April 17, 2018
CDU's executive committees reaffirms eurosceptic position
Angela Merkel is reverting to her usual mode of leading from behind - a method that has won her four elections. Meetings of the CDU's two executive bodies, a small inner group and the much larger executive committee, have both supported the critical position of the CDU/CSU Bundestag group, which is effectively to reject each aspect of Emmanuel Macron's agenda for the eurozone. The French president is expected for talks in Berlin on Thursday. The subject will be the eurozone.
As FAZ reports, the executive committee spent half of its meeting time on the eurozone. The party's new strongwoman - Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said the party would agree to the plan outlined in the coalition agreement to develop the ESM into an EMF, but there would be no change whatsoever to the way decisions are taken. She said the goal of Germany's EU policies was
"always to preserve German interests."
We are never quite sure whose interests she is referring to. We would have thought that the long-term stability of the eurozone is in Germany's interest, or at least in Germany's economic interests. But there is no doubt that the political consensus in Germany is now moving in a different direction.
The same goes for the SPD. With the departure of Martin Schulz from front-line SPD politics, the last flicker of a European fire is now extinguished. Jasper von Altenbockum notes that it was mistake to prioritise the EU in the coalition agreement, for the simple reason that the coalition cannot and will not deliver on those promises. He makes the point that nobody can really remember now why they even put the chapter on the eurozone at the front of the agreement.
We noted a column by Mark Schieritz in Die Zeit in which he argues that, after years of supporting hyper-globalisation, the SPD is also now turning inward. The era of Gerhard Schröder and Tony Blair is truly over. Support for the eurozone and for international climate agreements are no longer an SPD priority. We agree.