Germany has major plans for the European Union (EU), said Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Budenstag on the eve of an informal EU meeting in Brussels. But first she needs the government.
Merkel addressed the German Parliament one day before the informal meeting of leaders of the 27 EU member states. Strengthening the EU is a central element of the agreement between the two largest parties in Germany. Merkel said the agreement would offer ‘essential impulses’ for the reform of the bloc. She stressed that the coalition agreement is the first of its kind, which focuses specifically on EU policy.
“We need to be prepared to support initiatives when they are more appropriate than national solutions,” the chancellor said.
For the refugee theme, Merkel said politics should focus on fighting the reasons why people abandon their homeland to come to Europe. She stressed that greater efforts are needed to destroy networks of human traffickers. The SPD coalition agreement also supports a common EU policy for refugees. Merkel sought to ‘massively strengthen’ the European Border Protection Agency (Frontex).
The Chancellor further sought a reorientation of the European Union’s finances.
“The debate on the future financial framework is also a chance to verify EU finances in general,” Merkel said in her government statement before the Bundestag. She wants a “Europe capable of acting, solidarity and trust in itself”.
Friday, EU heads of state and governments will discuss without UK on the EU’s mid-term financial plan from 2021 to 2027. It hosts a discussion on new tasks and a European border defense.
“We need an awakening for Europe,” Merkel said.
At the same time, she suggested that conflicts with the eastern states of the EU are expected. Because the commitment to refugee acceptance in the future should also be taken into account in the structural funds.
“Solidarity cannot be a one-way path in the EU,” she said.
The cause for this statement is the refusal of some Eastern European states to accept refugees from other EU states. Countries like Poland are net beneficiaries of EU services, Germany is a net payer.
Merkel said that in the future euro area reform responsibility and control should be in one hand. It is important first of all to improve the competitiveness capability in the Eurozone.
Without an internal digital market, EU states will find it difficult to maintain international competitiveness.
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.