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This year and next, voters in leading Western democracies will make decisions that could fundamentally change the West – and the world – as we have known it for decades.Given France's role as one of the EU's critical foundation stones (along with Germany), the election of Le Pen would most likely mean the end of the EU itself.Though Germany would pay the highest economic and political price if the EU collapsed – its interests are simply too interwoven with the EU's – no one should hope for German renationalization.Following the establishment of the Federal Republic in 1949, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer chose the West.The postwar Franco-German rapprochement and European integration under the EU have been indispensable elements of Germany's Western orientation.There is similar danger from the other side of the aisle, because any prospective CDU-AfD coalition would have to rely on Die Linke (the Left Party), some of whose leading members effectively want the same thing as the AfD: closer relations with Russia and looser or no integration with the West.The future of Germany, Europe, and the West, may depend on it.
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