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"The Limits of Leadership: Germany and the EMS/Yugoslavian Crises"

Smith, Michael E. (1995) "The Limits of Leadership: Germany and the EMS/Yugoslavian Crises". In: UNSPECIFIED, Charleston, South Carolina. (Unpublished)

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    Since its 1990 reunification, Germany now more than ever dominated the European Union in terms of population and economic power, making it a prime candidate for leading the European integration project. Yet these resources do not convert directly into political influence. Germany's leadership in the EU is conditioned by political forces at the domestic and the EU level, and the institutional setting of the policy area in question. The exercise of German influence depends on which actors are empowered at different times. This empowerment both enabled and constrained German leadership during two recent episodes, both of which have been cited as reasons to be concerned with the future of Germany's participation in the EU. In both cases Germany was unable to engineer a more effective resolution of a serious difficulty than its power might otherwise indicate. The first incident involves the shift from cooperation to acrimony in the European Monetary System between the compromises of the 1991 Treaty on European Union and the crisis in the EMS from September 1992 to August 1993. Germany asserted effective leadership in bringing about the successful negotiation of the monetary provision of the Treaty, but during the ratification stage the country was unable to avert the EMS crisis by instituting a realignment of exchange rates or a reduction in interest rates. The second case involves the EU's response to the break-up of Yugoslavia. Germany was able to bring about the EU's reluctant recognition of the independent Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia in 1991, but after violence escalated in the region the Germans have been unable to intervene in a more substantial way to help resolve the conflict despite the efforts of Kohl and his cabinet. In both of these cases German leadership was transformed depending on the phase of the policy in question, institutional constraints at the domestic and EU levels, and most importantly, on who was acting on the part of Germany. During these events Germany's executive was empowered in the initial phases of policy (primarily Kohl during Maastricht negotiations; Genscher during the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia), but during the crisis phases the country was prevented from acting more decisively thanks to Germany's constitutional provisions, decentralization of power, and the specific EU arrangements for cooperation in monetary and political affairs. The analysis thus highlights the extent to which European integration can proceed only as institutional norms, rules and procedures at the domestic and the EU levels develop in harmony with each other, particularly in policy areas (such as monetary and political cooperation), where mechanisms at the EU level are inadequate or ineffective.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Crisis management.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Slovenia
    Countries > Germany
    Countries > Yugoslavia (former)
    Countries > Croatia
    EU policies and themes > External relations > conflict resolution/crisis management
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > EMU/EMS/euro
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1995 (4th), May 11-14, 1995
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2007
    Page Range: p. 22
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:45

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