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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Europe's most important political party hits the campaign trail: a sneak peak at the EU section of CDU/CSU's election manifesto

We've managed to get our hands on the CDU/CSU's draft manifesto for September's federal elections, which is not due to be officially presented until Sunday. Given that the CDU (which always runs jointly with its Bavarian sister party CSU) is the single most important party in European politics by a mile, this is definitely one to watch.

Interestingly, the first section of the manifesto is entitled "Germany's future in Europe", indicating how closely these two issues are linked.
Aside from the obligatory pro-European rhetoric, here are the key points we've picked out regarding what the parties will campaign for and against on the EU/eurozone:

CDU/CSU support:

-  More EU oversight over national budgets with sanctions for breaching the Growth and Stability Pact,
-  So-called ‘Competition Pacts’, i.e. enforceable contracts between the Commission and member states on economic reforms,
-  Increased labour mobility, including greater co-ordination on the recognition of academic degrees and professional qualifications, as well as on access to social security,
-  Retaining the Franco-German axis as the "motor" of European integration, while at the same time wanting to draw Poland - described as the most important partner among the new member states - closer into this fold,
-  Pushing German as one of the main EU languages (along with English and French).

CDU/CSU oppose:

-   Sovereign debt-pooling via 'eurobonds',
-   An EU-wide guarantee scheme for bank deposits,
-   A split between the eurozone and the wider EU (“We would prefer to progress with all EU partners”).

So broadly no big surprises, German support for economic reforms and budgetary restraint on one hand and opposition to debt-pooling on the other is well established, although we note the concept of giving the Commission greater powers was not included in the recent Franco-German proposals on the eurozone. The explicit commitment to pushing for greater use of German within the EU hints at a more assertive Germany that is more at ease with itself.

Tellingly, the UK is not mentioned explicitly in the EU section, although the co-operation between the two countries on tax transparency is mentioned elsewhere in the document. From a wider UK perspective, the focus on economic reform and competitiveness is welcome, although the UK would not want to give the Commission greater competence in this area. The UK would also welcome any moves to clarify the rules governing EU migrants' access to domestic welfare systems - though it's going to be very interesting to see more details on transferability of benefits, as that's something many in the UK are keen to limit.

We will of course keep you updated as the campaign progresses.


Denis Cooper said...

“We would prefer to progress with all EU partners” can be translated as Merkel's stated goal that all EU member states must join the euro, with no exceptions.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was that Merkel thinks that non eurozone countries should subsidize this mongrel of a currency.

Unknown said...

A split between the eurozone and the wider EU is opposed by Merkels party.

Hmmm, I wonder what Dave Cameron will think of that.

Renegotiations a No No then?
Returning powers to member states?
Must join Euro?
German as a first language (The French will love that!)

This is SO domestic issues.

I wonder what the other EZ/EU countries think of having the Germans and (bloody) French leading the way.

We have plainly seen the direction the rest of Europe wants to go in and the UK wanting to change everything is only going to cause a stink! LEt's just leave the EU!

Anonymous said...

Sounds very nationalistic as the Fatherland moves ever closer to the Federal government of the United Sates of Europe, preferably with more use of the German language!

christina speight said...

This manifesto sends goose-pimples down my spine. The colossus sits there in Berlin just as it did so often in the past - 1010-13 and 1935-39 in particular.

Iceland saw the warning and no longer wants to be part of the EU and has broken off accession negotiations, The sooner we call-it-a-day the better and get out out and ditch the traitor Cameron (+Clarke) along the way. Clarke's EU "economic superpower" (yesterday) is in fact an economic ruin losing world market share in period after period and is ruining us with it.

Anonymous said...

Eu também sinto que iremos a ter no futuro uma europa fedral dos Estados Sates da Europa