Do international institutions shape the behaviour of powerful states or do those institutions adjust to their wishes? Can great powers step outside established institutions to alter the existing status quo? The European Union (EU) was shaped to tie Germany’s hands after reunification, but changed after 2008 to reflect Germany’s priorities. New EU institutions of macroeconomic governance were introduced to change state behaviour of states, but German-led institutions were also established outside the EU that bypass its legal and institutional order and force the EU to adjust. This strategy magnified German capacity to secure its goals over the objections of other countries within and without the EU. The result is a German Europe (Beck 2013) more than a European Germany. This took place in a contentious environment in which EU and international institutions, France and Southern Europe pushed for the EU to develop supranational institutions and a federal government to combat the Eurozone Crisis (EZC), and in which Germany and Northern Europe sought to impose national responsibility for financial stability and public finances.