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Posts Tagged ‘Merkel’

A Stronger Germany Could Save Europe

Posted by hkarner - 29. Januar 2020

Date: 28‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

Angela Merkel’s likely successor wants more defense spending and overseas deployments.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp‑Karrenbauer

It’s time for Berlin to take a more assertive stance in world affairs—that’s the opinion of German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp‑Karrenbauer. Ms. Kramp‑Karrenbauer is the heir apparent to Chancellor Angela Merkel and replaced her in 2018 as party chairman for the Christian Democratic Union. This soft‑spoken woman, known as AKK, told me her views on Germany’s position in world politics in an interview here last week and a follow‑up exchange of emails.

Germany, and for that matter Europe, can no longer go on in the old way, she said. In a new international reality marked by the “return of great‑power competition for spheres of influence and supremacy,” Germany “cannot just wait for others to act. . . . We must develop our own concepts, present our own options. . . . It is our duty as Germans, and it is very much in our own interest, to join in these international debates, to drive them forward, to play a part in protecting the international order.”

Since becoming defense minister last summer, AKK has been making waves, most notably when she delivered a speech in Munich last fall that called on Germany to raise military spending gradually to 2% of gross domestic product and urged Germans to consider deployments as far afield as the Sahel and the Indo‑Pacific. Germany already has about 1,000 troops in Mali as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission there. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can Merkel and Macron get Franco‑German relations back on track?

Posted by hkarner - 2. Januar 2020

Date: 02‑01‑2020

Source: The Guardian

As a year of big EU decisions begins, the bloc’s most important relationship is stuck in a rut

While the EU looks to Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, both leaders face domestic problems.

In early December, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel sat down opposite each other in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the Savoy Hotel, central London, for a two‑hour tête‑à‑tête dinner. They had some talking to do.

Cordial and constructive, diplomats in Paris and Berlin said, the evening apparently cleared the air. But it will take more than a dinner to clear the structural obstacles to a relationship that is critical to what Europe can achieve in 2020.

 “The Franco‑German relationship is the single most important relationship in the EU and it’s in a totally toxic condition,” said Mark Leonard, the director of the European Council on Foreign Relations. “And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

There was always going to be a yawning gulf between the styles of Macron, 41, an ambitious, impatient and at times arrogant first‑time French president, and Merkel, a cautious, pragmatic, consensus‑building fourth‑time German chancellor. But if, on matters of substance, their overarching visions coincide more often than they diverge, the two leaders’ very different domestic situations have compounded their personal differences, making the relationship unproductive – or worse. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson’s German and French dealings

Posted by hkarner - 24. August 2019

  Date: 23-08-2019
Source: The Economist

Britain’s prime minister hopes the EU is softening its line on Brexit. It isn’t

WHEN HE became prime minister, Boris Johnson insisted that he would not be a supplicant visiting continental capitals to plead over the terms of Brexit. Unless the European Union agreed in advance to ditch the Irish backstop from the current Brexit withdrawal agreement, he would not talk to his fellow leaders at all. Instead, Britain was ready to leave the EU on October 31st, with or without a deal. Yet this week he flew to Berlin and Paris to see Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron before going on to the G7 summit in Biarritz.

Beforehand, Mr Johnson wrote to fellow European leaders to repeat that the backstop, intended to avert a hard border in Ireland in all circumstances by keeping the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU, must go. He also insisted that, contrary to promises to adhere to many Brussels rules so as to preserve a level playing-field, Britain must have freedom to diverge from EU regulations. Despite this uncompromisingly hard line, he was politely received by the German chancellor and the French president. Mr Johnson’s supporters promptly talked up the results, claiming that Mrs Merkel had given him 30 days to produce an alternative to the backstop, while Mr Macron had conceded that the withdrawal agreement could be amended. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Does Von der Leyen Have a Chance as Commission President?

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juli 2019

Date: 05-07-2019

The nomination of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president came as a surprise. And many are unhappy. It not only undermines efforts to make the EU more democratic, but she may not be confirmed.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen

And there she is. Ursula von der Leyen has taken a seat on the podium in the parliamentary group chamber of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Strasbourg, a smile glued to her face. Once the cameras have left the room, she turns to the man on her left, the biggest loser in the competition for positions of power in Brussels.

„You’re still young,“ she says, consolingly, to Manfred Weber, who was the EPP’s lead candidate in the European elections held in late May. With center-right political parties having won the election, Weber had hoped to land the job of European Commission president. But the position was handed to von der Leyen instead, a woman who has never once campaigned for a European Parliament seat or other job in Brussels. „You have demonstrated greatness,“ she told Weber, according to meeting participants.

