Germany has warned it is not able to run the European Union by itself and that other member states should not "overestimate" Berlin's resources.
Rudolf Adam, the German chargé d'affaires in London, told a House of Lords committee on Monday that Britain and other big states had to shoulder their fair share of the responsibility.
"We are at the moment in a position of strength. More than 10 years ago we were the sick man of Europe. And in 10 years this can again happen," he said.
"You know when the EU was founded Germany was in a particular position very different from the position we are in now, this has sharped our awareness that fortune's wheel is still turning any my waning to you is don't overestimate our resources."
Germany's role at the heart of the EU has come under scrutiny amid fears Berlin exerts too much influence over many of the poorer states given its relative wealth.
Adam told peers that Germany had "taken on a lot of responsibility" but approached the EU "not in terms of leadership or hegemony".
"We are a large country at the heart of EU, we think that gives us a particular responsibility for making sure the EU is a success, but as I said we cannot run the show on our own, we need people who help us and go along with us and we still hope we still have some of those."
David Cameron is hopeful of winning the support of German chancellor Angela Merkel over EU reforms in an effort to persuade the British public to vote to remain within the union in his planned in/out referendum.
Adam said: "We agree there is too much bureaucracy in Brussels. But still the attractiveness of the EU is unbroken as you can see by the fact countries are in line to join and other countries are in the process of joining even the eurozone."