Responding to Macron, CDU leader warns against centralised EU

The leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) has responded to French President Emmanuel Macron’s ideas for a “European renaissance” by offering some overlap with his vision, while also warning against too much centralization.

Under the title “Doing Europe Right”, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer echoed Macron by calling for a reform of the European Union’s migration policy, but rejected his idea for a European minimum wage and cautioned against collective debts. Kramp-Karrenbauer’s response to Macron fills a void left by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is under pressure from her party to engage with him more fully after leaving her spokesman to simply say Germany supports discussions about the EU’s future.

“Our Europe needs to become stronger,” Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeeded Merkel as CDU leader in December, wrote in an opinion piece for the Welt an Sonntag weekly newspaper. But she added: “European centralism, European statism, the collectivization of debts, a Europeanisation of social systems and the minimum wage would be the wrong way.”

That appeared to counter Macron’s call for a European minimum wage, adapted to each country, and also highlighted the entrenched resistance in Berlin to any moves that could make Germany liable for other countries’ debts.

Macron’s proposals, unveiled in an open letter to citizens of Europe that was published this week in newspapers across the EU, aim to protect and defend Europe’s citizens while giving the 28-nation bloc new impetus in the face of global competition. Since winning election as French president in 2017, Macron has championed EU reform, but wariness in Berlin of increased burdens on German taxpayers has left him short of big-bang measures.

Presenting her ideas, Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is Merkel’s protege and in pole position to succeed her as chancellor, called for an internal European banking market to ensure that Europe’s businesses can secure financing in the EU.

She also said a joint EU innovation budget should fund new technologies, tax loopholes should be closed in the bloc and a digital tax introduced based on an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) model.

Similar articles

  • North Macedonia to start EU accession talks in June

    North Macedonia to start EU accession talks in June

    North Macedonia may start effective talks on joining the EU already in June, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said last Tuesday. “Our joint objective is to have a green light in June to start negotiations,” she said following a meeting with North Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev in Brussels.

    11
  • Almond 'fa' from Pecs won Tree of the Year Award

    Almond 'fa' from Pecs won Tree of the Year Award

    The 135-year-old almond 'fa' (tree in Hungarian) in front of the Church of Our Lady of the Snow in the beautiful Hungarian city Pecs, is the winner of the European Tree of the Year contest 2019, held under the patronage of Commissioner Karmenu Vella. 

    39
  • Jane Morrice: WhiteDoveWay is more than a path of peace

    Jane Morrice: WhiteDoveWay is more than a path of peace

    The WhiteDoveWay is a play on words. It is more than a path of peace.  It is way of life, a way of living and learning guiding and leading Europe and the world to a better place. It is a way out of the madness of division that has engulfed so many of our societies in the past and is starting to threaten us now. As the greatest peace project in modern history, the EU must use that experience to become the conflict prevention champion of the future. By promoting the principles of peace, tolerance and mutual respect on which it was founded the EU can show the WhiteDoveWay at home and abroad.

    19