Chancellor Scholz and EU Commission President von der Leyen have a lot to discuss in Meseburg. Germany's refusal to agree to the EU rules for phasing out combustion engines from 2035 is fuel for fire. Von der Leyen calls for a quick solution.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is pushing for a quick agreement on the question of the future of the combustion engine after 2035. She is in favor of the principle of openness to technology, said von der Leyen on the sidelines of the federal government's cabinet meeting in Meseberg. But this must be in balance with the climate policy goals of the EU. Both are equal goals.
Von der Leyen and Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that "constructive talks" were being held on the subject. Scholz tried to put the dispute into perspective. "We are unanimous on this issue," he said. It's "not about dissent questions at all", but about the "perspective of vehicles that relate exclusively to e-fuels after 2035". It was "such a solvable task that we are all very confident".
Finance Minister Christian Lindner again distanced himself from the combustion engine. The background is the resistance of the FDP to agreeing to an end to combustion engines from 2035 at EU level. A vote among the 27 EU governments had to be postponed because Germany would not have agreed.
According to Transport Minister Volker Wissing, the proposal promised by the EU Commission on how climate-friendly fuels - so-called e-fuels - could be used in combustion engines after 2035, and not just in small quantities, is still missing.
Scholz took no position in Meseberg in the dispute between the Greens and the FDP, but said: "Wissing is a very, very good transport minister." Wissing really wants to ensure that 15 million electric cars are driving on German roads by 2030 and that the charging network infrastructure is expanded.
Von der Leyen called for a quick solution to the debate because it is about planning security for the automotive industry. In the discussion with the President of the Commission at the cabinet retreat, according to information from Reuters, the point was only marginally addressed by participants.
Wissing advocated openness to technology and pointed out that there could be a data protection problem if everyone only drove Chinese e-cars in the future. According to information from government circles, it is not expected that the dispute within the coalition in Meseberg will be resolved.