and reinvented. The think tankers want to reaffirm or renegotiate the transatlantic bargain and look for a revolution to overcome geostrategic irrelevance.

Many editorials and op-eds paint quite a gloomy picture of NATO on the eve of its Chicago Summit. Secretary Rasmussen's signature project Smart Defense is seen most skeptically. A review of eight articles and two Senate testimonies:

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Promoting NATO's Success

Everytime he travels to the US, the NATO Secretary General Rasmussen hears "voices expressing concern about burden-sharing in the trans-Atlantic alliance. Their message is clear: the Europeans do too little." In his NYT op-ed he goes on to explain European contributions or rather commitment to sharing the security burden.

I don't think this short op-ed is very convincing. The best and most exciting part of his op-ed is this announcement, which I had missed in all the other articles about the Chicago summit:

At Chicago, we will set the goal of "NATO Forces 2020" - modern, mobile, connected forces able to operate together in any environment and to conduct complex joint operations at short notice, and equipped with the right mix of military capabilities.

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"We have become the Americans of Europe"

Although Germany approves one aid package after the other for Greece, "hardly a day goes by without Chancellor Angela Merkel being depicted in a Nazi uniform somewhere. Swastikas are a common sight as well," writes Jan Fleischhauer in both the German and English Edition of Der Spiegel.

He does not blame the imposed austerity measures for our lack of popularity, but rather Germany's success, self-confidence and strength. He concludes that Germans have become "the Americans of Europe":

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Perception of Germany

Foreign Policy covers Polish FM Sikorski's statements at the Munich Security Conference: Don't even try to become a hegemon

"Germany cannot be said to be said to be similar to the United States [in the post WWII period]," Sikorski said. "The position of benign hegemon for Germany is not attainable, and therefore I would propose your actual position in the EU, which is a very honorable one, is the position of the largest shareholder."

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

The Eurocrisis is severe, but no reason to wet your pants -- or to mention the war, is it? As did The Times editor-at-large Anatole Kaletsky, in an op-ed for his paper by the headline: "Germany has declared war on the eurozone"

If Clausewitz is right that "war is the continuation of policy by other means", then Germany is again at war with Europe -- in the sense that German policy is trying to achieve the characteristic objectives of war: the redrawing of international boundaries and the subjugation of foreign peoples.

Holy guacamole! The Australian has republished his op-ed with free access to everyone visiting via Google. So search for the headline "Europe is at economic war, and Germany is winning". (HT Christian)

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