United in economic diversity?

Germany
Institute for European Politics
 
Before giving an overview of the German debate about the European Union’s role in the current economic and financial crisis and the implications the crisis has for the global economic and political power constellation a short remark on the prominence of these topics in the general German discourse about the crisis has to be made. The topics touched here are less prominent in the public debate in Germany. Three other questions are fare more prevailing: 1) Is it necessary to bail out bankrupt financial institutions? 2) Should the same be done for companies active in the real economy? 3) How is the money to support the economy efficiently spent and who receives which shares?
 
The evaluation of the EU’s performance is often just a side aspect, but a general trend can be identified among these statements. Most people participating take an intergouvernmentalist view of the European Union in the debate. The debate about long-term implications is even more restricted to expert circles. Most participants agree that multipolarisation will be the major effect of the current crisis.
 
Europe – a continent petrified by the crisis?
 
Reviewing the French Council Presidency the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel (Christian Democrats[1]), concluded that Europe has shown that a common set of instruments and coordinated national approaches brought the financial crisis partly under control.[2] Furthermore, she argued that to cope with the economic crisis a common approach is even more necessary than in the case of the financial crisis. This common approach has to be coordinated among all member states and not in any type of a European subgroup, she said in a parliamentary debate. Thus, the European Council could be regarded as an “economic government of Europe”.[3] Merkel and outspokenly the whole German federal government support the European Commission’s “European Economic Recovery Plan”[4] as going into the right direction. But in the same debate Merkel called for level-headedness. The German federal government would take measures adequate to the development of the economic crisis, but in a mid-term perspective all states had to comply with the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact.[5] This policy of deficit spending which keeps Peer Steinbrück’s, Social Democratic[6] Federal Minister of Finance, mid-term goal of having a balanced budget in mind, brought her soon criticism from many member states being “Germany’s Frau Nein”.[7]
 
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Social Democratic Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, as a member of the German federal government supports Chancellor Merkel’s view, and argues that a ‘one size fits all’ approach would not be appropriate to stimulate the European economies with their different structures.[8] In his role as the Social Democratic front runner in the federal parliamentary election in September 2009 Steinmeier emphasises other aspects.[9] In a strategy paper titled “European future pact for employment”[10] published on 13 November 2008 Steinmeier stresses that the citizens of the European Union, and the world, expect the Union to not only generate new legislation, but also to act. The paper lists nine proposals from an intensified social dialog to the claim that Europe should play a leading role in restructuring the global financial market.[11]
 
Steinbrück agrees with Chancellor Merkel on the German economic stimuli package and the general positive evaluation of the European Union’s performance. He does not see any deficits in European coordination of fiscal and economic policy. The Council for Economic and Financial Affairs would come close to a ‘European economic government’ and the European Council could act in this role if necessary. He is strongly against the idea of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy to install an economic government of the Eurozone. That would divide the European Union in two classes of member states.[12] Regarding the European Union as a whole, Steinbrück is more critical and identifies a “leadership problem” because “27 different members [...] have still not decided on how to work with each other”[13].

The opposition in the German federal parliament tries to stress much more its criticism concerning the performance of the European Union and the federal government. But its general perception of the European Union is not so far away from the government’s point of view. Werner Hoyer, Liberal[14] MP, doubts that the European Union will be able to act effectively in 2009 due to the European elections, the decision about the new European Commission and a, according to Hoyer, weak Czech Presidency. Thus, he concludes that the national governments will be the crucial actors in the coming months. Meanwhile the German Federal Minister of Finance weakened due to, according to Hoyer, Germany’s stance on the European level by criticising his colleagues from other member states. However, he especially agrees with the question whether the Stability and Growth Pact should be applied in a strict or loose manner with the federal government’s European policy.[15] Oskar Lafontaine from the Left Party[16] evaluates the performance of the French Presidency very positively. He agrees with the French President Sarkozy that the current challenges the European Union is facing cannot be dealt with on a national level; a European-wide answer had to be found. But according to him the German federal government did everything it could to block a common European approach, but luckily did not succeed. A second point of disagreement with position of the German federal government, concerns the question of a ‘European economic government’. The Left Party strongly favours this proposal of the French Presidency.[17] According to Renate Künast, from the Green Party,[18] the name “Madame Non” is an appropriate description of Chancellor Merkel’s policy on the European level, which lacks any initiative. The conclusions of the European Council are, from her point of view, a non sufficient response to the economic crisis. One cause for the inappropriateness of the measures she identifies is the fact that ten ministers from different European member states have eight different opinions.[19]
 
