Business

Where German parties stand on Europe

BERLIN — Germany’s election on September 24 is not just about who will become chancellor — it will influence the future design of the European Union.

German voters have to decide whether Angela Merkel or her main challenger Martin Schulz — who lags by about 15 percentage points in polls — will lead the EU’s most populous country and push her or his vision on issues such as eurozone reform, defense cooperation and migration during the next four years.

Also important for Berlin’s future position on Europe is whether any of the smaller parties end up in government as a junior coalition partner. Although Merkel has a comfortable poll lead and is widely expected to score her fourth victory in the national election, her conservatives will most likely need the support of at least one if not two other parties to govern.

The same is true for Schulz’s Social Democrats (SPD), if the former European Parliament president defies expectations and overtakes Merkel.

With six groups expected to enter the Bundestag, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens are potential coalition partners for the two big parties, while the far-left Die Linke and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) — a Euroskeptic party that could win seats in the national parliament for the very first time — are unlikely to be courted.

It’s still possible there could be another “grand coalition” between Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, with Schulz’s SPD. However, the Social Democrats have made it clear they are not keen on serving another term in Merkel’s shadow.

Here’s an overview of where German parties stand on the most pressing issues in Europe, based on campaign manifestos and interviews:

Security/defense

In a nutshell: All parties support European cooperation but disagree on border controls for the Schengen zone and how much Germany should pay for defense.

What that means: No matter who wins, expect them to push for a European defense union and a greater role for the EU border agency Frontex.

Ask high-ranking officials among Merkel’s conservatives how they plan to explain to the German public that their country is likely to pick up a sizeable chunk of the shortfall in the EU budget once the U.K. leaves in 2019, and they will tell you privately that it’s a matter of security.

“The times when we could rely on others are over to a certain degree,” reads the chapter on Europe in the CDU/CSU’s manifesto, echoing Merkel’s beer hall speech from May when, after meeting U.S. President Donald Trump, she said Europe must “take our fate into our own hands.” The conservatives believe that for Germany to remain safe and prosperous, the EU needs to move toward a European defense union.

The SPD and FDP both go a step further and call for the creation of a European army. Even the pacifist Greens support further European cooperation on defense, while stressing that “civil crisis prevention” should always have priority.

When it comes to the details, however, party positions differ — especially on military spending. The CDU/CSU and FDP are committed to bringing Germany’s military spending up to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, a guideline agreed by NATO members in 2014. The SPD, however, says “saber-rattling won’t solve any conflicts” and leaves no doubt it will block such a push, as would the Greens.

Opinions also differ when it comes to internal security, particularly the border controls inside the passport-free Schengen area that were introduced at the height of the refugee crisis and are still in effect. While the Greens say they want a return to open borders in the Schengen zone, Merkel’s conservatives say that they will maintain border checks “until the protection of the EU external borders works.”

There is a high level of consensus regarding the future role of the EU’s border agency Frontex.

The CDU/CSU, the SPD and the FDP all want to strengthen the agency’s role. The Greens, who have previously been critical of expanding Frontex, don’t mention it in their manifesto — which may signal that they’re open to compromise if they end up in government.

Migration

In a nutshell: Everyone agrees other EU countries need to show more solidarity but disagree on long-term responses to the refugee crisis.

What that means: Expect Germany to get tougher on other EU members who are reluctant to take in their share of refugees. What position Germany takes on reforming the EU’s asylum system, however, will depend heavily on who’s in government.

After the shock of coping with almost a million asylum seekers in 2015, all the parties except the AfD agree that other EU countries should be obliged to help Germany and other highly-affected countries carry the burden.

“Europe has a joint responsibility for refugees,” reads the conservative manifesto.

The SPD and FDP have the most radical proposals for enforcing that: the Social Democrats demand that countries who fail to take their quotas “should experience significant disadvantages,” while the FDP wants them to pay into a fund to help countries bearing the burden.

When it comes to long-term responses for how to deal with undocumented migration to Europe, the parties disagree sharply.

