Germany returns to the role of stability and leadership that the European Union gives it. Community institutions have experienced with concern the almost five months of uncertainty that have elapsed since the German federal elections. With a France eager to undertake reforms in Europe, Brussels waited for Berlin to clear its future to begin to undertake them. The European Commission is confident that this new era of the Grand Coalition “will allow the decision-making process to resume on the future of the eurozone.”
The European Commissioner of Economy, Pierre Moscovici, made clear on Wednesday his conviction that the pact basted between the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the leader of the Social Democrats, Martin Schulz, lays the foundations for these advances. “It is good news for Europe that there is a stable, solid and pro-European government in Germany. It allows us to resume decision-making about the future of the eurozone, “Moscovici said at a press conference.
With that message, the head of Economy in the Commission admitted that the EU had parked the most important debates in recent months because of doubts about the political horizon in Germany. The agreement, still awaiting ratification by the social democratic militancy, “avoids a more delicate political period” in the community club, which is still recovering from policies that is only partially resolved. “When Paris, Berlin and Brussels are on the same path, it is easier to move forward,” argued the French commissioner. And as a social democrat, he appealed to the “responsibility” of the German socialist bases to support the government pact.
In the middle of the German parenthesis, the European Commission proposed an ambitious reform of the eurozone to shield the single currency against future crises. Although Berlin is reluctant to attempt to mutualize risks or create a specific budget for the eurozone, diplomatic and community sources in Brussels believe that the new German Executive will have to make a gesture. Especially when the Social Democrats, strong supporters of banishing austerity policies, will occupy relevant positions in the Government (including the Ministry of Finance).
“The initial position of Germany was based on the fact that with rules everything works; in France, there was the more political vision. Now those positions have moved towards greater convergence. We trust in the pro-European orientation of the coalition, “French sources stress. One of the first signs of this renewed Franco-German axis will be a joint plan to harmonize – not completely – the corporate tax in the EU. In his previous role as president of the European Parliament, Schulz identified the fiscal divergences, which drain billions of euros into the public coffers each year due to abusive tax competition, as a major deficiency that Brussels had to correct.
As proof that the EU is looking for fresh answers in Berlin to the main challenges, the president of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Council representing the States, Donald Tusk, are coming to the German capital on Thursday. interview with Merkel. On the agenda is one of the great battles that will arise in Brussels in the coming months: the elaboration of community budgets after 2020, which will be born with an annual hole of 11,000 million euros for the loss of British contributions after the Brexit.
Despite the enthusiasm for the new Government, it is very likely that Berlin will offer an inflexible position on key issues. There will also be conflicting dossiers within the coalition itself. The leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, the German Manfred Weber, outlines some priorities that may diverge from the Social Democrats. “The agreement in Berlin is a sign of stability for Germany and for Europe. More improvements, limits to migration and better defense. Now is the time to work! “He wrote on Twitter. Migration policy, very dependent on the push of Berlin, is another of the pending reforms in Europe.