The programme adopted by the CDU during its most recent congress in Leipzig on 15th November should be looked at closely. It includes some specific indicators as to the developments that the European Union might experience if some of Germany's partners, the first of these being France - as this document recalls - decided to respond.
Chancellor Merkel's party has not eclipsed its message in rhetoric.
Of course it echoes Germany's traditional positions, the leading contributor from the beginning in terms of European spending. The Central bank must remain independent, pooling debt is not in line with the spirit of the commitments that have been made and it is vital to re-establish the balance of public finance in the States of Europe.
But this text also sets out developments that have already been approved. It accepts that the ECB will play the role of lender of last resort when it is no longer possible to do otherwise. It hopes for the establishment of a true European monetary fund, a tax on financial transactions and the true regulation of financial markets.
Finally this programme openly mentions further progress towards real federalism, and not just of an economic kind. The CDU supports the election of the president of the Commission by universal suffrage and hopes that the European Parliament will finally reflect demographic reality; it also demands for itself and the Council the right to legislative initiative that today is the reserve of the Commission. This means the democratic organisation of power within one federation.
These positions convey the re-iteration of Germany's total commitment to Europe, since the German socialists do not stand far from this position either. They reject comments that are quick in criticising German policy and this opens up new horizons. Germany is ready for the great federal leap forwards, as long as Europe respects the basic principles of democracy. A European Parliament in which each citizen is equally represented would enjoy total legitimacy to legislate. An elected European executive would act differently and would have to give account.
They call for rapid political response on the part of Germany's partners - starting with France. It is up to the Franco-German couple and those States which are ready, to revive the integration process as quickly as possible and to do it democratically, by putting forward proposals like this, on occasions such as general elections, as for example in France next spring.
This is the best way to put an end to the confidence crisis that Europe is now experiencing.
Removing the doubts about European determination to complete the unification of the continent and giving populations the chance to do this democratically would silence the most sceptical. This would be the proof that united Europe intends to take up its rightful place in the world by defending its free social economic model based on solidarity and by accepting to compete with others to promote it. We could then show enthusiasm for this achievement that is historically unique, i.e. the voluntary rapprochement of populations who retain their identities and yet pool their assets to carry a message forward, which the world quite clearly needs.