Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

Europe’s Sorry State

Handelsblatt Global Editor in Chief Kevin O'Brien (left) and Handelsblatt Editor in Chief Sven Afhüppe faced off with former defense minister Karl Theodor zu Gutenberg in Washington. Source: Dermot Tatlow for Handelsblatt
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The European Union’s future is uncertain amid a myriad of challenges that have led many of its 28 countries to withdraw into themselves rather than show unity.

  • Facts


    • Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was Germany’s defense minister from 2009 to 2011.
    • A once-rising political star in Germany, Mr. zu Guttenberg was forced to resign after a university found he had plagiarized his doctoral thesis.
    • He currently resides in New York and is the chairman and founder of venture capital firm  Spitzberg Partners
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Germany’s former defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg offered a dose of perspective in Washington on Wednesday: Despite the political rancor in the United States, Europe’s problems are far bigger than this crazy 2016 election.

“It’s not only [about] the character of the next [U.S.] president. For me the greatest threat to trans-Atlantic security is a disunited Europe,” Mr. zu Guttenberg said at the start of an open discussion on the state of Europe at Handelsblatt’s Washington camp.

Mr. zu Guttenberg painted a bleak picture of Europe and global security. He slammed the 28-nation European Union as essentially rudderless, lacking in strong leaders and failing to learn the lessons of its many crises over the last few years.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.