Germany and Europe
in German politics today (third edition)
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The European Union (EU) and its predecessor institutions have often been shaped and influenced by the political initiatives of the Federal Republic of Germany, one of the largest and most prosperous of the member states. This chapter focuses on the EU and its predecessor organisations. While NATO has been essential to Germany's external security, the EU has contributed greatly to Germany's economic prosperity and has helped to ensure the political acceptance of the Federal Republic in international affairs. The chapter discusses many aspects of the political system of the Federal Republic that reflect Germany's relationship with institutions of European integration. The Basic Law itself acknowledges the relationship between the Federal Republic and European integration. The relationship between the Federal Republic and Europe can be summarised in four short assertions: Germany needs Europe; Europe needs Germany; Germany has influenced Europe; and Europe has influenced Germany.

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