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A strong Germany - a vision still weighed down by the past for many observers both inside and outside the country. But while some remain wary of Germany because of its history under the Nazis, others complain that it isn't active enough on the international stage.

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Voices demanding that Germany take on more responsibility internationally are growing louder. Only a few are still raised in worry about the possibility of a return to the expansionist plans of the last century. The memories of Germany’s horrific deeds in the Second World War have not been forgotten, and the founding of the European Union is in no small part do to the desire to hold the country’s post-war economic power in political check. But things have changed, and increasingly Germany has come to be seen as an honest mediator. "I’m less afraid of German power when I start to think about what German inactivity means,” said Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in commenting about Germany’s role in Europe. The Germans themselves have difficulties seeing their country take on a leadership role. A major pillar of German foreign policy for the last 60 years has been the country’s close integration in the EU, NATO and the UN, and going it alone is something German politicians have not had to think about for decades.

Should Germany now start playing a bigger role in geopolitics? Or are the worries of an overly powerful Germany justified? Does the country have the necessary political and economic might to take on a role like that, or can its military to provide the necessary back-up? Is Germany’s potential promising - or dangerous?

Let us know what you think: Germany’s New Role - The Reluctant Leader


Our guests:

Christiane Meier – began her career in journalism in northern Germany working for several local broadcasters. She later made the move to Bonn before crossing the Atlantic in 2000 to take up a post with the German public channel "ARD", at its Washington bureau. Ms Meier returned to Germany in 2007 and is still working for "ARD". She is now based in Berlin where she is responsible for foreign affairs, the chancellor, the Greens as well as environmental issues.

Ramesh Jaura - was born in India and began his career as a journalist in 1964. He then moved to Germany where he worked for a variety of international media, among them the Inter Press Service. As a co-founder and executive president of the German Global Cooperation Council he combined his work with creating public awareness about the global dimensions of local, national and regional concerns and challenges confronting humankind. Due to his commitment he was awarded Germany's Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon by the German Federal President in 1996. His book 'The Fettered Giant' gives a taste of his knowledge of German and International affairs. Currently he is the global editor of IDN-InDepthNews and Global Perspectives magazine.

Judy Dempsey - After training as a journalist in Ireland, Ms Dempsey embarked on an international career: From the 1980s to early 1990s she reported from eastern Europe. In 1996 she took over the Financial Times' bureau in Jerusalem where she remained until 2001. Judy Dempsey has won numerous awards for her work, including the Anglo-German Prize and the Foreign Press Association Award. She now works as a Columnist for the International Herald Tribune and as Editor in Chief for Carnegie Europe.