EM Germany Newsletter CW 12/2023 | European Summit and Strategic Sovereignty
13 months of Zeitenwende, 13 months of the reality shock that Germany has allowed itself to be led into energy dependency by an autocrat. The lure of cheap energy prices has made the largest EU member state deaf to clear indications such as the annexation of Crimea and the warnings from Poland and the Baltic states.
Since then, the German government has put a lot of effort into finding new energy sources and appealing to the economy and the population to take energy-saving measures. Fortunately, we have found the way out of Russian dependence. Credit for this! However, when Chancellor Scholz travels to Brussels this Thursday for the summit meeting of heads of state and government, he should take two thoughts with him:
Firstly, what lessons do we learn from Germany’s years of ignorance of the warnings of our European partners, and how can we restore confidence in a reliable German European policy that thinks strategically in a European community spirit? Doesn’t the German government’s current blockade chaos on the phasing out of internal combustion engines foster even more mistrust?
Secondly, how can we shape the necessary transformation towards climate neutrality and at the same time reduce our strategic dependence on autocratic, and thus hardly reliable, partners in the world? Especially in view of the rising tensions in the Pacific region, the EU urgently needs a common and unified strategy on China. Because only if the EU speaks with one voice, uses its economic size and also acts in close transatlantic coordination, it can safeguard its interests and values in the new reality of the multipolar world order.
Dr. Linn Selle
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany News
On the way to a competitive and climate-neutral European economy | At the EBD De-Briefing on the Council for the Environment Dr. Wolfgang Seidel, Head of the division EU coordination at the Federal Ministry for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BMUV), and Matthias Casper, Advisor on the European Climate Policy and the European Climate Initiative at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK), informed and discussed the results of the Council meeting. The event was moderated by Markus Vennewald, European Policy advisor at EM Germany. | More (in German)
A lack of European community spirit – President and General-Secretary take a stand | The discussion around the end of the combustion engine, e-fuels and the question: which drive for vehicles will still be allowed for sale in the EU after the year 2035, continues to concern the EU. A final compromise between the Council and the European Parliament stands, but the German government has yet to agree to the legislation already negotiated at the European level. Irrespective of the factual issue of e-fuels, EM Germany criticises the fact that the German government, contrary to the wording of its coalition agreement – namely to coordinate on Commission proposals at an early stage – is suddenly putting on the brakes again at the very last minute. President Dr. Linn Selle criticised in the Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as in the „Bericht aus Berlin“ on ARD a lack of EU coordination within the federal government and the damage to trust and reliability caused by the German blocking of the EU decision. General-Secretary Bernd Hüttemann expresses concern to the Tagesschau about the signal effect for other EU states and calls for a clear stance on the part of the German government. | More (in German)
Monetary policy decisions at times of crises and inflation | At the joint De-Briefing of EM Germany (EBD) and the European Movement Austria (EBÖ) on the ECB Governing Council in mid-March, Katrin Assenmacher, Head of Division at the ECB for Monetary Policy, after an introduction of ECB Press Officer Eva Taylor, explained to the participants how the ECB intends to respond to the current challenges in Europe. The first commentary was held by Prof. Dr. Ewald Nowotny, Vice-President of EM Austria (EBÖ), former Governor of the Austrian National Bank and President of the Austrian Society for European Policy. The De-Briefing was moderated by General-Secretary Bernd Hüttemann. | More (in German)
Initiative to strengthen the social dialogue in focus at the EBD Briefing: Commission Direct on the Social Dialogue | On 25 January 2023, the European Commission presented its initiative to strengthen the social dialogue with the central aim of adapting the social dialogue to the new developments in the labour market. In cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in Germany, Jörg Tagger, Head of Unit Social Dialogue, European Commission, Tanja Bergrath, Head of the European Liaison Office in Brussels of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and Arne Franke, Head of Department Europe at the Confederation of German Employers‘ Associations (BDA) e.V., discussed the presented initiative. The event was moderated by Markus Vennewald, European policy advisor at EM Germany. | More (in German)
President Dr. Linn Selle in exchange with the Latvian Ambassador | At the meeting of H.E. Alda Vanaga, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia, and President Dr. Linn Selle on 10 March, the two discussed Latvia’s upcoming chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and the possibilities of strengthening the Council with a view to the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe in May 2023. | More (in German)
27.03.2023 | EBD De-Briefing on the European Council with Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Head of the European Department at the Federal Foreign Office and Hendrik Kaelble, Head of Unit EB1 for General European Policy, European Economic and Fiscal Policy at BMWK. The first commentary will be given by Nora Hesse, Head of the Political Team at the Representation of the European Commission in Germany.
26.04.2023 | EBD De-Briefing AGRIFISH with Dr. Jürgen Weis, Head of Unit in Department 612 – EU Coordination and Law, EU Presidency, Strategy, Legal Affairs, Bureaucracy Reduction at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Our Presidency Calendar on the Swedish EU Council Presidency contains all dates of the semester.
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