European policy – a paradigm change?
SPD leader Martin Schulz has underlined that European policy will take centre
stage in the work of the new government.
The Groko devoted the first chapter of
the agreement to the EU (5 out of some 170 pages). As hoped by Germany’s
partners, Europe looks like the big winner of a grand coalition government
especially compared to a potential Jamaica coalition.
But in large parts, the chapter is sufficiently vague so that one can read whatever one wants into it and
is more a declaration of intent than a commitment. The European focus – a pet
project of Schulz – will not make the Groko agreement an easier sell to the party
basis. Europe is no vote winner in Germany.
Further, most Germans do not share the view that the euro is still in a vulnerable situation and the euro area
requires further stabilisation measures, especially given their concerns that they
will end up picking the tab. In the regular monthly survey on the most pressing
political issues for Germans, the topic of reforming the euro area does not
register (Forschungsgruppe Wahlen: ZDF Politbarometer).