Merkel’s conservatives favor refugee deals with African countries like the 2016 agreement with Turkey. The SPD is vague, saying “cooperation and agreements with third countries open up chances to curb illegal migration,” while the FDP wants to reward countries like Lebanon or Jordan, who take in a lot of refugees, by facilitating trade with the EU.

Regarding the controversial idea of setting up “hot spots” in Northern Africa where asylum seekers’ applications could be processed without them setting foot on European soil, Merkel’s conservatives are evasive. The FDP doesn’t address the issue directly but says: “To spare people the extremely dangerous journey we would like to make it possible to already file an application for asylum abroad.”

The SPD openly opposes the idea, saying “asylum applications [should] continue to be processed on European ground.” Similarly, the Greens say they “won’t let the EU get rid of its problems by having refugees perish in the camps of Northern Africa.”

Eurozone

In a nutshell: All parties want to boost growth in Europe to stabilize the economy but disagree on issues such as Eurobonds and Greece.

What it means: Expect Germany to advocate a two-speed Europe during the next couple of years — and push for a Grexit if the FDP gets into government.

When it comes to potential reforms to the eurozone, Schulz’s Social Democrats have the most wide-ranging and ambitious plans. The SPD wants a European finance minister who would “coordinate economic policy.” The position would be linked to the European Commission and monitored from within the European Parliament. The European Stability Mechanism would become a sort of IMF for the eurozone.

The conservatives are more cautious, speaking of “developing the eurozone further step-by-step … for example by creating its own monetary fund” — which Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, and more recently Merkel herself, say would give the eurozone the ability to respond to crises without having to involve the IMF. However, they remain adamantly opposed to any pooling of eurozone debt.

Nowhere are the differences between the parties more visible than when it comes to Greece and whether it should leave the common currency or not: While the SPD says “no member of the eurozone should be pushed to leave,” the FDP wants to “change the European treaties so that member states can leave the euro area in an orderly process without losing their EU membership.”

FDP party leader Christian Lindner told POLITICO earlier this summer that Greece should be granted debt relief and forced out of the euro on a temporary basis until its economy recovers.

Merkel’s conservatives, who have sent mixed signals to Athens, sidestep the issue in their manifesto.

Addressing the future of the EU in more general terms, there is broad consensus in support of empowering certain member countries to integrate more deeply than others in a “two-speed Europe.” While the SPD and FDP say this explicitly in their manifestos, the conservatives don’t mention it but have embraced such ideas in the past. The Greens are open to the idea, if only “as a temporary solution.”

Brexit

In a nutshell: All parties are sorry the U.K. is leaving the EU but want to make sure the Brits will be worse off after their departure.

What this means: Don’t expect Germany to stick up for the U.K. during the negotiations.

One way or another, all parties echo Berlin’s official position that in order to enjoy the privileges of the EU, countries need to respect all four of its guiding principles: free movement of goods, people, services, and capital.

The SPD says there can be no “Europe à la carte;” the CDU/CSU write that anyone who leaves the EU must not be able to enjoy its benefits; the Greens want the interests of the remaining EU27 to have priority over Britain’s demands; and the FDP say there can be “no cherry-picking.”

The Euroskeptic AfD suggest that unless the EU is reformed drastically, Germany should follow the British example and leave the bloc. This remains a fringe position in a country where, according to recent polls, support for the EU is actually on the rise.

