In Germany, when it comes to Europe, there is a rather unpleasant paradox: Germans prefer to talk more about democratic values than to actually do anything about them.
The basic problem is that most Germans are not particularly interested in foreign policy. And this is why the German EU Council presidency ends by yielding to Poland and Hungary.
If you ask the Germans about it, they will of course protest angrily. After all, every adult German has an opinion about Viktor Orbán, and it is usually not a positive one. The situation is similar with regard to the state of democracy in Poland.
But when it comes to setting priorities, however, displeasure with the policies of Fidesz and PiS does not even play a secondary role. For the 2017 federal election, the opinion research institute Infratest Dimap asked voters about the 15 most important issues
in the election campaign. European policy came in 15th place.
Similarly, the protests of anti-abortion women in Poland, while present in the news, did not become a topic of debate – because it apparently did not stir the Germans much.
Compassion cannot appear on demand; it must come from within. But perhaps it would be a start if the Germans would reflect on how far their idealistic self-image diverges from the harsh reality.