The European Significance of the new German Government

Examining the Central European connections of the new German government is not an easy task. Compared to earlier times, Central Europe and the German government is more divided.

In Central Europe, every top leader congratulated Angela Merkel for her “defeating” victory, because Merkel means reliability and balance, even if not all European leaders sympathize with her. Consequently, all concerns that emerged about a possible left-wing coalition are gone now. A possible government by Schulz would have attacked the eastern partners, partly based on ideological reasons.

The establishment of the fourth Government by Merkel (the new Grand Coalition) was the most difficult agreement so far. Neither the Union-parties nor the SPD were satisfied with their repeated joint governance. The two big parties were divided by many issues, fundamentally concerning the politics to be pursued with Eastern Europe. Such issue is the topic of migration. Theoretically, they have concluded some sort of compromise. Practically, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas are talking on a completely different way, just like the staffs around them. Meanwhile, Angela Merkel does not want to alienate either of them, but it is very difficult to do so.

The other one is the issue of Europe. The German Government is affected by many pressures. On the one hand, Emmanuel Macron is expecting the German Government to be an ally in achieving his spectacular reform plans. On the other hand, the eastern member states count as allies for Germany.There are many who criticize the plans of Macron, concerning the further unification of the two-speed Europe. According to the Die Presse, Europe is significant priority for Germany. Furthermore, the country wants to take an active part in reforming the Union, but wants to take a hard action on the eastern part of the continent, at the same time. The coalition document signed by the three parties, emphasizes that the bases of the continental collaboration are democracy and constitutionality. Furthermore, these values need to be deepened. The debate with the Hungarian and Polish governments is in the background. Besides, the government urges solidarity in the refugee politics, otherwise they are threatening with consequences. If the affected states do not accept refugees based on the quota, then it will be visible in the Union support. After 2021, the reluctant eastern states are hoping for billions of investment support from Brussels. Moreover, there are only five pages about Europe in the document. Besides the extension, the composition suggest that Berlin wants to provide more significant attention for this issue. This includes the willingness of Germany to increase its contribution to the common budget. However, they consider the abolition of wage and tax dumping important within the EU. The Polish and German standpoints may approach each other. This is shown by the events of the recent weeks. Warsaw concluded a smaller turn, because of the Skripal-case and its connections with the Union. Poland is traditionally afraid of the Russian intervention. Therefore, the harsh tone of Brussels with Moscow is considered a friendly act in Warsaw. According to the Times, the new German Government might end its term sooner than expected, which could significantly affect the European stability. The fourth Merkel Cabinet will have to face the populists, who are on the rise from Spain to Poland, as well as in Hungary. They might extinguish the dreams about the federal Europe. The AfD might gain further influence in the German politics, if they do note handle the concerns emerged by migration. Furthermore, the chancellor is not able to support the Macron plan too explicitly, because that might cause revulsion in her own party.The old-now formation in Berlin does not make the Brexit easier, because Merkel won’t be that influential figure in the EU, as she was before. Considering all this, if the changing balance of power in Germany causes a shift toward a European federal state, then it wouldn’t be a help for the continent. Martin Schulz was not elected foreign minister, which certainly indicates a more peaceful relationship with Central Europe. Loosing the election weakened the president of the SPD. Therefore, the less critical but more arrogant Heiko Maas is the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The relationship with Central Europe will be affected by the possible solutions for the Governmental crises in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Although both countries have governments, the Babis-Cabinet does not have parliamentary authorization yet. Thus, it is not able to make decisions requiring parliamentary authorization. A government is unable to operate on this way for long. Hence, the ANO should be open for any direction. It might establish a coalition with the extremist Okamura-party or the Communists, or even the pro-Europe ODS. Anyhow, it will define the direction of politics of the government, concerning the issues that are important for Germany as well. The European reform plans and the introduction of Euro can be covered by this.

In Slovakia, the Pellegrini-Cabinet has parliamentary authorization, but the national remonstrant movement does not rest. Theoretically, the possibility of an early election can not be excluded.

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