"Berlin is increasingly the de facto capital of the EU. Of course the EU’s main institutions – the commission and the council – are still based in Brussels. But the key decisions are increasingly made in Berlin.
Will Greece have to leave the euro? Ultimately, it will be Germany’s call. Will politicians support further bailouts for southern Europe? The vital debates will take place in the Bundestag in Berlin – not in the European parliament. Who does the International Monetary Fund call about the euro crisis? The most important conversations take place with the German government and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt – not the European Commission.
This shift in power from Brussels to Berlin has been accelerated by the euro crisis. Naturally, the German chancellor Angela Merkel still has to go to summits in Brussels and strike deals. She was there only last week. But the euro crisis means that Ms Merkel is now incomparably the most important leader at the table".
Gideon Rachman, "Welcome to Berlin, Europe’s new capital" (Financial Times, 23.10.2012).