The popular German tabloid Bild asked today: "Is Britain destroying the EU?" The headline reflects the unease felt across Europe over David Cameron's promise to re-negotiate its EU membership.
Europe now knows what it long suspected: many in Britain have a completely different vision of the EU than those on the continent. David Cameron's European idea is of a flexible, pragmatic union that focuses on trade. The question he asks is: can the EU, as it is currently structured, deliver prosperity? In the rest of Europe they believe that closer integration will build the European dream.
The relationship on many levels is remarkably deep. There have been eight million student exchanges between the two countries. More than 2,000 French and German towns have a partnership. The political links are equally strong, but at times tempestuous.
In Britain it may be the week of David Cameron's much-awaited speech, but in the rest of Europe it is the week that celebrates 50 years of Franco-German friendship.
On 22 January 1963 General de Gaulle of France and Germany's Konrad Adenauer signed the Elysee Treaty in Paris. On Tuesday the friendship between the two countries will be lavishly celebrated in Berlin.
Sooner or later, politics - with all its raucousness and uncertainty - was going to return to Italy. It now looks as if elections will be held in February rather than in April when the government's term runs out.
On Saturday night Mario Monti announced that he would stand down as soon as parliament has approved next year's budget. He took the decision after Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party (PdL) had withdrawn its support. "I have become convinced," said the Italian prime minister, "that we could not continue like this anymore".
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has declared a "new day" for his troubled country. He believes that on Monday night in Brussels he won a much better deal than he could have hoped for when he came into office a few months back.
Firstly, the possibility of Greece leaving the euro in the short term is off the table. In all but name it had been since August when German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to stick with Greece.
The French have threatened to use their veto if farming subsidies are reduced. Some other countries like Denmark are fighting for a rebate of their own. So every step towards the British position creates problems elsewhere.
The Germans are not far from the Van Rompuy proposal and are prepared to compromise. They are protective of their neighbour Poland and do not want to see an important ally losing out.
Nothing focuses leaders' minds like money and budgets. The voters may not be able to follow much of the EU's business but they usually can follow what funding goes to Brussels.
However when it comes to the EU, nothing is quite what it seems. Riddles and enigmas are all wrapped together. It is enough to say that all countries do not begin from the same starting point when they assess the budget, nor do they use the same criteria.
The Greek drama, which has preoccupied Europe for almost three years, continues. Another chapter is turned. The problem lies unresolved.
The eurozone's finance ministers have given Greece another two years to make the cuts promised. It is a small reward for the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for arm-twisting through the Greek parliament another round of tax rises and spending cuts.
These are difficult days for Britain in Europe. Allies are wary. Old friendships under strain. There is increasing impatience with the UK and what are seen as its incessant demands to be treated as a special case.
In the current debate about the next seven-year EU budget the finger of blame is firmly pointed at Britain. The Commissioner for Financial Programming, Janusz Lewandowski, makes the case that more Europe means more money.
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