She then switches easily to French and speaks about her childhood in Brussels and about her father, who worked for the Commission at the time. She then moves on, discussing the years she lived together with her husband in California — now speaking in English.

It was a badly needed marketing appearance for the German defense minister. Many parliamentarians are not amused by the sudden nomination and — though von der Leyen’s multilingual, self-confident speech presented a stark contrast to the prim and proper Bavarian Manfred Weber — her ultimate confirmation is far from certain. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Von der Leyen als EU-Kommissionschefin Eine Siegerin, viele Verlierer

Posted by hkarner - 4. Juli 2019

Ursula von der Leyen soll die EU-Kommission führen – als erste Frau und erste Deutsche seit 52 Jahren. Kanzlerin Merkel geht dennoch nicht als strahlende Siegerin aus dem Gipfel-Drama hervor.

Von Markus Becker und Peter Müller, Brüssel
Ursula von der Leyen: Vielleicht bald EU-Kommissionschefin – wenn das Parlament sie bestätigt
Dienstag, 02.07.2019 22:09 UhrSpiegel.de

Sieger sehen anders aus. Eben erst wurde Ursula von der Leyen zur neuen EU-Kommissionspräsidentin nominiert, eine Parteifreundin und alte Weggefährtin Angela Merkels. Doch als die Kanzlerin nach dem EU-Gipfel in Brüssel vor die Presse tritt, wirkt sie, als hätte sie noch eine Rechnung offen.

Die sensationelle Wende in Richtung von der Leyen erwähnt die Kanzlerin drei Minuten lang mit keinem Wort. Stattdessen dankt sie erst einmal Manfred Weber und Frans Timmermans, die als Spitzenkandidaten von Christ- und Sozialdemokraten in den Wahlkampf gezogen sind und sich nun mit Jobs in der zweiten Reihe begnügen müssen: Weber soll zweieinhalb Jahre lang EU-Parlamentspräsident werden, Timmermans Vizepräsident der EU-Kommission bleiben.

Alles habe sie getan, um eine faire Lösung für die beiden zu finden, sagt Merkel. „Das ist nicht gelungen.“ Ein Grund: CSU-Mann Weber sei „von Anfang an als nicht geeignet und nicht wählbar dargestellt worden“. „Das darf nie wieder passieren“, sagt die Kanzlerin – eine kaum verhüllte Ansage an Frankreichs Präsident Emmanuel Macron, der Weber auch persönlich heftig attackiert hat.

Anschließend referiert Merkel ausdruckslos, dass von der Leyen zur Kommissionspräsidentin nominiert wurde – „einstimmig, mit einer Enthaltung“. Die kam ausgerechnet aus Deutschland, dem Land, das zuletzt vor 52 Jahren die Kommission führen durfte und nun die erste Frau in diese Position entsenden kann. Doch die SPD wollte dem nicht zustimmen. Nach den Regeln des Berliner Koalitionsvertrags heißt das: Enthaltung in Brüssel.

Immerhin: Es hätte schlimmer kommen können für Merkel. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Kapitalismus: Aus dem Gleichgewicht

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2019

Date: 17-06-2019
Source: Die Zeit: Ein Essay von Wolfgang Merkel

Der Kapitalismus agiert heute schneller als die Demokratie, das goldene Zeitalter der fruchtbaren Koexistenz beider Systeme ist abgelaufen. Wie konnte es so weit kommen?

Kapitalismus: „Das Finanzkapital ist auf den Fahrersitz gesetzt worden“ (George Soros 1998)

Wolfgang Merkel ist Direktor der Forschungsabteilung Demokratie und Demokratisierung am Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) und Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Kapitalismus und Demokratie sind heute höher entwickelt denn je. Gleichzeitig sind sie fragiler und verwundbarer geworden. Die Balance zwischen Politik und Ökonomie ist aus dem Gleichgewicht geraten. Ein Rückblick auf die Entwicklung und drei Thesen sollen verdeutlichen, wie es dazu kam. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Will Merkel Be Followed by Darkness?

Posted by hkarner - 30. Mai 2019

Date: 29-05-2019
Source: DER SPIEGEL.By René Pfister
Subject: A Dim View of the World

Will Merkel Be Followed by Darkness?

