German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a changing balance of power to unite within the European Union. It is time to come to a new force, she said on Wednesday, September 11, during the general debate on the German budget for 2020 in the Bundestag.
Merkel considers “russia’s geostrategic strengthening” to be one of the reasons for the changes requiring a more active role of the EU, and the growing rivalry between the United States and China.
Merkel praised the efforts of the Russian and Ukrainian authorities, who helped carry out the recent prisoner exchange. “We have a responsibility to reduce tensions between Russia and Ukraine,” she said, noting that she is “watching the first steps” in this direction of President Vladimir Zelensky. The Chancellor also stressed the importance of the parties’ implementation of the Minsk agreements and expressed hope that a new meeting in the “Normandy format” would be held soon.
According to the head of the federal government, the European Union must overcome the technological lag, as Europe in all areas is not in step with the times. The “globally oriented European Commission” that its future chairman, Ursula von der Leyen, who has been a minister in Merkel’s cabinet for many years, will be able to help modernize the EU, merkel said.
Merkel believes in the possibility of an orderly Brexit
The chances of reaching an agreement on Brexit have not been lost, the Chancellor believes, at least, the German government will do everything possible until the last minute to prevent a hard-line of the UK’s exit from the EU. However, Germany and the EU should be prepared for both a hard Brexit and a strong economic rival on the DOORSTEP of the EU, the Chancellor believes.
Angela Merkel has not made policy statements about the future of the European Union for a long time. After the G7 summit, many experts talked about “passing the baton in the European Union” and strengthening Emmanuel Macron as the informal leader of Europe.