While politicians in Germany underline the reached or still necessary common European approach, scientists draw a more differentiated picture. Martin Koopmann, from the CDU-near the “Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation” agrees with the politicians that the common crisis management was efficient at last.[20] But first the governments underwent a ‘trial-and-error-process’ to find a common position, which especially between the French and German government, disagreements existed. Jutta Frasch, guest researcher at the “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik”, attributes these disagreements to the fact that the German government was caught by surprise and was not able to define its own strategy at first.[21] This period of inefficient talk and action ended, according to Koopmann, with a period in which the positions of the European national governments converged. The nucleus of this process sees Koopmann[22] in the meeting of the four European G8 member states on 4 October 2008.[23] The following steps of this coordination process were the meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 7 October 2008,[24] the first meeting of the heads of state and government of the Eurozone member states on 12 October 2008,[25] and finally the European Council on 15 and 16 October 2008 on which the member states agreed on number of common measures to cope with the financial crisis.[26] The role of the European Commission describes Koopmann in these times as a mere supporting one. Regarding the fact that the governments of the Eurozone member states played a crucial role in finding a common position on measures to solve the financial crisis Frasch remarks that establishing a economic government of the Eurozone, as proposed by French President Sarkozy, might be counterproductive. The informal character of the Eurogroup, according to Frasch, made it especially flexible enough to react efficiently.[27]
 
The well-suited reaction of the European Central Bank (ECB) is regarded as an example of efficient crisis management.[28] According to Werner Becker, researcher at “Deutsche Bank Research”, the ECB fulfils three crucial functions during the crisis: It provides as a “lender of last liquidity”[29] not just the markets of the Eurozone with liquidity since the crisis emerged. Its monetary policy is internationally coordinated with the Federal Reserve in the United States. Finally, the ECB acts as a mediator between the national governments.[30] Politicians share the view that the common currency is a factor of stability during the economic and financial crisis as well.[31]
 
As a first critique Koopmann argues, supported by Heribert Dieter from the “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik”,[32] that the crisis did not reach the European Union unexpectedly, but Europe did not prepare itself while the crisis crossed the Atlantic. Hans-Werner Sinn, economist at the “ifo Institute”, disagrees with this argument by saying that neither intensity nor the schedule of the current crisis could have been predicted.[33] European governments had hoped that the financial crisis would remain in America; however, when the “Lehman Brothers” filed for bankruptcy, the seriousness of the financial crisis and its broadening effects could no longer be ignored.[34]
 
The second, and even more severe critique Koopmann expresses is the European Union’s insufficient equipment with institutional features to allow an immediate response to sudden crises.[35] The crisis put the lengthy debated question, whether an integrated market and common monetary policy can be efficient without a common fiscal policy, back on the agenda. Koopman concludes that, due to this institutional ‘feature’ of the EU the European Commission can hardly be blamed for its inactivity during the crisis.[36] Furthermore, Daniela Schwarzer, researcher at the “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik”, points out that the structure and size of the EU budget restrict the EU’s ability to stimulate the economy on its own.[37] Frasch agrees that the loose coordination of the economic and fiscal policies of the member states under the framework of the ‘open method of coordination’ is causing problems, but points out that the “European Economic Recovery Plan”[38] might be a sign for a revision on positions held by the national governments.[39] Schwarzer reminds here that a precondition is still a consensus between the member states’ governments on the fiscal policy measures.[40]

Werner Abelshauser, professor for economic history, is more critical and criticises the performance of the European Commission as being not good. The member states remain the dominant actors, what is, according to him, not a disadvantage. He recognises the value of the European Union, especially in the current crisis, as an instrument that increases the nation states’ ability to act.[41] Going even further Joscha Schmierer, former adviser of Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Steinmeier and former Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer, explicitly agrees in his column for the “Heinrich Böll Foundation. The Green Political Foundation” in a somehow unusual coalition with Sinn’s following point of view:[42] Sinn points out that according to their national economic structures each member state has different interests concerning the question how the crisis should be solved.[43] Thus a common European approach to cope with the crisis is unlikely, as each government had to justify these measures before its national electorate.[44] Sinn asks: Would the Brits pay for a bankrupt German industry? He doesn’t think so.[45]
 
