German MEP Sven Giegold has given his take on last week’s farewell visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel to France’s President Emmanuel Macron.
The MEP, speaker of the German Greens in the European Parliament, commented, “Under Merkel, there was both stagnation and progress in the Franco-German tandem. A ray of hope for Franco-German cooperation was the initiative for the Corona recovery fund in Europe. Merkel’s biggest oversight towards Macron was that she never gave him a real answer to his EU reform proposals. At that time, Macron’s proposals opened up a window of opportunity for the further development of the EU. Macron reached out to Merkel to reform the EU, but Merkel did not accept it.”
“It is a great disappointment that Merkel effectively gave up her opposition to France’s nuclear policy in the EU taxonomy at the last EU summit. As caretaker chancellor, Merkel has agreed that the European Commission will quickly present the delegated act on the taxonomy. Now facts can already be created in Brussels in favor of nuclear power and gas, while coalition negotiations are still ongoing in Berlin. Merkel’s approval as caretaker chancellor was against common practice during the negotiation of a new government. With the greenwashing of nuclear power, Merkel gave the French President the greatest possible farewell present. The French initiative is a nail in the coffin of the taxonomy and buries the single market for sustainable finance. With the classification of nuclear power and gas as sustainable, the taxonomy loses its credibility. The Commission should wait with its proposal for the taxonomy until the formation of the government in Berlin has been completed.”
“The new federal government should work out a compromise on the taxonomy with France. The revitalization of the Franco-German tandem in Europe must become the top priority of the new federal government. From January onwards, Germany should support the French Council Presidency on an EU reform agenda. Germany and France should also make the Conference on the Future a success with courageous proposals for more democracy and the European ability to act,” said the MEP.