“Voluntary isolation, hegemonic claims, lack of goals”. Following the annual Königswinter conference held this spring in Oxford, that’s how the Süddeutsche Zeitung sums up the respective positions of the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union. The 2012 version of this conference of senior politicians and members of think-tanks, which established in 1950 to improve relations between the two countries, has left "an impression as honest as it is sombre over the three-way relationship between the British, Germans and Europe," notes the Munich paper -
The United Kingdom is observing the Greek operation very sceptically, and feels the new German forcefulness verges on a claim to hegemony. Equally suspicious, the Germans feel the UK has no grasp of the political, economic and historical logic of a united Europe.
By refusing to discuss their respective concerns and questions about the future of Europe, the Süddeutsche Zeitung notes, the conference participants have perfectly illustrated the mistrust between German and Britain – two countries that -
... instead of building bridges, are burrowing into tunnels.