Evaluating the European crisis management is just one side of the debate. Most participants already think about lessons that should be drawn from the current crisis. Federal Minister of Finance, Steinbrück, envisions the funding of a European financial authority in a long, but not in a short-term perspective, as a measure to prevent future financial crises.[46] His secretary of state, Jörg Asmussen, pointed out in an article, on which role the European Union should play in short-term measures.[47] According to him, the best way to reduce the probability of future financial crises is to implement the roadmap the Council for Economic and Financial Affairs agreed on in October 2007.[48] But this had to be complemented by the implementation of the recommendations the “Financial Stability Forum” made in April 2008.[49] Dieter is much more pessimistic in his analysis: “A common European proposal for reforming international financial policy is increasingly unlikely [...].”[50] Especially the British interest in the ‘city of London’s’ competitiveness on the global financial market is, according to him, a major obstacle for a common European position.[51] But without a common position and a significant contribution to the stimulation of the economy, Europe will not play a significant role in restructuring the global financial market.[52]
 
“The world is clearly searching for a new order”[53]
 
“[N]ew players and Powers that still have to find their places in the international order are seeking to enter the global stage.”[54] According to Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, the financial crisis is one factor among several contributing to this development. He is “certain that the painful tremors on the world financial markets will accelerate the multipolarization of the international financial system.”[55] His fellow party member and Federal Minister of Finance, Steinbrück, does not “expect any immediate, visible shifts”[56], but agrees with Steinmeier on the direction of the shift. According to him, within a decade, the importance of ‘wall street’ and the ‘city of London’ will not diminish but more financial centres will gain influence. He names China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Europe. This influence he does not just see in terms of economic power but also in political influence on regulatory frameworks and on the prevailing market philosophy.[57] As a short-term result, Asmussen, secretary of state in the German Federal Ministry of Finance, expects that the financial sector’s share of world economy will decrease.[58]
 
The envisioned reform of the group of eight (G8) to a group of 20 (G20) is centrally discussed as a reaction to shifts in the international economic power constellation. Steinbrück regards it as an anticipation of future economic realities. While he does not believe that shifts in the economic power structure will go as far as a loss of the United States’ leading role.[59] But after the G20 Summit on 15 November 2008 in Washington, he doubts that it will ever be possible to return to a G7 format.[60] In the leadership question, the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Steinmeier, is more sceptical: “no single player will be able to lay down those rules [regulating the financial markets]. It will no longer be possible for any one country to act as if it were immune to undesirable developments.”[61] Scientists see as well the formation of the G20 as an indicator for the revaluation of the political role of the ‘emerging markets’ as a long-lasting result of the current crisis.[62]
 
The evaluation of the G20’s future role is ambivalent: Abelshauser regards the open leadership question in the G20 as a problem. According to him in the G20 format, it is still unclear who will decide what.[63] And he reminds that the goal of regulating the financial market has already been put on the agenda of the then G7 by the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in 1980 and remained there unresolved since then. In a comparative perspective Hanns Günther Hilpert and Stormy Mildner conclude as well, that the increased number of actors make compromises on financial market regulations more difficult.[64] Instead, Steinmeier regards this increased number as a chance for the European Union. “Europe, with its tried-and-tested policy of mediation and reconciliation of interests, could play a key role in this.”[65]




[1] Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU).


[2] Angela Merkel in the parliamentary debate on the European Council on 11 and 12 December 2008, in: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/193, pp. 20683 (C)-20687 (C), here p. 20684 (A), available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/16/16193.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[3] Ibid., p. 20684 (B).


[4] European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the European Council. A European Economic Recovery Plan, COM (2008) 800, available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2008:0800:FIN:... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[5] Angela Merkel in the parliamentary debate on European Council on 11 and 12 December 2008, in: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/193, pp. 20683 (C)-20687 (C), here p. 20684 (B), available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/16/16193.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[6] Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD).


[7] Stefan Theil: Germany’s Frau Nein. The world’s policymakers say big spending packages will spur growth. But the leader of Europe’s biggest economy says she’s done enough already, in: Newsweek, 15 December 2008, available at: http://www.newsweek.com/id/172619 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[8] Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the parliamentary debate on the European Council on 11 and 12 December 2008, in: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/196, pp. 21128 (B)-21132 (A), here p. 21129 (D), available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/16/16196.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[9] Carsten Volkery: EU-Wirtschaftspakt: Kanzlerkandidat treibt Kanzlerin, Spiegel Online, 13 November 2008, available at: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,590293,00.html (last access: 25 February 2009).


