A new study illustrates that Germany actually benefits both politically and economically from its EU membership.
The study, initiated by NGOs Netzwerk Europäische Bewegung Deutschland and Europa Union Deutschland, was carried out by eight experts in politics and economics, who analysed the impact of the EU on Germany in five areas, namely in the single European market, the Euro, the employment situation, the debate about net contributions to the EU and in the area of foreign policy.
The results of the study, which were presented in Berlin by CDU deputy and MEP Elmar Brok and former EU Commissioner Monika Wulf-Mathies, contradict the widespread view of the EU being to blame for Germany's current economic situation. The study reveals, for instance, that Germany is one of the main beneficiaries of the single European market and that its net contributions to the EU are not as high as thought.
Looking at the employment situation in Germany, there was previously the concern of a wave of workers coming from the new member states but the study reports that this did not materialise as such in the end and that this enlargement offered 'more of a good opportunity than risks'.
Monika Wulf-Mathies says in the foreword to the study that "the new EU is of vital interest for Germany". However, she also notes that the results of the study "do not only show that Germany urgently needs reform in terms of competitiveness" but also discloses "the enormous deficit in Germany's political co-ordination in European affairs".