Original Article

Politico

Related Articles

1,786 Comments

  1. azithromycin 500mg tab [url=http://hqazithromycin.com]can you buy zithromax over the counter in australia [/url] is zithromax over the counter what is azithromycin 200 mg used for

  2. therapie de couple hainaut , https://www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/zv917596# therapies comportementales et cognitives dependances. traitement lyme [url=https://www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/zv916791#]Amoxil 500 mg rezeptfrei in Apotheke[/url] , pharmacie lafayette amiens sud , pharmacie leclerc franconville. pharmacie de garde chateauroux , [url=https://gevezesohbet.com.tc/11202-hloroquine-2.html#post109442]community action partnership gonzales ca yahoo[/url] 6fcb7b0 act therapy benefits doxycycline prix pharmacie [url=https://www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/zv908516#]doxycycline 100 mg prix[/url]. pharmacie Г  proximite de garde [url=https://www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/zv917739#]Kamagra generika kaufen rezeptfrei Deutschland[/url] , pharmacie jayez amiens therapies cognitivo comportementales strasbourg. pharmacie ouverte Г  proximite de ma position .

  3. Pingback: cialis otc status
  4. Pingback: real viagra 100mg
  5. Pingback: sildenafil mexico
  6. Nice weblog here! Also your website quite a bit up fast!
    What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link
    to your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  7. I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.

    Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal blog and would love to
    know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Kudos!

  8. I will immediately clutch your rss as I can not to find your
    email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you
    have any? Kindly permit me recognise so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  9. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and
    it is time to be happy. I’ve learn this post and
    if I may I wish to recommend you some attention-grabbing issues or advice.
    Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things about it!

  10. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for
    me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  11. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  12. I’ll right away clutch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me recognise so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  13. I’ll right away grab your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription link
    or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me recognise so that I may
    just subscribe. Thanks.

  14. I have been surfing on-line greater than three hours nowadays, yet I never
    found any fascinating article like yours.
    It is lovely price sufficient for me. Personally,
    if all site owners and bloggers made just right content material as
    you probably did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  15. I happen to be commenting to let you know what a awesome encounter my cousin’s girl found reading your site. She came to find a wide variety of things, most notably how it is like to have a very effective coaching style to get men and women smoothly learn about specific impossible things. You truly exceeded our own expectations. Thank you for giving the helpful, trusted, revealing and fun thoughts on that topic to Emily.

  16. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running
    off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope
    you get the issue fixed soon. Cheers

  17. Pingback: celebrex dosing
  18. Pingback: cymbalta kidney
  19. Pingback: cymbalta xause rls
  20. The explanation behind this is because of the
    fact this roblock hack takes up a ton of property which value an excessive amount of money,
    and by doing a assessment or downloading SAFE and confided in applications, it helps us pay to maintain up this and it moreover helps us affirm you are not
    a robotic as we get individuals making their very own particular bots to aim and exploit our framework!

  21. I will right away clutch your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly let me understand so that
    I could subscribe. Thanks.

  22. I will right away take hold of your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

  23. Pingback: canada cialis otc
  24. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  25. Pingback: sildenafil 50 mg
  26. I just couldn’t depart your website before suggesting that I
    really loved the usual info an individual provide in your guests?
    Is going to be again ceaselessly in order to check out new posts

  27. I will right away clutch your rss feed as I can not in finding your email
    subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any?
    Kindly let me recognize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  28. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to
    be happy. I’ve read this post and if I may I desire to suggest you some attention-grabbing things
    or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles relating to this article.
    I wish to learn even more issues approximately it!

  29. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.

  30. Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The
    clarity in your post is just great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject.

    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to
    keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  31. Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to provide something again and help others like you helped me.

  32. Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I
    will come back once again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be
    rich and continue to help others.

  33. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once
    again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest
    way to change, may you be rich and continue to help
    other people.

  34. It is perfect time to make some plans for the
    long run and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if
    I could I desire to recommend you some fascinating
    issues or tips. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I want to learn more issues approximately it!

  35. Hi there, simply became alert to your weblog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate should you continue this in future. Many other people will probably be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  36. I will right away take hold of your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link
    or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me understand so that
    I may subscribe. Thanks.

  37. I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered
    any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s beautiful
    worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just
    right content as you did, the web might be much more useful than ever before.

  38. Pingback: cialis soft gel
  39. A person necessarily lend a hand to make critically articles
    I’d state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and so far?

    I amazed with the research you made to make this particular
    put up amazing. Magnificent job!