Sir Paul Lever KCMG is a member of the Council of The Chelsea Society, and was HM Ambassador to Germany 1997– 2003. He addressed a meeting of the Society, open to non-members and attended by about 100 people, on 5th June 2017 on the subject of his book “Berlin Rules: Europe and the German Way.” He was interviewed by Dr. Sarah Ingham, Editor of the Society’s Annual Report.
In the course of a long diplomatic career, Sir Paul’s posts included Assistant Under-Secretary at the FCO 1992–94; Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee 1994–96; and Director for EU and Economic Affairs at the FCO 1996– 97. After his retirement from the diplomatic service, he was Chairman of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). He was appointed CMG in 1991 and knighted in 1998.
The book is an expertly balanced insight into modern Germany, specifically focusing on its role as the dominant player in European politics and covering German history, culture and policy. Sir Paul does not believe that there is a ‘grand plan’ for German domination in Europe – rather that Germany finds itself a reluctant leader.
As the Brexit process has begun, the role of Germany will be of huge importance for the future of Britain and Europe, and this book could not be more topical.