Mixed response to Scholz’s Europe Day speech

In his speech to the EU Parliament on 9 May, German Chancellor Scholz praised Europe Day as a response to the Second World War and to "destructive nationalism and imperialist megalomania". Europe must continue to rely on the US as a geopolitical partner, whereas China behaves more like a rival, he said. He also stressed that more EU Council decisions should be made on the basis of a qualified majority instead of the current unanimity principle.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

A counter-proposal to Macron

Scholz clearly does not share the French president’s vision, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments:

“Scholz explicitly contradicted the idea that the world can be divided along bi- or tripolar lines. ... The latter is Macron’s concept for a new, global concert of powers. ... Instead the chancellor made the case for a Europe that does not seek its place above or below other countries but strives for partnerships on equal terms with other states, especially in Asia, South America and Africa — and of course which continues to regard the United States as its ‘most important ally’. ... But there are good reasons to doubt whether this is really the best recipe for Europe’s future. The catchwords are Trumpism and deglobalisation.”

Nikolas Busse
Badische Zeitung (DE) /

A missed chance

Scholz remained too vague on many issues, the Badische Zeitung comments:

“How, for example, do we plan to make progress on our common defence and armament so as to gain more clout in the context of a fair partnership? How can we bring order to the asylum chaos so as to prevent this dispute from paralysing Europe’s future? How can we move from the unanimity principle to qualified majority voting in foreign policy? Yes, the chancellor pointed out weaknesses, but he failed to propose solutions. That is not enough when it comes to Germany’s contribution to Europe’s prospects.”

Thomas Fricker
wPolityce.pl (PL) /

Please don’t abandon unanimity

Writing in wPolityce, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, MEP from the Polish ruling PiS party, shudders to think what the Chancellor’s vision entails:

“Scholz’s EU is an EU that speaks with one voice. But what does this mean in practice? The renunciation of unanimity on central EU issues. Scholz mentioned foreign policy, security and taxes. However, the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the energy crisis in the entire EU have brutally illustrated what a German-dominated foreign policy looks like. ... Ironically, Scholz tried to argue that moving away from unanimity would better protect the interests of member states.”

Jadwiga Wiśniewska