To paraphrase the football maxim, the European Union is a club in which 27 countries play and in the end Germany always wins. It is the largest member state and the main economic power. In her 16 years in power, Angela Merkel has led the helm of the EU in navigating all crises. Although in theory it has no veto power alone, no decision is taken against Berlin in Brussels. And in recent months, many urgent decisions – particularly in the economic sphere – have been put on hold pending the elections this Sunday.

The tight result of the polls in Germany threatens indefinitely prolong the paralysis in the European Union. The victory by the minimum of the social democrat Olaf Scholz it does not guarantee to be able to form a Government. With the end of the Merkel era, the elections have accentuated the fragmentation of the German political landscape, to the point that three parties will be needed for a stable coalition.

In turn, the essential partners who will decide who governs have different preferences: while the Greens defend that Scholz should be the next chancellor, the liberals of the FDP are committed to enthrone the loser, the Christian Democrat Armin Laschet, with whom they have more ideological affinity. , and that does not give up trying. “Perhaps the Greens and the FDP should discuss it among ourselves before,” has proposed the liberal leader, Christian Lindner. The uncertainty is maximum. All analysts predict that Negotiations to form the new German Government will last for months.

While the EU is blocked by the lack of definition of Germany, the world does not stand still. US President Joe Biden, despite declaring himself a friend of Europe, has returned to the unilateral policies of Donald Trump (yes, in a more polite way) on issues such as the exit from Afghanistan or the new AUKUS military alliance with Australia and the United Kingdom . In a new world order marked by the clash between the United States and China, the Union has been thrown out of place.

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The absence of Berlin at the negotiating table prevents the head of community diplomacy, Josep Borrell, from promoting the great leap forward in defense and strategic sovereignty. There will also be no progress in the negotiations to relax the deficit and debt rules, an absolute priority for the vice president. Nadia Calvin, which wants an agreement before the Stability Pact is reapplied in 2023. Immigration reform, the new arsenal of regulations against climate change or laws to curb the power of the giants are in the same situation of paralysis. digital data from the United States.

Of course, in Brussels the fall of the extremists in these elections has been received with relief. All the parties likely to enter the future German government are decidedly pro-European. The center forces resist and the populists and radicals collapse. The extreme right of Alternativa por Germany, which broke into force in the previous elections of 2017, has lost positions. The radical left of Die Linke also goes down.

The most likely outcome is a continuity coalition with Merkel’s looser last stage. In fact, Scholz has campaigned by posing as the chancellor’s natural heir. However, if in the end it is he who manages to form a government, it would provoke a shift in the balance of forces within the European Council in favor of the Social Democrats. Right now, the European People’s Party has 9 heads of state or government, the liberals have 7 and the socialists have 6.

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With Scholz as chancellor, the EPP would lose its main representative and would no longer control any of the large EU countries. In contrast, the Social Democrats would multiply their strength in Brussels by being in power not only in Germany and Spain, but also in the Nordic countries or in Malta.

A force they could bring to bear in any upcoming high-ranking cast. Especially since now they only control a minor post such as the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy (held by Borrell), while the popular ones have Ursula Von der Leyen as president of the Commission and the liberals Charles Michel al front of the European Council.

In fact, in front of thunderous silence with which the popular Europeans have received the result After the elections in Germany (there have been hardly any reactions in Brussels), the Socialists have been quick to congratulate their candidate. Among them, President Sánchez himself or also the Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni. “Congratulations to Olaf Scholz for such a successful election campaign. Social equity, sustainable growth and green transition for a stronger Europe,” Gentiloni wrote.

“Congratulations to Olaf Scholz and the SPD for the magnificent results. Spain and Germany will continue to work for a stronger Europe and for a fair and green recovery, leaving no one behind,” said Sánchez. A strengthened alliance with Berlin it would serve the Prime Minister to promote his social agenda in Brussels and the relaxation of fiscal rules. At the same time, Sánchez would lose to Scholz the position of the main socialist leader of the EU.

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