As the end of her tenure approaches, Angela Merkel has a view of the world that couldn’t be much grimmer. She sees the pillars of the world order collapsing and yet, strangely, she doesn’t seem to be doing much about it.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

For a few seconds, her face brightened with pleasure, she rejoices in the moment. And why not? It’s an evening in January, and Angela Merkel is sitting in a festively illuminated glass building at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, with CNN superstar Christiane Amanpour in front of her.

„What can I say about a woman named Angela Merkel?“ Amanpour asks the audience.

That she’s the first female chancellor?
The first chancellor from former East Germany?

Merkel is much more than that, Amanpour continues, a scientist who still believes in the value of facts in this post-factual world; a woman who fights against nationalism and climate change. She describes how the chancellor has set a high standard for how to deal with the desperate people of the world.

It’s all laid on a bit thick, a mixture of Oscar ceremony and political seminar, but Merkel has a smile on her face. It’s only now and then, when the camera zooms in on her, that she puts on a more neutral, chancellor-like face. Despite all that she has achieved, she still has a reputation to defend as the West’s most modest politician. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Spekulationen über Merkels Zukunft

Posted by hkarner - 16. Mai 2019

Date: 16-05-2019

„Viele machen sich Sorgen um Europa, auch ich“

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat in einem Interview mit der „Süddeutschen Zeitung“ ihre Euro- und Flüchtlingspolitik verteidigt. Aber ein Satz sorgt besonders für Spekulationen.

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel verteidigt ihre Flüchtlingspolitik

Seit einigen Wochen wird in Europa darüber spekuliert, ob Angela Merkel möglicherweise nach dem Ende ihrer Kanzlerschaft eine Position in Brüssel übernehmen könnte. In einem Interview mit der „Süddeutschen Zeitung“ sagte sie nun: „Viele machen sich Sorgen um Europa, auch ich. Daraus entsteht bei mir ein noch einmal gesteigertes Gefühl der Verantwortung, mich gemeinsam mit anderen um das Schicksal dieses Europas zu kümmern.“

Dieser Satz sorgt nun für weitere Mutmaßungen.

Außerdem betonte sie das gute Verhältnis zu dem französischen Präsidenten Emmanuel Macron. Dieser dürfte nach der Europawahl am 26. Mai neben Merkel eine Schlüsselrolle bei der Verteilung der EU-Spitzenposten spielen. In den Wechsel-Spekulationen wird Merkel meist als mögliche Nachfolgerin von EU-Ratspräsident Donald Tusk ins Spiel gebracht – auf dem Posten könnte sie als Vermittlerin ihre große Erfahrung einbringen.

Merkel sieht Verhältnis zu Macron unbelastet Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A First German ECB Chief? It Looks Increasingly Likely

Posted by hkarner - 5. April 2019

Date: 04-04-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Prospect of a hawkish central bank leader coincides with an economic slowdown in Europe, potentially spooking markets

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, would leave her imprint on a critical European institution if she succeeds in naming Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, or another German to the lead the European Central Bank.

Germany is edging toward a prize it has coveted for two decades: The presidency of the European Central Bank.

With Europe’s economy stumbling and its traditional political alliances threatened by left- and right-wing populism, the region’s leading economies—France and Germany—are zeroing in on a possible deal in which Berlin clinches the ECB job, say European officials.

Naming a German to succeed Italian Mario Draghi in November would be a significant coup for Chancellor Angela Merkel, helping to placate critics in her own conservative camp and leaving her imprint on a critical European institution long after she steps down. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Shortcomings of Merkel’s European Policies

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2019

Date: 15-03-2019

Patronizing, Frustrating and Divisive

Germany had an historic opportunity to forge a more integrated Europe with French President Emmanuel Macron. Instead, it hesitated, dithered and ultimately missed its chance under Chancellor Angela Merkel. History will judge its failure unfavorably.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

How will future historians look back at this moment in time? At Germany and its role in Europe; indeed, in the world? It’s very possible they will view these years as the pivotal juncture at which Germany missed its chance with Europe. Because German Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer had the energy to seize the historic opportunity offered by Emmanuel Macron and his great enthusiasm for Europe. Because her Social Democratic coalition partner, paralyzed by fears of its own survival, was no longer forging any foreign policy ideas. Because the Germans, as the historian Timothy Garton Ash remarked in DER SPIEGEL last year, fail to grasp the „seriousness of the hour.“


All this can be explained away, but it will hardly soften the judgement of history: That when nothing less than the fate of Europe was at stake, Germany had no foreign policy to offer — at least not any courageous foreign policy. Had Merkel and German Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats been in charge in 1999, it’s unlikely the euro common currency ever would have been introduced. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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