[10] „Europäischer Zukunftspakt für Arbeit“, available at: http://www.spd.de/de/pdf/material/131108_EU_Zukunftspakt.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[11] Ibid.


[12] Peer Steinbrück, Federal Minister of Finance, in an interview with Reinhold Beckmann, in: ARD: beckmann, 27 October 2008, minute 41:25-42:40, available at: http://www.daserste.de/beckmann/sendung_dyn~uid,exe47b6c7gbesrqhz7jx7z77... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[13] Stefan Thiel: ‘It Doesn’t Exist!’. Germany’s outspoken finance minister on the hopeless search for ‘the Great Rescue Plan.’, Newsweek, 15 December 2008, available at: http://www.newsweek.com/id/172613 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[14] Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP).


[15] Werner Hoyer in the parliamentary debate on the European Council on 11 and 12 December 2008, in: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/196, pp. 21132 (B)-21133 (D), here p. 21132 (C-D), available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/16/16196.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[16] Die Linke.


[17] Oskar Lafontaine in the parliamentary debate on the European Council on 11 and 12 December 2008, in: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/196, pp. 21135 (C)-21137 (C), here p. 21135 (C)-21136 (A), available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/16/16196.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[18] Bündnis 90/Die Grünen.


[19] Renate Künast in the parliamentary debate on the European Council on 11 and 12 December 2008, in: Bundestagsplenarprotokoll 16/196, pp. 21139 (B)-21141 (A), here pp. 21140 (C)-21141 (A), available at: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btp/16/16196.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[20] Martin Koopmann: Die Europäische Union in der Finanzmarktkrise. Gelungenes Krisenmanagement – strategische Defizite, in: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (ed.): Analysen und Argumente No. 56, 3 December 2008, available at: http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_15245-544-1-30.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[21] Jutta Frasch: Die Finanzkrise: Ein Weckruf für die EU, in: Hanns Günther Hilpert/Stormy Mildner (eds.): Globale Ordnungspolitik am Scheideweg. Eine Analyse der aktuellen Finanzmarktkrise, SWP-Studie 4/2009, pp. 21-26, here p. 21, available at: http://www.swp-berlin.org/common/get_document.php?asset_id=5758 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[22] Martin Koopmann: Die Europäische Union in der Finanzmarktkrise. Gelungenes Krisenmanagement – strategische Defizite, in: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (ed.): Analysen und Argumente No. 56, 3 December 2008, p. 4, available at: http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_15245-544-1-30.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[23] See French Council Presidency: Summit on the international financial crisis, 4 October 2008, available at: http://www.eu2008.fr/PFUE/lang/en/accueil/PFUE-10_2008/PFUE-04.10.2008/s... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[24] See Council of the European Union: 2894th Council meeting Economic and Financial Affairs, press release, Doc. 13784/08 (Presse 279), 7 October 2008, available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[25] See French Council Presidency: Summit of the euro area countries: declaration on a concerted European action plan of the euro area countries, 12 October 2008, available at: http://www.eu2008.fr/PFUE/lang/en/accueil/PFUE-10_2008/PFUE-12.10.2008/s... (last access: 25 February 2009); Council of the European Union: Summit of the Euro Area countries – Declaration on a concerted European Action Plan of the Euro Area countries, Doc. 14239/08, 14 October 2008, available at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st14/st14239.en08.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[26] Council of the European Union: Brussels European Council 15 and 16 October 2008. Presidency Conclusions, Doc. 14368/08, 16 October 2008, available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/1034... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[27] Jutta Frasch: Die Finanzkrise: Ein Weckruf für die EU, in: Hanns Günther Hilpert/Stormy Mildner (eds.): Globale Ordnungspolitik am Scheideweg. Eine Analyse der aktuellen Finanzmarktkrise, SWP-Studie 4/2009, pp. 21-26, here p. 21, available at: http://www.swp-berlin.org/common/get_document.php?asset_id=5758 (last access: 25 February 2009). See as well: Daniela Schwarzer: Zehn Jahre Governance der Eurozone: ökonomische Bilanz und institutionelle Dynamiken jenseits der Vertragsrevisionen, in: integration 1/2009, pp. 17-32, here pp. 27-28, available at: http://www.iep-berlin.de/fileadmin/website/09_Publikationen/integration_... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[28] Martin Koopmann: Die Europäische Union in der Finanzmarktkrise. Gelungenes Krisenmanagement – strategische Defizite, in: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (ed.): Analysen und Argumente No. 56, 3 December 2008, p. 3, available at: http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_15245-544-1-30.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[29] Werner Becker: Die Währungsunion im Reifetest der Finanzkrise, Deutsche Bank Research (ed.): Aktueller Kommentar, 29 October 2008, p. 1, available at: http://www.dbresearch.de/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_DE-PROD/PROD0000000000233153.pdf (last access 25 February 2009).


