Germany has always stood for an E.U. of the 27 countries. But in light of Britain's continued resistance to further integration steps, as we saw with the fiscal pact, there are limits to my optimism in this regard. It's quite possible that we will have to create the new institutions for the euro zone first.
This much is true: When we created the euro, it wasn't possible to create a political union along with it. People weren't ready for that. But since then, they've grown more willing to go in that direction. It's a process, one that is sometimes laborious and sometimes slow. But it's important to keep the populations involved.