After Merkel, the incoming coalition will have to prove that democracy can meet Europe’s great challenges

In Brussels last week, I found everyone waiting for Berlin. In Berlin, I found everyone electrified by an unexpectedly wide-open election. One thing, however, is clear: the new German government will be a coalition, and almost certainly of three, rather than two, parties.

That points to the deepest question underlying this pivotal European event: can democracy deliver? More precisely: can the European model of change through democratic consensus, of which Germany is a prime example, produce the actions Europe badly needs if it is to hold its own in the 21st century?

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