[30] Ibid. p. 1-2.


[31] Norbert Röttgen: Europa in der Finanzkrise dank des Euro gut gerüstet, press release, 15 February 2008, available at: http://www.cducsu.de/Titel__Thema_des_Tages_Europa_in_der_Finanzkrise_da... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[32] Heribert Dieter: Managing the Financial Crisis – Is Europe Getting It Right?, SWP Comment 6/2009, pp. 1-2, available at: http://www.swp-berlin.org/en/common/get_document.php?asset_id=5774 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[33] Hans-Werner Sinn in an interview, in: FAZ.NET: “Wir sollten uns nicht verrückt machen lassen”, 12 October 2008, available at: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub58241E4DF1B149538ABC24D0E82A6266/Doc~E494F421C10... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[34] Jutta Frasch: Die Finanzkrise: Ein Weckruf für die EU, in: Hanns Günther Hilpert/Stormy Mildner (eds.): Globale Ordnungspolitik am Scheideweg. Eine Analyse der aktuellen Finanzmarktkrise, SWP-Studie 4/2009, pp. 21-26, here p. 21, available at: http://www.swp-berlin.org/common/get_document.php?asset_id=5758 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[35] Martin Koopmann: Die Europäische Union in der Finanzmarktkrise. Gelungenes Krisenmanagement – strategische Defizite, in: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (ed.): Analysen und Argumente No. 56, 3 December 2008, p. 3, available at: http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_15245-544-1-30.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[36] Ibid., p. 4; Nicolaus Heinen: Wirtschaftspolitische Koordinierung in der EU hat ihre Belastungsprobe bestanden, Deutsche Bank Research (ed.): Aktueller Kommentar, 17 October 2008, available at: http://www.dbresearch.de/servlet/reweb2.ReWEB?addmenu=false&document=PROD0000000000233065&rdLeftMargin=10&rdShowArchivedDocus=true&rwdspl=0&rwnode=DBR_INTERNET_DE-PROD$WIPO&rwobj=ReDisplay.Start.class&rwsite=DBR_INTERNET_DE-PROD (last access: 25 February 2009).


[37] Daniela Schwarzer: Zehn Jahre Governance der Eurozone: ökonomische Bilanz und institutionelle Dynamiken jenseits der Vertragsrevisionen, in: integration 1/2009, pp. 17-32, here pp. 29, available at: http://www.iep-berlin.de/fileadmin/website/09_Publikationen/integration_... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[38] European Commission: Communication from the Commission to the European Council. A European Economic Recovery Plan, COM (2008) 800, available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2008:0800:FIN:... (last access: 25 February 2009); Council of the European Union: Brussels European Council 11 and 12 December 2008. Presidency Conclusions, Doc. 17271/1/08, 13 February 2009, available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/1046... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[39] Jutta Frasch: Die Finanzkrise: Ein Weckruf für die EU, in: Hanns Günther Hilpert/Stormy Mildner (eds.): Globale Ordnungspolitik am Scheideweg. Eine Analyse der aktuellen Finanzmarktkrise, SWP-Studie 4/2009, pp. 21-26, here p. 22, available at: http://www.swp-berlin.org/common/get_document.php?asset_id=5758 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[40] Daniela Schwarzer: Zehn Jahre Governance der Eurozone: ökonomische Bilanz und institutionelle Dynamiken jenseits der Vertragsrevisionen, in: integration 1/2009, pp. 17-32, here pp. 29, available at: http://www.iep-berlin.de/fileadmin/website/09_Publikationen/integration_... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[41] Werner Abelshauser: Geschichte wiederholt sich nicht. Oder doch? Szenarien der Finanzmarktkrise, in: Zeitschrift für Staats- und Europawissenschaft 4/2008, pp. 565-576, here p. 575.


