Ulrike Guérot: Joschka Fischer, to begin right away with Jürgen Habermas' central idea: Is it true that Germany is once again staking an unabashed claim to leadership in a Europe that is increasingly shaped by Germany? Is this the trend of the age and are we therefore seeing a kind of renationalization of Germany, to the detriment of Europe?
Joschka Fischer: Jürgen Habermas' findings are impossible to disagree with, in the sense that the facts simply bear out his conclusions. But this “renationalization” does not express a conscious decision in the sense of a strategic U-turn, in the sense that on 9 November 1989 Germany made this great reversal back to the nation state. My impression is rather that, for several years now, this development is simply what is happening. Which, it must be said, does not improve the situation in the slightest. Of course the failure of the European constitutional treaty plays an important role in this, since the optimism connected with it has evaporated. I think the criticism of the treaty and its requirements as having been too ambitious is wrong, not least in view of what came next. It was not the oft-criticized ambition and emotionality of the European debate, particularly on the constitution, that led to failure; true cross-border democracy on a European scale could have done with this kind of emotion and engagement. That is the quintessence of the last few wasted years. The Lisbon treaty plainly cannot fill this emotional gap, for all its legal and administrative complexity.