Olaf Scholz’s speech in Prague: Why today Germany has no moral right to lead the “new” European Union

Olaf Scholz’s speech in Prague: Why today Germany has no moral right to lead the “new” European Union
Olaf Scholz’s speech in Prague: Why today Germany has no moral right to lead the “new” European Union

Even before I start analyzing Scholz’s speech, let’s clarify some things at the very beginning, so that there is no “misunderstanding” and accidental or intentional misinterpretation of this text. First of all: to think that today’s Germany has lost its moral right to lead the EU does not even remotely mean being against European integration. Secondly: to criticize in many respects the ideological background of the previous and especially the current German government and its foreign policy does not mean being anti-German. And thirdly: holding the opinion that one of the closest, most loyal collaborators of the former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the current President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is not competent for this position, is not a disparagement of the Commission, rather the opposite.

And now let’s get to the topic, which is even more complicated than it seems at first glance. First, let’s look at the Federal Chancellor’s speech in Prague, at what he actually said in Karolin, and we will be able to move forward from there. First of all – no matter how much not only some German, but also Czech journalists tried to convince us that this was a fundamental, “big” speech, in reality it was not. Olaf Scholz, on the other hand, during the meeting in Prague, among other things, also with his speech, reminded me a little of the American president from the film “Love Actually” (Love Actually) by director Richard Curtis from 2003, where he says at the beginning of the press conference: “We got what we wanted/what we came for…”, that is, except that I am not sure if Scholz “got or will get what he wanted”.

And what did the Federal Chancellor actually want or want? It’s simple: the enlargement of the European Union and especially its institutional reforms. “Where today it is necessary to decide unanimously,” said Scholz, “however, with each additional member state, the risk that a single country’s veto will block the will of all other members also increases. Anyone who thinks otherwise is denying European reality. That is why I suggested that in the area of ​​common foreign policy, but also in other areas, such as tax policy, we gradually move to decisions by qualified majority… I completely understand the concerns of smaller member states in particular… Let’s therefore look for compromises together. For example, I could imagine that we start with qualified majority decision-making first in areas where it is absolutely crucial that we speak with one voice. For example, in the area of ​​sanctions policy or human rights…”

The article is in Czech


Tags: Olaf Scholzs speech Prague today Germany moral lead European Union

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