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In this descriptive essay the European economic and social crisis is re-interpreted through the theoretical lenses of four main lines of political conflict. The latter set a divide inside the EU between “core” and “peripheral” countries on the one hand, and sovranational and national institutions, on the other one. In the introduction, Germany is defined as the key player inside the actual EU political constellation and the before-mentioned lines of conflict are reframed in a discoursive fashion. In the second part, the article explores the German public debate of the European elections of 2014 as to understand the degree of saliency of the four lines of conflict. For each of them, key actors and adopted discoursive strategies are identified. In the Annex, the analysis to the recent strands of public debate is extended.