[42] Joscha Schmierer: Die globale Finanzkrise prüft die Gemeinschaft. EU in der Bewährungsprobe, Zwischenruf zur Aussenpolitik, without date, available at: http://www.boell.de/internationalepolitik/aussensicherheit/wirtschaft-52... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[43] Hans-Werner Sinn in an interview, in: FAZ.NET: “Wir sollten uns nicht verrückt machen lassen”, 12 October 2008, available at: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub58241E4DF1B149538ABC24D0E82A6266/Doc~E494F421C10... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[44] Joscha Schmierer: Die globale Finanzkrise prüft die Gemeinschaft. EU in der Bewährungsprobe, Zwischenruf zur Aussenpolitik, without date, available at: http://www.boell.de/internationalepolitik/aussensicherheit/wirtschaft-52... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[45] Hans-Werner Sinn in an interview, in: FAZ.NET: “Wir sollten uns nicht verrückt machen lassen”, 12 October 2008, available at: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub58241E4DF1B149538ABC24D0E82A6266/Doc~E494F421C10... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[46] Peer Steinbrück, Federal Minister of Finance, in an interview with Reinhold Beckmann, in: ARD: beckmann, 27 October 2008, minute 18:20-18:50, available at: http://www.daserste.de/beckmann/sendung_dyn~uid,exe47b6c7gbesrqhz7jx7z77... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[47] Jörg Assmussen: Politische Antworten auf die Finanzmarktkrise, in: Neue Gesellschaft – Frankfurter Hefte 11/2008, pp. 12-15, here p. 15.


[48] Council of the European Union: 2822nd Council meeting Economic and Financial Affairs, press release, Doc. 13571/07 (Presse 217), 9 October 2008, pp. 22-29, available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/... (last access: 25 February 2009); for an updated version see: Council of the European Union: Financial Markets Stability Roadmaps, Doc. 9056/1/08, 15 May 2008, available at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st09/st09056-re01.en08.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[49] Financial Stability Forum: Report of the Financial Stability Forum on Enhancing Market and Institutional Resilience, 7 April 2008, available at: http://www.fsforum.org/publications/r_0804.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009); for the progress in the implementation see Financial Stability Forum: Report of the Financial Stability Forum on Enhancing Market and Institutional Resilience. Follow-up on Implementation, 10 October 2008, available at: http://www.fsforum.org/press/pr_081009f.pdf (last access: 25 February 2009).


[50] Heribert Dieter: Managing the Financial Crisis – Is Europe Getting It Right?, SWP Comment 6/2009, pp. 1-2, available at: http://www.swp-berlin.org/en/common/get_document.php?asset_id=5774 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[51] Ibid., p. 2.


[52] Ibid.


[53] Frank-Walter Steinmeier in his speech at the UN General Assembly, in: UN General Assembly: official records, 63rd session, 12th plenary meeting, 26 September 2008, Doc. A/63/PV.12, p. 47, available at: http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N08/522/65/PDF/N0852265.pdf?OpenE... (last access: 25 February 2008).


[54] Ibid.


[55] Ibid., p. 48.


[56] Stefan Thiel: ‘It Doesn’t Exist!’. Germany’s outspoken finance minister on the hopeless search for ‘the Great Rescue Plan.’, Newsweek, 15 December 2008, available at: http://www.newsweek.com/id/172613 (last access: 25 February 2009).


[57] Peer Steinbrück: “Wie viel Vertrauen verdienen die Finanzmärkte?”, press release, 13 November 2008, available at: http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/DE/Presse/Reden_20und_20Interviews... (last access: 25 February 2009).


[58] Jörg Assmussen, secretary of state in the German Federal Ministry of Finance, in the discussion “Ansätze zur Finanzmarktregulierung” organised by the “Managerkreis der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung” on 4 December 2008 in Berlin.


[59] Peer Steinbrück: “Wie viel Vertrauen verdienen die Finanzmärkte?”, press release, 13 November 2008, available at: http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/DE/Presse/Reden_20und_20Interviews... (last access: 25 February 2009).


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