Trying to Keep the Germans Close on EU Competences is Risky for Britain.
European Council on Foreign Relations
Almut Möller is a political scientist and currently a senior policy fellow and head of the European Council on Foreign Relations’ (ECFR) Berlin office. She has published widely on European affairs, foreign and security policy, and Germany’s role in the EU, and is a frequent commentator in the international media. Almut started her career in the think tank world at the Centre for Applied Policy Research at LMU University in Munich (1999-2008), where she focused on EU institutions and reform, and later on EU foreign policy. She then worked as an independent political analyst in London, focusing on EU-Middle East relations (2008-2010). Before joining ECFR she led the Europe program at the German Council on Foreign Relations/DGAP (2010-2015). Research fellowships have taken her to Renmin University of China in Beijing, the Al Ahram Center for Political and Security Studies in Cairo and the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., where she continues to engage as a non-resident fellow. Almut is a member of the extended board of Women in International Security (WIIS.de) and a member of the 14th Advisory Board “Innere Führung” of the German Federal Ministry of Defense.
She is a 2016-2017 participant in AICGS’ project “A German-American Dialogue of the Next Generation: Global Responsibility, Joint Engagement,” sponsored by the Transatlantik-Programm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland aus Mitteln des European Recovery Program (ERP) des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi).
As German politicians discuss competences within the EU, the British media have characterized this as a positive response to London’s call to renegotiate the relationship between member states and the Union. Originally appearing on the European Movement’s blog, AICGS Non-Resident Fellow Almut Möller’s essay points out that the debate on competence in Germany is rooted in its experience with federalism and has embraced the discussion as a long-term vision for EU reform. She also warns that British politicians’ interests diverge from Germany’s; London is capitalizing on short-term, narrow power negotiations. In contrast to Germany’s long-term mindset, this strategy might provoke a critical reaction from Berlin.