Plans for a united Europe: Scholz wants to clean up the EU by going it alone

Whether it's defence, migration or technology: the members of the EU disagree in many areas.

Plans for a united Europe: Scholz wants to clean up the EU by going it alone

Whether it's defence, migration or technology: the members of the EU disagree in many areas. Since every state has a right of veto, common foreign policy is paralysed. Chancellor Scholz wants to change that with a plan for cooperation.

As a consequence of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz advocates a stronger and "geopolitical European Union". In a guest article for the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", the SPD politician writes that the EU must close its ranks in all areas in which it has previously disagreed: "In migration policy, for example, in the development of a European defence, in technological sovereignty and democratic resilience". He announced concrete proposals from the federal government "in the next few months".

Scholz described the EU as a "lived antithesis to imperialism and autocracy", which is why it is a thorn in the side of those in power like Russia's President Vladimir Putin. "Permanent disagreement, permanent dissent between the member states weakens us. That is why Europe's most important answer to the turning point is: unity. We absolutely have to maintain it and we have to deepen it," warned Scholz. The chancellor called for an end to "selfish blockades of European decisions by individual member states". In foreign policy, for example, the EU can no longer afford national vetoes if it wants to continue to be heard in a world of competing great powers.

"Imperialism is back in Europe," writes the chancellor in the article entitled "Europe in Times of War - After the Turning Point." The Russian missiles on Ukraine not only caused massive destruction, "but also reduced the European and international peace order of the past decades to rubble and ash." After the end of the Cold War, people felt "a false sense of security". The dictum that Germany was only surrounded by friends was a mistake.

Scholz reaffirmed that Ukraine would be supported as long as it needed it, economically, humanitarianly, financially and through the supply of weapons. "At the same time, we ensure that NATO does not become a war party." The European Union has moved closer together, and its "unprecedentedly tough sanctions" against Russia are having a greater effect every day. It is clear that they may have to be maintained for a long time. "And one thing is also clear to us: If a peace is dictated by Russia, not a single one of these sanctions will be lifted. For Russia, there is no way around an agreement with Ukraine that the Ukrainians can accept."

The chancellor acknowledged that even for a prosperous country like Germany, ending energy dependency on Russia would not be easy and would take longer. "We will need staying power." Scholz referred to financial aid for people in the amount of well over 30 billion euros and the concerted action with employers and unions. "We have to stick together and hook each other up," wrote Scholz. "Then I am convinced that we will emerge from the crisis stronger and more independent than we entered it. That is our goal!"

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